Tuesday, 07 July 2009

Sure, plonk down next to me.

The express bus to Seoul makes a quick stop just after leaving the downtown area to pick up a few more passengers. Not exactly express, is it? This stop creates a familiar scene for us white/black/coloured/Indians/non-East Asian looking people. I’m sure you all know how it goes when you are the foreigner sitting in a nice spot with an almost as nice seat next to you. A Korean will get on, look at you, and weigh up the options before moving on to find another seat. Seeing the whole mental process on their faces can be quiet amusing.

In this context you can see why it is strange to see a young woman get on the bus and just plonk down next to me. She didn’t seem to look at me and think “Waegogin. I want to sit next to him,” or “Waegogin. Is it worth sitting there?” Nope, she just plonked down as if I didn’t exist. Very unusual indeed.

Even more unusual was that she pulled out her iPod classic and started watching Friend. “Friends? That is unusual?” you are thinking, aren’t you? The show had no subtitles and was not translated. Your English has to be pretty good to understand the speed of the language used and humour that is delivered by the show. I was thoroughly impressed.

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