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10 February 2004
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Korea Life Blog - Laughing Ajushi


A few months ago: a rainy day. I needed groceries. I grabbed my umbrella and headed off. It was a real downpour, elephants and buffalos. In Nowhere-dong, the roads don't drain well. They flood.

I was hurrying down the "sidewalk" - broken chunks of concrete, parking spaces and mud that runs alongside the main road. Almost to the store, running desperately in need of eggs and kimchi, suddenly a car, failing to slowdown despite road conditions, seared through a gigantic puddle, spraying the muddy water, drenching me. Shocked, I stopped, I cursed, I raised my fist in the air, I sighed. The car zipped out of sight. As I was wiping myself off I heard laughter - a tremendous, bellowing laughter. Loud, relentless guffawing. I turned to look. An older Korean man on a scooter, a delivery ajushi was pointing at me. He got off his bike, removed his helmet, kicked the kickstand then pointed at me again, now bending over in in side splitting agony, laughing insanely. At first I was angry. Then I realized yes, it was very funny actually. The lone foreigner in such a small town, drenched by a passing car. I chuckled and hurried off.

Since that day, every once in awhile as I walk to the store, I hear the familiar laughter of the delivery ajushi. I saw him again tonight, pointing and laughing. He still gets a kick out of the memory. One of these days I have to order from his restaurant and take revenge. What will I do? I'll wait for him to pick up the dishes. When he's in the hallway I'll hide his scooter. Wahahahahahah!

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