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Monday, February 28, 2011

Adventures on the bus

There are moments I've experienced in Korea that I will never forget. Had one of those last night on the bus, going downtown to meet friends for a birthday dinner... Here's how it went...

So Jenn and I get on the bus. A few stops up, some more people get on. Maybe four people total are on the bus. Korean city buses have one long bench in the back then a single row of seats facing front on each side (and an open middle area to stand). Jenn and I are sitting on the back bench and there are obviously plenty of other seats open. This old man gets on and where does he sit? Well right next to me, of course. And he gets comfortable.

We discover quickly that he's quite drunken. But don't worry, he wears a face mask to be healthy and prevent germs from getting into his body... (I've stopped trying to understand...) Older Koreans, especially out where I live, don't see foreigners very often. Most of them don't like us. My Korean friends claim it's because they can't understand us. Umm hello, we NEVER understand ANYTHING you say... Anyways... not only do they not really like us, but they stare at foreigners. Sometimes they're disgusted stares, other times just out of curiosity or amazement - like they've only seen one on TV, never in real life.

So the drunk ajashi (Korean for old man) is staring at us as Jenn is putting on lip gloss. Then I put some on. He starts to lean into his stare. So naturally, I look at him and *POP*. Smack my lips together. Was about to offer him some. The more I experience it, the more staring irritates me...

Jenn and I are having a conversation. Not loudly. The bus is quite, there's no reason to talk loud and we're sitting next to each other. All of a sudden the ajashi hits me! I look over and he's Shhh-ing me. Really? So we continue talking. He hits me again, harder! I about lost it. The drunk ajashi have an argument - each speaking in our prospective language. I tell him we were there first and he can go sit somewhere else on the bus. I interpreted in Konglish that he was telling me that he's drunk and we should move so he can lay down. I won. He moved. But not without continuing to grumble in slurred Korean under his face mask.

Grumble grumble grumble... Jenn and I are still talking. Then he gets up, stumbles a bit, sits back down, stands back up and goes up to the bus driver. To tattle on us!! The bus driver puts the bus in park, gets out of his little compartment (doors are wide open) and spends about 5 minutes yelling at the ajashi. He tells him he can either sit down and shut up or just get off the bus. (Again, Konglish interpretation) And while he's lecturing him, he's imitating him stumbling around. Was quite hilarious but I didn't want to laugh because I didn't want to get kicked off the bus too!! The ajashi lowers head like a hurt puppy and sits quietly for the remainder of the ride.

Wish I had my camera to take video.

1 comment:

  1. wow. I've had lots of stares of course, and lots of people trying to tell me what to do when it's none of their business, but no one has ever tried that. Of course, size does have its advantages sometimes. I bang my head here way too often, but people don't try to fight me.


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