Thursday, May 10, 2012
Whenever I ride the subway, there’s some old person that asks me for directions. This happens quite frequently, like once a week. They assume I’m a native, then out comes my bad Korean. I usually never know the place so I say “Chal mo-le-geh-sum-ni-da”, Korean for “I’m not sure.”
This is always followed by a completely dumbfounded look from the person that just asked me, which I can’t quite figure out. But even if I was a native Korean, questions arise. For example, why can’t these old people read subway maps? They’re everywhere! As I’m writing this on the train, there’s one to my left, and one to my right. There’s one I downloaded to my phone. And there’s multiple giant sized maps at the platforms of each station. How is asking some random schmuck easier than looking at a map that has every station laid out before your very eyes!
There was one time an old lady stopped me and asked about one particular station. I told her that I didn’t know. Again, utter dumbfounded look. As I’m walking away she goes to her friend and they both begin laughing. The tone (as well as the timing), suggested it was a mocking laugh of some sort. I find this odd so hop down the stairs to my platform and quickly check the subway map (which the old bag should have done!) to see if it was some obvious, big transfer station that every living being in Korea knows about (doesn’t that mean Sophia and Blanche should know about this as well?!). I check the map and find the station (it took about 10 seconds!) and saw that it was some completely random station, way north, no transfers connected to it.
So why were those old bags laughing? Perhaps my accent is such utter shit and to them, worth a hearty chuckle. Perhaps I should’ve put more effort into helping them and they were making fun of my rudeness. Either way, if I can find the darn station in 10 seconds, mosey your orthopedic shoes over to a map and look it up yo darnself!
Today happened to be a very weird day in regards to giving directions. For two reasons: 1. The person asking was not an old Korean person, but an Indian or Middle Eastern guy. 2. I actually knew the station!
I don’t mean to offend anyone, this is purely written for description purposes, but this guys just looked like the dictionary definition of a terrorist. He had this crazy, vacant look in his eyes, appeared filthy, and had worn out old clothes on. This guy walks over to me on the subway car and asks me in English “Where’s Sindorim?” Well I knew where it was and a quick glance on the map showed it was 3 stops away. The guy sat back down. A job seemingly well done. After months of dumbfounded looks, finally some success! I was psyched!
A mere 2 stops later the subway doors open. The guy looks at me and asks “Sindorim?”
Not only did I tell him moments earlier it was 3 stops away, but I also held 3 fingers up in case there was a language barrier. I think he may have even repeated the word “3” back to me!
Now knowing that the dude couldn’t count to 3, I just shook my head and left it at that. I thought about saying “1 more” but if the dude can’t count to 3, there’s probably only a 30% chance he can count to 1. So I just sat there, hoping he’d figure it out.
A moment later, Sindorim arrives. The automated subway announcer clearly says “Sindorim”. I look up at him and nod. He gets up and walks over to the door. By George, he’s got it.
The train begins to slow down.
The dude looks over at me.
I found myself just staring ahead like a zombie and sarcastically nodding my head. If the dude wasn’t sure it was Sindorim then: A. Why’d he stand up? B. Why’d he subsequently walk over to the doors???
I wonder what it’s like when this guy needs to find a bathroom? He must stand next to a guy taking a massive leak and ask: “Toilet?”
His order at McDonald’s is slid over the counter: “Hamburger?”
He falls into the back seat of a cab and the door slams shut: “Taxi?”
Anyway, I hope he’s not a terrorist. Because maybe that day he was heading to some embassy to suicide bomb it. And it’s at Sindorim! That means I’m partly responsible.
“Today’s top story, suicide bomber kills 30 at a US Emabassy near Sindorim station. Apparently some Kyopo schumck gave the learning disabled man pitch perfect directions in English, for a place he never would have found on his own in a million years. Way to go, asshole!”
Maybe I should stick to “Chal mo-le-geh-sum-ni-da”….
Posted by KyopoMofo at 6:04 AM