Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hitchhiker!

 I never get to pick up someone like this
Not far from work is a bus stop which many nearby factory workers and farmers use. Occasionally when I'm working late someone will flag me down and try to grab a free ride.  I always stop since standing at a bus stop for hours can totally suck, and you just never know when the last bus has gone by.

Tonight I picked up a nice young guy.  He lives on a farm nearby and was heading into the big city to visit friends.  He asked me if I could take him to Lotte cinema.  He was carrying 2 big bags.  Sure dude, no problem.

The conversation was a bit strained.  I was pretty tired and made some stupid mistakes when speaking Korean, my brain feeling a bit like cold molasses.  I apologized, saying that eleven years in country didn't really give me many excuses for mangling the language that badly.  He said that he was sorry he couldn't speak English at all, as he'd studied it for so long at school and it was a language spoken in so many other countries.  I said yeah but dude, we're in Korea, you don't really need to apologize.  Things were a bit quiet after that.

Once we got close to town, I decided to take a shortcut that avoids most of the major roads and intersections.  It's usually quite a bit faster since it has less traffic and lights.  He started to be obviously uncomfortable with all the side streets I was taking, probably wondering just where the hell I was taking him.  It didn't help that I was bootin along, missing cars by inches.  Hey, that's the way things roll in the big city.

The look on his face when we came out right on top of the Lotte Cinema area was priceless: not only did it seem like the first time he had seen Lotte Cinema fully lit up at night, but that we had gotten there through the least likely combination of side streets to suddenly appear at the holy grail of entertainment brought obvious amazement and wonder from him.  He was so incredibly thankful I felt a little embarrassed.  No problem dude.  Have a good time.

I came home and helped the eldest with some math and calmed the youngest down by finding a book she had misplaced.

Time for some rice wine.

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