I always call him Mr. Lee since I can hardly recall his Korean name. He said he likes to take my class because he can soak up some new stuff out of me. I was pleased to hear that. Compared to other Koreans I know, Mr. Lee has made the best impression on me for his politeness, even-tempered and levelheaded character that other Koreans don't possess.
Today we went on the subject of the difference in between Korean and Taiwanese culture. Students in class seemed to be highly interested in this issue, so we shared our own views with one another.
Lee told us he had found that in Taiwan people seemed to have some negative stereotype on Koreans. "If possible", he said, "I would suggest you go check out our capital city, Seoul, which has made a huge change these days." He implied Seoul has become a very modernized city in the world. He also "complained" that people like to compare Korea and Taiwan by the average annual income made by these two nations' people. "This isn't fair", Lee said, "Even though we Korean people's average income has already exceeded yours."
I felt shamed on ourselves because Taiwan has made very few improvement in economy in the past ten years. The inferior cross-strait relation has led us to being in a sorry economic state. This government tends to value more on politics over anything else. When can we make a big comeback again? Who knows? Nor do God, I guess.
soak up 吸收
negative stereotype 負面的刻板印象
cross-strait relation 海峽兩岸關係
in a sorry economic state 不好的經濟狀況
make a big comeback 東山再起