Monday, November 16, 2009

Korean Music is Not Compatible With Ecstasy

This has been the best Monday ever, and it's not even 2 pm yet. I almost want to go to bed and call it a day. It can only go downhill from here. There have been at least three great moments of quality what-the-Hell-just-happened for me so far today. This was just one. We were discussing anti-smoking regulations in one of my favourite classes this morning. It went something like this:

Barbie: Does anybody have any vocabulary questions from the article?

Sober Student: I just want to know... have you ever had marijuana.

Barbie: That's not... okay, yes. Yes, I have. Before coming to Korea. I quit a few months before arriving. This is less of a big deal where I come from.

Sober Student: What does marijuana feel like?

Not Sober Student: Marijuana is too soft! Like cigarettes.

Barbie: Like cigarettes?

Not Sober Student: Yes. Too soft.

Barbie: You're clearly not getting the right stuff.

Not Sober Student: Ecstasy is better. Marijuana, cigarettes, too soft. But ecstasy is good.

Sober Student: Barbie, have you...

Barbie: No. I haven't. I -

Not Sober Student: Ecstasy is good, but no good with Korean music. Korean music, too slow. Korean music and ecstasy are not compatible.

The class just moved on with the lesson at that point, because really, what more was there to say?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Having Watched You Fall Over, I am Now Titillated

I was out and about on the weekend. I've been doing more of that lately, now that my face has mostly healed up. It's never going to entirely, which is probably just as well; I can make amazing pissy faces now that my left eyebrow doesn't have quite the range that the right does.

Late Saturday, the group I was with insisted on going to a bar which I have declared too gross to enter. It's not, really. I'm being completely irrational. It's like my fear of gigantic stuffed animals (they're creepy), except that I actually used to go to the bar in question, and even had a good time there once;I have absolutely not ever spent time with gigantic stuffed animals.

Not wanting to make a fuss, I said something to the friends about being tired anyways, and they set off on their way. A good time had already been had, and I was not itching to stay out all night. I was content to have an out.

Going home without two wraps from the kebab guy seemed like a bad idea. As I was deciding which kebab guy to go to, a very one-sided fight stumbled into one of the stands. So far as I could tell, words were quickly exchanged, then one guy hit the other, who bounced off the stand before falling into a car. The victor walked off, presumably because his statement had been made and he was now bored. Understandable.

As I waited for my wonderfully delicious food, the guy who had just bounced off the car approached me at the stand. He wanted advice on whether or not to pursue the guy who had hit him. By virtue of being in a fantastic place at the wrong time, I was the go-to person for these things.

Me: Did he have a reason to hit you?
Car Bouncer: Uh.. yeah. But..
Me: Can you take him down, or are you just looking to get your ass kicked?
CB: I probably can't...
Me: Then why would you?
CB: That's a good point.
Me: Isn't it? Running after guys that can and will crush you like a bug is never a good plan.

CB then introduced himself to me all proper-like, told me that I was very wise (true) and asked me to join him for a drink. I politely declined, and wished him luck with the whole not-getting-his-ass-kicked thing. As I walked off, he took his cause to the kebab guy, in search of a second opinion as to whether or not he should be a completely self destructive disaster.

I did not stay to see the result.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Heat: Who Needs it?

I'm going to preface this post with the two following points:

1) I have a tendency to label everything that I don't understand as dumb. Flawed, but this is how I'm wired.
2) All of the other people that I know in Korea (three) are able to heat their apartment whenever they please.


It went down to 2 degrees Celcius the other night. For those of you not familiar with how Busan works, this qualifies as mother fucking cold. Essentially, Busan waited until the 1st of November to turn on Autumn. Just last week, I was wearing a skirt and no sweater. Last week.

Being mother fucking cold, I decided that it was time to retire the air conditioner and turn on the heat. Having a heated floor is more or less my favourite thing about Korea. Unfortunately, my floor's failure to cooperate killed my buzz. Six hours and no dice; it was still mother fucking cold.

Anger began to set in. I cursed at Korea in my head several times before doing the productive thing and whining about it on facebook. I then contemplated cursing at myself for not knowing what the words on my heating control mean (really, there's no excuse for that at this point), before retiring that idea on account of absurdity (it's never my fault). Finally, I made a last ditch effort to push all of the buttons on heating control until presto! It worked. It turns out that I had left the shower-timer on and could have avoided the anger phase entirely had I known that was what that button did.

This is how I do Tuesdays.

The next day I spoke to a friend of mine, who was complaining about the heat in her building. It turns out that she's not an idiot, and the her building is actually broken. The rules, which apply to every unfortunate apartment in her broken building, are as follows:

1) The heat will only work between the hours of 4-6am, and 8-10pm.
2) If you wish to preset the heating control so that it is ready to go at those times, should you not be home or alert when it's time to flick the switch, you must pay for gas during the time that it wasn't actually working.
3) If you aren't available during the 4 hours that the building allows you to heat your apartment, and you don't preset the heating control, you may as well open all of your windows and hope that a warm gust of air blows in, because your apartment is going to be mother fucking cold. Buy a hat.

"That is too dumb to be true", was the only possible response. Part of my brain died as she explained that her fiance, who is Korean, had argued the matter at length with the building manager, to no avail. Not only is it true, but it's not just a matter of Random Foreigner Not Getting It (as is occasionally the case with yours truly).

Since hearing of this, I have made a point of complaining about it several times a day. Frankly, I don't have any of my own shit to complain about this week and don't feel entirely whole unless I do. This serves as an appropriate substitute until trouble finds me again.