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Memoirs of an Amnesiac

Falling In Love with Subtitles

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by , 07-29-2014 at 04:04 PM (1547 Views)
"Ma-Anhing 'Kag Sayo" (You'll soon depart from the face of this earth). This was my friend's pun about the Korean way of greeting (an yung hoseyo).

It used to be that I hated Korean novelas. They are difficult to read and understand. What with all the subtitles and all the ways they've been custom-fit to be understood by Filipino viewers. The actors' mouths don't seem to match their dialogues and my, they speak Tagalog so much better than we do, don't you think? It was when a good friend of mine wouldn't stop pestering me about why we should dine in a Korean restaurant and why it means the world to her that we drink soju, the Korean wine she has often seen in the Korean novelas she has been obsessed with last summer. She even almost starved herself trying to learn how to use chopsticks in eating, because as she says, "This is how they did it in the Korean novelas." To me back then, she was too giddy about something that I know isn't what one should concern oneself about. I mean there are more pressing issues like global warming, poverty, unemployment to think about. Or so I thought.

One Saturday she just made me watch a few episodes and my defiant self was already picking on some English flaws in the subtitles. This I did while my friend was so seriously caught up with the story line. So, I just gave it a benefit of the doubt and started getting interested with it. Soon, I found myself asking her for more titles and all she did was laugh me off. To her I was a sore loser for even hinting that Korean novelas were a flop in the first place.

I am a sucker for films with a historical edge to them and so this one Korean novela title really got my attention. Despite my busy schedule, I try to squeeze in weekends where I get glued to the laptop screen, either laughing, crying, or getting mad at Korean actors. Sometimes I would detest the actors for their seemingly flawless skins, as if they were angels that fell from heaven. Whether I used to find it odd that men wear longer bangs than girls do and sometimes curly ones at that, didn't matter to me now. The men actors are so fashionably inclined that sometimes I set modesty aside.

Unlike our local telenovelas, I find myself puzzled over what's next. The plot is totally unpredictable, although I see some patterns coming and dropping every now and then.

For me, a good story should at least have a good resolution, whether they are considered to be a happy ending or not. The Korean novelas I've watched so far achieved what I had always expected --downright realistic interpretations and conclusions.

At the end of a rather busy day at work, I look forward to turning my laptop on for another episode of a Korean novela where the protagonist gets turned down at work, confused about love and its intricacies, is desperate for love and sad about the departure of a loved one. I forget about worries and get caught up in a different world where people celebrate the first snow and love walking under cherry blossoms.

Though the subtitles may seem to be somehow absurd at times, I cling on to them, rather than listen to gibberish speech and funny actors garbling and cursing. I live off episode after episode. When my day ends, I sometimes continue seeing them in my dreams.

This, for me, is like falling in love.



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