Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

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

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Waved Down!

Today I decided that leaving work early was an awesome thing to do. June had said we needed to talk about the youngest and changing kindergartens after I called her asking about a kakao message she had accidentally sent saying "it's too hard. I can't do it." It seems she meant to send it to some random mom. I also needed to check out camp sites for the next few weeks, and today being what it was, warm and awesome and Springlike, it seemed a grand idea to not stay cooped up in a small little box and sort out some real life stuff.

As I head towards the Wonj, I came upon two 30-40 something females flagging down cars in the Korean version of hitchhiking: similar to trying to hail a cab, but with more vigor, as there is no intention of actually offering any cash. They were still experiencing a runner's high from working their way up into the mountains, and playing at trying to get someone to pick them up on the highway was a cool way to recapture some youth. It was a big hoot for them when someone actually stopped. Surprise when it turned out to be some random waeg.

It took them a couple of minutes to realize that they were actually getting into a car with a non Korean. When it finally sank in, their effervescence dissipated.

So, where are you going? I'm heading into Wonju.

Are you going to Wonju?

Yeah. Where in Wonju would you like to go?

Do you know where is Wonju?

Uh, OK. This could be fun. But I kinda don't understand what you're saying because your accent and word choice is whack, and you don't understand me because I'm a waeg speaking in imperfect Korean, despite my pronunciation being bossss. Cool. Let me repeat that six times. Alright, you got it! Where do you need to go?

I list all the districts in Wonju, and when I say the right one, I start listing off apartments. When I say the right one, there is much agreement all around.

They are beyond amazed that I know where they need to go, and that I know shortcuts to get there they were unaware of. The braver of the pair is genuinely perplexed when I pull up right in front of her destination after ignoring her directions. When they finally get out, they stand on the sidewalk looking like deer caught in the headlights. Have a nice day ladies!

I'm off. Instead of checking out camping sites, I head back to the apartment. I wash rice and vegetables, and dig some pig out of the freezer I stocked after my last run through Costco. I have a few drinks and flip through the digital TV; might as well get some use of it. At about a quarter to seven, I start the rice and work at thawing the meat. I don't want to cook the lot until they walk in the door, as they'll need time to wash and get ready for dinner. BTV is lame, as I have to pay for the majority of the good flicks. I wait. Come ten after eight, I Kakao: didn't we have a meeting scheduled? Oh, I thought you had to go to Seoul tonight. No, that was last night, as it's been for the last two months. Oh! I forgot! We'll be home soon.

The girls come in, their hellos a bit louder than usual, sounding coached which makes sense considering the circumstances. They've already eaten. I decide not to, as I could stand to lose a few pounds. That and I've been into the rice wine since 7.  Fuck it.

Hey darlings, how are you? How was your night visiting friends?

It was fun! We watched some Harry Potter in English, and we played.

Hey girls, who is your dad? If someone asked, what would you say? If someone asked you who you are, what would you say?

This goes on for about 20 minutes. I send them off to bathe and bed, after which June and I argue. She doesn't want to change the youngest out of the kindergarten that has done little to nothing to stop the ijit boys from messin' with the girls, as she has been made head of the mothers' association. I tell her the youngest is out, irregardless of June's personal entanglements. The rest is ugliness, which ends with her storming off and yours truly writing this shit on a laptop.

I think about how I'm supposed to be living a life of milk and honey, with a different girl in my bed every night, but know that I left that life far behind when I decided to emigrate here.

What happened next doesn't really matter.


Anonymous said...

Chin up, Waeg! Fighting!

Anonymous said...

Post a Comment