Faux-destrians and Memorial Mustaches
I live right next to a school here in Korea. Scratch that, I live next to three schools and about 10 hogwans (academies). As you can imagine, there are kids everywhere. When I first moved here and saw all the kids walking around the city by themselves on the way to school, I thought, “Wow, this place must be really safe for kids!” That night, I got into a taxi and thought that I should have had to sign a liability waiver from the way the taxi driver sped and drifted his way in and out of my neighborhood. Last week, my whole neighborhood got a safety make-over: Yellow plastic pieces now cover the curbs to warn drivers that kids run rampant through these streets, they have doubled the amount of crossing guards, and we now have faux-destrians at each cross-walk. These faux-destrians are 3D-looking children who either appear to be waiting to cross or are caught in a liminal full-blitz-sprint state of being. At 4 random moments of the day, they make a sound and lurch forward into the street just to make sure people are paying attention (That last part is
totally not true). As strange of a concept as it is, I have actually seen multiple cars slow down because they think it may be a real person. I suppose the trick is only intended to work once. As I’m writing this, I am thinking about how I drove my friend’s car for four hours on the way back from Seoraksan. On that drive home I must have hit over 200 speed bumps easily. Korea puts speed bumps on their roads like I put sprinkles on my ice cream (fyi – that’s a plethora). All of that is to say, I’m not sure why they opted for faux-destrians over speed bumps. Maybe Daejeon has anti-speed-bump legislation…I’m sure that’s a thing.
Memorial Day Mustache:
Yesterday was Memorial Day here in Korea, which means I needed to shave my beard into a Memorial Mustache. A couple student-stories to go along with this topic: 1) Upon announcing that we didn’t have class on Wednesday because of “Memorial Day,” one of my student’s said, “Teacher, why do we celebrate Memorial Day, I forgot.” I responded, “Well student, there is a good amount of irony in what you just asked.” The student again, “Teacher, what is irony?” My response again, “Irony is when a person forgets why we celebrate a holiday that is about remembering.” 2) When I came into work today, the same student ran down the hall to see that I had shaved so he could start calling me “VDP” (Very Different Person).
Adventures in Konglish:
This shop has a very interesting history to it: When an airborne virus turned all of the citizens of the world into zombie/vampiric pastries, called Omegas. This shop and it’s dog seemed to be the only ones to remain unaffected by the virus. Although struggling through loneliness, the shop continued to bake the perfect cupcake in the hopes that the right ingredients might be able to cure, and turn back, all of the people in the world. At one point in the history, the dog ended up defending the shop and was tragically killed. However, the shop found and saved two living people, named Anna and Ethan, who helped in the effort to create the cupcake that could cure the world. (Spoilers ahead) Towards the end the Omegas stormed the shop, which had finally finished making the perfect cupcake (which it gave to Anna) and turned all the gas ovens on without lighting them until the shop was completely filled with fumes. Then the shop sent Anna and Ethan away and exploded itself and the Omegas in one final act of redemption, allowing Anna to be able to distribute the perfect cupcakes and save the entire world (which is why we are here now). I’m pretty sure they made the entire story into a graphic novel and even a movie. They may have changed a few things…only small insignificant pieces of the story I’m sure.
A guy who sometimes pretends he is a faux-destrian…who also writes a blog