Saturday, February 10, 2007

An Honest Cabbie!

I ran out at my 6 o'clock break to check if I'd been paid. I hadn't, and I wasn't terribly surprised. The boss was a no-show again today. I went back to school and told Jane I hadn't been paid. Only then did she relay the information that Karen had called this morning and said she would be in for sure on Monday. She also said that she was going to pay me, but not in full. (She needs to figure out my bills and deduct them - it's not that unusual and I don't mind too much.) So I ran back to the bank machine at the end of work and still, no dough. I went back to school none too pleased, and Jane ended up lending me 150 bucks from that days bounty of student's tuition. I went downtown because I needed cat food and litter and a few other things, and when I checked my account at about 11 o'clock the money was there. So that's cool.

If I can get an appointment in the morning, I'm going to head back to the dentist. Ever since I had my stupid gold tooth installed, my bite is all off. I've always had quite an overbite, but now I can't connect my molars all at once without the front teeth grinding uncomfortably together. It gets so frustrating I catch myself violently ramming the bottom teeth into the top teeth, and I worry I'm going to knock some of them loose in a fit of impatience. I have just recovered - in the last couple days, from a painful sore at the side of my mouth that would split open every time I opened my mouth, and especially if I yawned or tried to eat anything bigger that a couple centimetres high. All of this has made eating no fun. Which sucks.

Anyways. I had to visit two different supermarkets downtown, as one had the cat food I needed, but only that lemon scented shit litter that makes Kamikaze poo on the floor. The other had Tidy Cats scoopable litter, but not the food Kamikaze likes. No matter, I got a super deal on a massive bag of old sour reeky kimchi at one place - only 1,400 won (down from over 6,000) and at the other supermarket I found 2 for 1 packages of Velveeta cheese slices. I got four of them! When shopping here in Korea, you're more likely to see a 1+1 deal on food instead of a discounted item. Two packages of whatever will be taped together. Or you might get another bonus strapped to the product, say a roll of paper towels attached to your potstickers (mandu) or some salad dressing strapped to your tofu (a couple examples I saw today.)

I came out struggling with my shopping bags and headed toward the line of taxis where I was surprised to find a cabbie I knew! He's a church friend of a former co-worker (Elizabeth) and he's driven me a few places on special request before. I haven't seen him in a year, and on the drive home he excitedly told me of his trip to the US and Mexico last November. His son has just graduated from the seminary in Indiana and will return to Korea to be a priest in a couple months.

So he got me home, and I lugged my stuff upstairs- even though he was insistent on helping me. I was only inside a few minutes when the phone rang. I considered not answering it, because I thought it might be Jay who had called last night at a similar time and tried to invite himself over. But I answered, and it was the cabbie. I'd paid him too much. 26,000 won too much! (I mistook three 10,000 won bills for 1,000's.) He returned to refund my money - 20,000 won of it anyways. I guess he figured he was owed a reward for his honesty, and I wasn't going to argue about it. Whereas I'm too often having to fight a cabbie for setting the meter too high to try and rip me off, figuring I'm a stupid foreigner who doesn't know any better, it was refreshing (and lucky) to come across an honest man.

1 comment:

Richardson said...

That's not the sort of thing you hear about very much, in Seoul or any city. If I'd lost that much while a student there, I'd have had to miss a few meals, literally.