What did you say? Part 2

Esther Ahn Kim was a Korean Christian who was imprisoned by the Japanese during World War II because of her faith. Her autobiography is a soul stirring testimony of God’s goodness to her during those difficult years. But it also records humorous events. In the following account, she writes about a visit from her mother that made her laugh.

I sat straight across from my mother. While I was hesitating about what I should say first, she suddenly spoke out loudly, like a primary schoolchild reciting a phrase he had been forced to memorize. “Oganke desuka.”

She meant to say “ogenki desuka,” which means “how are you?” in Japanese. Since the regulation stated that no one was allowed to meet with a prisoner unless the visitor spoke Japanese, she must have learned those few words from my sister. Instead of asking me how I was, however, she had said, “lid of toilet bowl.” She didn’t realize what she had said, But I couldn’t help from breaking out into laughter.”

Esther Ahn Kim, If I Perish, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1977), 175-76.