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Monday, August 13, 2012


That's Korean for post office (oo-chay-guk). That's where I just spent nearly an hour. Typically, my trips there take five minutes max...

However, today, the guy who speaks great English was apparently too busy on his phone. Who did I get instead? The deaf guy. (No offense whatsoever to deaf people - love em'! But when regular communication might have been an issue, let's add in a language barrier too!)

This is about how our "conversation" went:

Me: Box-uh? [mime box with my hands]
Him: [puzzled look]
Me: Yogi! [points to box]
Him: [gives me a box]

I put the contents of my package in said box. It's a little too big, but with some bubble wrap it will be perfect.

Me: Bubble wrap? [imitate popping bubble wrap]
Him: [puzzled look]
Me: Fragile...?
Him: [puzzled look] Korean Korean Korean (that I can't understand)
Me: [unwrap all breakables from package]
Him: [gives me the smallest piece of bubble wrap he could find]
Him: [gets more bubble wrap]
Him: Korean Korean Korean (that I can't understand, but I figure out he's asking where is my package going. Which I do know the Korean for, by the way...)
Me: Miguk (Korean for America)
Him: [points to the other side of the room and holds up a peace sign]
Me: [wander around the room, touching all the forms I find. The one I need is in the #2 box. Perfect.]
Him: [tapes up my package]

I forgot to put in my letter (pretty much always happens when I send packages...)

Me: Envelope? [mime envelope with my hands]
Him: [puzzled look]
Guy who speaks English: [tells him I need an envelope]
Him: [points somewhere on the other side of the room]
Me: [puzzled look] [grab for anything that looks like an envelope]
Him: [shakes head, no]
Guy who speaks English: [gives me an air mail envelope]

I fill out all the paperwork, etc. I was just going to mail my letter separately, no big deal. The guy sees that it's the same address on both things and decides it's best to put them together because the letter would arrive a week later than the package. That was easy to understand, since the calendar was handy... He opens my package to slip the letter in then re-tapes it...

Me: Miahn-ham-nida (Korean for "sorry")
Him: Nay (Korean for "yes")...

Then it takes another half hour for him to look my customs form up and down to make sure he can read every letter and number on it. Which is completely unnecessary. All the other workers I've dealt with just tape it on the package and done. My guy doesn't speak English, thus, can't read Korean written in English. So I have to dictate my address to him in Korean, which he can't understand either. Geesh. 

We get by miming the rest of the process, he takes my money, shows me when my package should arrive and sends me on my way...

As I'm getting on my scooter he runs out to catch me. He forgot to give me my tracking code and customs receipt. And tells me I shouldn't ride my scooter because it's cloudy and might rain again. (I understood that much). Thanks.

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