Wednesday, May 13, 2009

so funny that I could not make it up

there are handful of small neighborhood parks scattered around my apartment. I was walking to work to introduce myself to the staff and teachers, and as I passed by one such park, I noticed a group of four or five ladies, all in their 70s or perhaps 80s, sitting around on benches talking. as I passed by I heard one of them yell out a “hello” and turned around and saw her gesturing up in the air with a bottle. unsure what to make of this I called back with a “hello” and continued on my way.

on my return from my meeting I passed by this same park and, seeing the same group of ladies, I called out a “hello”. to this the original women who had called to me before started gesturing with the bottle and now a cup. I realized that she was offering me what they were drinking. feeling it rude to decline, and not wanting to see how this all played out, I joined them in the park and then I realized the genius of this whole situation. these ladies were sitting around chatting, working on what had to be about a liter and a half of Coca Cola. they, seeing me wandering through the neighborhood, must've figured that a guy like myself could use a Coke. so I had a small cup with them, and upon finishing was offered another, which I declined and attempted to gesture that I had to be on my way. I said “thank you” to which I got a “thank you” back. oh Korean hospitality!

on a more mundane note, I went looking for E-Mart, which is a huge Korean retailer, so that I could buy a few needed items and walked a while looking for it. I went right where I was told to go, and thought that I had all of the correct landmarks where they ought to be, but to no avail. I assumed that I had somehow made a navigational error and so returned home to change into cooler clothes and do some research. so what did I find out? I walked right past it, but because I didn’t see any English signage I was helpless. now I’ve got the logo burned into my mind’s eye, and have wiki mapped it. time for a second go-around!

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