Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Breaking Down

Living in a foreign country definitely has it's ups and downs, if someone asked me to explain my life here in one word i'd probably say roller coaster (damnit that's two words).  There are definitely days and weeks that fly by with excitement, field trips, energetic classes, weekend outings, good weather, I think you get the idea.  Then there's the days and weeks that seem to n e v e r end it's like all the stars align and everything that could go wrong, does.  Thankfully I haven't experience many of those, sure I have the classes from hell, or a rain day where I forgot my umbrella, but that could happen anywhere.  Another thing that's interesting while living abroad is noticing those moments when you've transitioned from a visitor to a resident, not "legally" per say, but that moment when you're new country really feels like home.  I've had that feeling on more than one occasion, and love it, but this past week I had a whole different experience that made me realize I'm not just floating through Korea as a tourist.  Note: Scooter break down :( 

That cost me a pretty penny 
So after a fun filled weekend in Gyeongju I arrived back in Gumi around 7pm, anxious to jump on my scooter and get back home where I could relax, shower and eat before the fun that is Monday snuck up on me once again.  About halfway home I heard an unpleasant burst come out of the rear end of my scooter and as I gave it gas realized nothing was happening, #$!&.  Yeah, that's kind of how I felt about it. I coasted to the side of the road but was determined to get it to go again, no luck.  I got off and started wondering what I should do next.  I immediately thought to call my friend 존오 who thankfully answered despite being at work, and told me he'd try to locate a service station and send someone out to me!  I then called Loudine just to bitch and have something to do while I stood awkwardly on the side of the road with Korans passing by staring.  She suggested I call our friend Rey who is good with bikes and has a car so I did that as well.  Not 10 minutes after thinking I was completely stranded I had two boys on their way to help me, or so I thought.

A few minutes later Rey called back to inform me that he had left his lights on while shopping and came out to a dead battery, the car gods must have been angry this day.  So my trust went back into Joonwoo and the repair man that was apparently on the way.  It was funny because Joonwoo called back concerned that the man would not be able to find me...um i'm pretty sure a little foreign white girl standing next to a scooter on the side of a busy road will not be too hard to find. And I was right, before long a cute little blue truck was pulling up beside me, this is where the fun really began.

The repair man didn't look too excited to be helping the foreign girl or maybe he just had too much soju the night before? Either way my bike was soon on the back of his truck and I was in the passenger seat, wondering how the rest of the night would play out.  We had our 2 minutes of conversation "Do you speak Korean?  Um yeah a little.  Where are you from?  America"....it ended there. We were soon at the shop where he proceeded to pretty much unassemble my entire bike and as Loudine had guessed, found the belt had snapped. Okay seems like an easy enough repair.  I swear I would have been in and out in 20 minutes if it weren't for this other guy and his bike that seemed to want to hang out. He was there first so I guess his bike took prescience over mine, but it was a bit annoying when my repairs kept being paused to help this other guy.  Finally around 9 o'clock I was told that it was finished and handed over my debit card.  What a night of fun, and for only 130,000 won ($115) I was on my way. So yeah, that's when you can realize that you're really living here, not just passing through: scooter problems.

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