Archive for February, 2012

I complain a lot, but…

Posted in Uncategorized on February 29, 2012 by yujinishuge

It’s true, the real reason I write on this blog is therapy to complain about stuff that I don’t like. That doesn’t mean I don’t like living in Korea. I like living here, but it’s like this…

I once had a job at the mall in college at the Hallmark greeting card shop. We also sold beanie babies which were all the rage at that time, with people marking down on their calendars the exact days that we were getting beanie baby shipments so that they could storm the store when it opened and buy their allotted limit (five per person, I believe) before they all sold out. The funny thing was that only the early beanie babies were worth anything, and by now, everyone was trying to strike it rich by buying new ones as soon as they came out, but since they were so popular, the company that made them (Ty, I think) made so many more of the later ones. With more of a particular thing in existence, the less valuable it is to collectors. Ever wonder why the first Batman comic is worth so much? It’s because your grandpa’s mom lined the dog house with it or wrapped your great-grandpappy’s sandwich in it, and there are probably only 10 copies left in existence.

Well how’s that for a tangent, let’s start playing the wakeup song like in inception and move back up a level.

The point is, there is this one fat lady who came in with her two children bright and early on beanie baby day and tried to buy 15 of each type of new beanie baby, and I told her she could only have five total (so instead of buying 75 beanie babies, I was only going to let her have five). This of course pissed her off and she kept bitching and complaining over and over that she and her children constituted three humans and were therefore entitled to fifteen of each kind. If it were MY store, I would have sold her every beanie baby in the place because honestly I’d be more interested in getting a whole buttload of money than making sure that other moronic customers would have the fair opportunity to purchase a plastic bead filled useless piece of cloth made in a Chinese sweatshop. But it wasn’t my money or my store, and I figured it was in my best interest to follow the rules because for my slightly over minimum wage salary, it would be better to deal with one pissed off customer than the 100 that didn’t get a chance to waste their money on useless crap.

So this lady didn’t just complain, she begged, she pleaded, she yelled, she screamed, and she called me an anti-semite even though I had no idea that she was Jewish. (And she had no idea that I wasn’t.) I called for my assistant manager who kept trying to explain to her politely that she could only have five because it was store policy. Finally when the angry mom realized that she wasn’t going to get her way, she bought her allotted five and threw the other seventy on the ground and walked away very briskly saying that she was going to go to the OTHER Hallmark store in the mall where they treat her like a person. (Even though that one was owned by the same guy, as well as practically all other Hallmark stores in the state. )

The point of this story is that she is the customer that I will ALWAYS remember from that job (other than the few celebrities that came into the store, perhaps I’ll save that story for another time). Even though thousands upon thousands of people came in, found what they wanted, paid for it, and left without causing any trouble, I won’t ever have any recollection of any of them. I still remember this lady and if you put her in front of me today in a lineup, I could probably pick her out to you.

Now this blog seems to be about things that annoy me and that I am always annoyed. The thing is, I’m not telling you a lot of the GOOD things that I’ve been going through on this blog, because I don’t need therapy to cope with the good things. The bad things are more memorable and provide an impetus to write. The good things that are much more common stand out less and I don’t need therapy to cope with them, which is one of the functions this blog serves. But anyway I’ll share something nice with you that happened the other day because it made me feel awesome.

This is what the back tire of my scooter looked like.

I’ll explain it after the jump.

Continue reading

Talkative people on the subway

Posted in About me, Korea on February 24, 2012 by yujinishuge

So this happened a few days ago and I am not really sure how I feel about it. I was riding the subway long distance, drifting in and out of sleep when I woke up, fearing I might have missed my stop, I looked out the window to see where I was, then I looked at the subway map to see if I had passed my stop. Luckily I hadn’t yet reached my stop, but the sight of a handsome young man in distress caught the attention of two old ladies sitting next to me. One asked if I knew where I was going. I said yes. Then she asked if I spoke Korean. Given that I look pretty foreign, I am used to this conversation by now. It usually begins with a question meant to ascertain one’s Korean ability followed by a huge compliment regardless of if that ability deserves the compliment. It is then followed by an inquiry about how one learned Korean, followed by inquiries into your personal life such as your job and marital status. Finally the conversation will drift towards some aspect of Korea that the person wants to advertise, such as the food, the four seasons, the blue sky, or anything else that might distinguish Korea from other countries so that you’ll take that bit of knowledge back to your nest and feed it to your hive’s queen so that she will command all her drones to operate with this new information. “Korea has four seasons! Holy shit, let’s give them money!!”

Anyway this conversation did not go this way. After the inquiry into my Korean ability the lady said that in the past it would be totally okay to talk about foreigners right in front of them but now we have to be careful because they are more likely to understand. I said that this was probably true. Then she said that back in the day whenever a black person came along people would casually talk about that person freely using the Korean equivalent of Nigger.

I asked the lady not to use that word and she laughed saying it was okay because she wasn’t calling anyone that, she was talking about calling people that. She has a point, but she was talking about herself calling people that. Besides, any escape clause this presented was dashed when she said that it’s okay because there weren’t any around.

She then switched to English to my surprise, and explained that she had lived in LA for a long time and used to work in an hair product shop that was frequented by black women and she got in serious trouble when one lady tried to buy a product ad she wanted to suggest another that would be better for her hair type. She said that this other product was designed for Nigger hair. Since then she has known to watch what she says in front of certain people.

I would have thought that this would lead people to eliminate certain words from their vocabulary regardless of which company was present. But she’s old so I give her the benefit of the doubt.

At least she didn’t talk about Korea’s four seasons.