English the language of their love
By LEE McDOUGALL
FRENCH is traditionally regarded as the language of love but for Jack Chung and Erika Ida, English was their preference.
When Jack and Erika met through the Coffs Harbour Education Campus' English Language Centre, it wasn't exactly love at first site.
"My first impression was not great so I tried to keep the relationship just as friends," Erika said of her now husband.
Jack is Korean. Erika, Japanese. When they met in Coffs Harbour in 2002, neither spoke the other's native language, so English was their language of choice.
Erika was in Coffs Harbour studying English and Animal Science at Tafe, staying with homestay family Trish and Bede Watts.
Jack was studying English and Information Technology at SCU and staying with fellow Korean students at Park Beach.
"Erika thought Jack might benefit from experiencing the real Australian culture, so she invited him to come camping with us," Trish said.
Jack's recollection is, understandably, a little different.
"It was a beautiful evening. The sky was beautiful, there was a waterfall, the atmosphere was wonderful and I thought I just wanted to kiss her ? so I did," Jack said.
While he then assumed they were 'a couple', Erika took a few more weeks of convincing, including a 3am dash from Park Beach to Toormina by Jack to prove his love for her.
Earlier this month the couple were married in front of several hundred family and friends in Korea, and when it came to choosing their honeymoon destination, there was only one place to go.
"Coffs Harbour is the most special place so it was perfect for our honeymoon," Jack said.
As to the future, while the couple currently call Korea home, both are hoping that one day soon they will be able to immigrate here to the place they regard as their true 'home'.