Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Can't Find My Way Home

Well actually, I could find my way home, but it seemed I couldn't get there.

Tonight was a strange night. I found myself across from a drunk guy who knew I couldn't understand what he was saying. I was agreeable enough, and kept smiling and listening to him as he slurred Hangul-mal at me, but when he kept pressing me for an answer to what he was saying, I got nervous. "Yes," might mean I was going to head to a Love Motel with him. "No," might mean I didn't mind joining him in a killing spree. "Maybe," might mean we should perhaps leave together to go eat blood sausage and dog stew in a few minutes. I was way more comfortable with the non-committal "Hmmmms."

But Mr. Drunky got more agitated the less I understood him. He frustratedly said "Bbaja sshi myyeon shi shi shammy mammy moo sha ba la la la," (I have no idea what he said) and held up his baby finger and thumb for a "yakiso," (promise). I replied, "I'm really sorry," (jinga meanhamneeda) "But I don't understand what you're saying. What say I take you to my place, tie you up, and beat the living crap out of you?"

He said that he didn't understand.
So I smiled and said, "Exactly!" And then I calmly repeated my question, more slowly than I had the first time, only I said it with a big smile and ended it off with an, "Okay?"
I got a big thumbs up and an "Oh-KAY!"

Alright then.

I was finally able to leave him and head back home on my own. I stopped at the bottom of my hill on a comfortable rock to enjoy the stars and the air. And a cigarette. And the music coming out of my headphones.

I was startled by some movement coming at me. It was a man in a nice coat. He asked if I was okay, and I said I was. He asked what I was doing and I said "nothing." I pointed up the hill when he asked where I lived. "Oh! Me too!" he said. "I escort you."

"No, I'm alright. Thank you, but I'm waiting."

I finally convinced him to leave, and he went away, but returned 5 minutes later. Again, I kindly told him I was fine, but he seemed insistent it was time for me to go home. Him asking if I lived alone and if I had a boyfriend were making me nervous (though, in fact, these are very common questions here). He left when I asked him to, but re-appeared before me once again after a few minutes. I said, "Look buddy, you're kind of scaring me. Please, go home! I'm waiting for someone." Now there was no chance that I was going to walk up the hill with him and have him escort me to my apartment. I'm usually not paranoid, and I almost always feel safe here, but for some reason I kept imagining my head getting smashed in with a rock. (Probably the movie I watched on the weekend - Taking Lives, with Angelina Jolie.) When the guy left again, only to head behind some trees to keep watching me, I stood up and started walking fast - past him - and headed right back to school where I took an extremely short taxi drive to the door of my apartment.

It was probably nothing, but better safe than sorry!


Lil said...

Hi- Just found your blog! I have also been propositioned while living here in Korea. Kind of frustrating, eh? I think because we don't look like the 'average' Korean. lol.

scott said...

'Probably nothing' my ass. That guy sounds extremely creepy. Prosecuting rape is not so easily done in this country, and I think a lot of predators take full advantage of that. Last year two good friends of mine were attacked (one fended the guy off, the other was not so lucky).
I think you did exactly the right thing and I'd look out for that guy in the future.