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Of Ramyeon and Dating: How it All Began

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"Want to go inside for some coffee or tea?" 

This is the much-awaited open invitation uttered by a man or a woman in a Western romantic film or series. But in South Korea, it's not coffee or tea. It's ramyeon, everyone's favorite all-day any-day hot snack or meal. 

We've seen this in many K-drama scenes. Maybe, some have adapted this pick-up line in their dating life already, even though they are not Koreans. Haha! What does it really mean? 

In the book Life in Lockdown: I Caught the K-Fever (The First Wave), Seoul-based English teacher Kate Chang explained that the expression is just a simple invitation with no strings attached: "In One Fine Spring Day (봄날은 간다), the heroine Lee Young-ae tells the man who drove her to the front of her house: 'Do you want some ramen?’ (‘라면 먹을래요?’) After that, their love begins. Because of this scene, the sentence seems to have begun to imply otherwise. 'Do you want some ramen?’ (‘라면 먹을래요?’) simply indirectly expresses permission to come into one’s house. 

The movie in reference is a 2001 film with a character named Eun-soo, portrayed by Lee Young-ae. The phrase "Do you want to eat ramyeon?" was credited to her and become loosely translated in real life to mean: "Do you want to sleep with me?" 
Photo credit: Amazon.com
This lovers' love affair with ramyeon had been seen in famous romantic comedies. Try watching What's Wrong With Secretary Kim?, Fight for My Way, Don't Dare to Dream, and lately Mr. Queen. Ramyeon became a centerpiece in some of the sweet scenes where the lovers shared intimate romantic moments, but not "that" moment. The characters were shown to be surprised every time an invitation involving the ramyeon would pop up. It's as if one of them meant something truly malicious. This makes the scene undoubtedly funny. 

Whether this line would taint the image of the innocent ramyeon or not would depend on how we use or abuse that expression. Slurping the ramyeon with gusto with a loved one looks (and tastes) much better, right?  

Having said this, what's your favorite ramyeon dish? Comment below and share your quick recipes. 

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PinoySeoul.com: Of Ramyeon and Dating: How it All Began
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