7 Months in… Still surprised.

Not a whole ton of new things happening these days friends and family.

Unfortunately ‘nothing’ doesn’t make a good topic for a blog entry, so I’ll do my best with this entry.

First of all, the date is September 20th, 2011. This date isn’t particularly significant, but it does indicate that I’ve been in Korea for 7 months and 3 days. That means that in about 5 months I’ll be executing Phase I of my top secret multi-phase plan that, for now, I will call ‘Operation Gigacool.’ Stay tuned, I’ll be revealing the entirety of that plan in a future blog entry.

With only 5 months to go I’ve starting compiling a list of things that I MUST do before I come home. Right now the list is as follows: Go shark diving (which may or may not be happening this coming weekend), Go bungee jumping (the highest bungee jump in Korea ought to do it, that’ll be within a few weeks), Go to Jeju island (the ‘Hawaii’ of Korea, it sports beautiful beaches, great SCUBA diving and an inactive volcano just begging to be climbed), which should happen before it gets too cold, but not sure when at the moment.

So although this entry has absolutely nothing in it that justifies the time you are spending reading it, future entries promise to be chock full of exciting Korean adventures.

Well I figured since I have nothing better to blog about, I might as well blog about two kinda curious things that happened to me recently. The first was just this afternoon. I went to a convenience store near my apartment (a Family Mart, if you care) to buy some new headphones. Why do I need new headphones? Because I accidentally left the really nice Skull Candy headphones my Mom bought me before I left on one of the computer tables in my classroom, and they were stolen by one of the demon spawns that run around my workplace. Did I say demon spawns? I meant soulless demon spawns. Oh, wait. I meant children.

Where was I? Right, so I’m in a Family Mart buying headphones. I take the headphones to the counter to pay for them. The clerk scans the headphones and then informs me; “Oh, these headphones come with a free Barrista brand Mochaexpresso coffee.”

He says this with a straight face.

Confused, I wander to the coffee section of the refrigerator and grab one of the Barrista brand coffees. Still trying to decide if this is some sort of trick, I give him the coffee. He scans it, looks at it, then hands it back to me and says, “No, this is Mocha Latte, you need Barrista Mochaexpresso.” I watch his eyes – searching for a hint of laughter. I glance around for hidden cameras. Seeing none, I walk back to the coffee area and grab the correct ‘Mochaexpresso’ style. I bring it back to the counter, he scans it, presto! I’ve got a free coffee with my headphone purchase.

If you know me, you know I’m not all that into music. I don’t even own an IPod. Not even a knockoff MP3 player. This is maybe the third pair of headphones I’ve ever bought. Despite my headphone ignorance I’m still pretty sure (and please correct me if I’m wrong) that headphones don’t normally come with free coffee.

Honestly though, I can’t say I’m all that surprised. Some pretty random items get packaged together at my local grocery store (like milk and beer –> yes, I’m being serious).

The other thing I thought I’d take a few minutes to tell you about was a pretty funny/awkward situation I found myself in (along with all the members of the pickup frisbee game I was playing). Basically we were playing a game of Ultimate at our usual place in Namcheon. It was a windy day (in fact the field we play in, usually awesomly sheltered, was the windiest I’ve ever seen it), and some of our throws were going a little haywire. Basically one of the players threw the disc at one end of the field. It went into the air and got caught in a huge gust of wind. It sailed clear across the field and….. smashed an old lady in the face.

If you didn’t cringe when you read that you are a bad person, just so you know.

The old lady (or Ajumma, which means ‘old married woman’ in Korean) was fine, luckily. The disc hit her in the cheek/jaw, which is good because it may have broken the skin if it hit anywhere else. Naturally all involved crowded around to make sure she was okay and apologize (before you jump to any conclusions I just want to say I was not the one who threw the disc, in fact I wasn’t even on the field at the moment –> If I had been on the field I would have caught the wayward pass, of course). So the ajumma was fine (she might have a bruise though), but out of nowhere her husband just flips his shit. He starts yelling at all of us, gesturing wildly, basically ignoring his stunned wife. One of our Korean players is trying to calm the 5’3″ raging bull before us, but to no avail. He claims we owe them money, that he will sue us, that we meant to hit her and all sorts of other wild accusations.

So thats how an unfortunate accident that should have resulted in 5-10 minutes of abject apologizing and an offering of Tylenol or Advil escalated into in a 20 minutes argument with an enraged ahjushi (old married man) and 30 people being forced to cut short their frisbee game.

Obviously this was a serious situation. Getting smoked in the face with a frisbee is not fun, and I imagine would be quite startling if you were not expecting it (which she clearly wasn’t, because if she’d been aware of her surroundings she would have noticed 30 people yelling warnings as a large white object slowly sailed through the air towards her). But come on – if I had to be hit in the face with something frisbees are probably in the top ten items I would choose (above a doorknob but below a wet cat). I get hit in the face with frisbees on a regular basis (on one windy day a few weeks ago I took two shots on the bridge of the nose within 10 minutes of each other) and I can tell you, it doesn’t hurt all that much.

You might be thinking; “But Tom, you are a smart, funny, handsome, physically fit 23 year old who is also great in bed – of course a frisbee to the face doesn’t sound that bad to you!” Well you might have a point there, but I’m already one step ahead of you. I’d like to tell you about the time I was bicycling with my family in Prince Edward Island. Somehow my grandpa lost control of his bike and, at 70-something and recently diagnosed with cancer, vaulted over his handlebars and face planted on the concrete bike path. Tough old man just stood up (from an impact that would have knocked me out cold, mind you) with blood running out of his nose and a sheepish grin on his face. We hopped back on our bikes and finished the trip. I could also tell you about the time my 72 year old grandmother was watching my cousin’s hockey game when a puck came flying into the stands and hit her in the face. Note I said hockey puck – presumably shot at high speed – not a 175 gram frisbee that caught a breeze and travelled too far. She went to the emergency room and got a few stiches. Since she missed the rest of the game and got home before my cousin she whipped him up a nice salami sandwhich.

I hope you see where I’m going with this. You may have noticed that in both of these examples things went on basically as they had before… not a huge fuss was made about either of these accidents. Now I’m not saying that my family is a bunch of tough as nails gigabadasses (although they are), but I am saying that that ajumma needs to man up a little bit.

I kid, I kid.

Well hope you enjoyed this entry, even though it ended up fairly long, if you filter out all the bullshit you’ll realize that I didn’t really say anything all that interesting. Stay tuned however, because I’ll soon be risking my life unnecessarily by swimming with one of the worlds most feasome predators, and you better believe I’ll be blogging that one up with my trade mark wit and over-exagerations.

That’s all for now!


About bnbnower

A recent graduate of Carleton University, set adrift into the real world with no tangible goals or properly defined aspirations, I decided to set off for South Korea where I am teaching English as a second language. In my spare time I read, rock-climb, play frisbee and watch movies and television.
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One Response to 7 Months in… Still surprised.

  1. Tyler says:

    Haha fantastic. Coffee and beer packaged together? Sounds like the perfect combo – given that’s all we consumed anyway. Plus, nobody turns down free coffee with earphones. Man, that frisbee incident sounds exactly like Haeundae – I can’t remember, I think maybe you were at the washrooms?… Jay threw a wayward frisbee that lightly bounced off a guy, and he went insane demanding money and the like – what is with these Koreans and threatening to sue your pants off? lol

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