i love looking for pretty things and i needed some way to express it with korean ladies who were selling me things or little girls with adorable bows in their hair. so it makes sense that epo (or epohnayoh) was one of the first words that i learned in korean. i have been using it ALL THE TIME. literally like 10 times a day. when i would say it to adults, they would just smile back at me, a perfect mix of pity and humor. but recently, when i use it at school with the little 1st grade girls, they just laugh and laugh and laugh. okay, it was funny the first time, i get it, american girl speaking korean, but seriously? something else had to be going on... i finally double checked with han teacher today about the meaning of epo. apparently i have the right pronunciation, but the wrong intonation. instead of saying "epo!!"(in a low voice) meaning 'that's so pretty!!', i was saying "epo!!!"(in a high pitch) and actually asking people (am i pretty?).
horrifying. that's what that is. trying to give compliments but in reality, i have been blatantly demanding them from people i don't even know.
first time meeting:
korean lady: hello!
(kylie walking around and looking at hand made crafts, but too cheap to buy any)
kylie: am i pretty?
korean lady: no response
(kylie then immediately leaves store after lack of appropriate reassurance of beauty.)