Saturday morning, before the funeral, Mr. Kim came to my apartment to help me figure out why my internet was running so slowly (it takes ~20 min to download 13mb). I asked him to call the service provider and have them fix it, but he didn’t understand. He insisted that he take a look at it and try to fix the computer. I don’t think he knows much about computers or the internet.
It took him about ten seconds to realize that he was out of his depth. I’m surprised it took ten seconds, considering the fact that my keyboard and OS are all English. He clicked a few random things and changed my desktop background before throwing in the towel.
He told me to bring the computer – we were leaving. I am growing accustomed to simply following and not asking questions. I grabbed the computer and got in his car. I finally figured out what was going on when we pulled into the parking lot of a computer repair shop. Because, as any computer-savvy person knows, slow internet connections can be fixed by taking the computer to a shop.
I told him that the problem is with the internet service provider or the modem, that my computer is not the problem. I told him that, when I took my computer to a friend’s house, it had no trouble downloading quickly. His response: “Yes. Good.” As you now know, that means: “I have no idea what you just said.”
We went inside the store and he handed my computer to one of the employees. After a brief explanation, the employee tried to hand the computer back to Mr. Kim. I am confident that the employee told Mr. Kim exactly what I had tried to explain. He wouldn’t budge. Eventually, the employee nodded and put the computer on his work bench. I made eye contact and gave a little understanding nod as if to say, “yep, I tried too.” I think we had a moment.
Mr. Kim got a call about an hour later from the computer repair shop. While the employee was still on the phone, Mr. Kim did a bit of translating. This was our conversation:
Mr. Kim: Repair man say computer have too much virus.
Me: Too many viruses?
Mr. Kim: Yes, too many.
Me: How many is it supposed to have?
Mr. Kim: Wait – I ask.
*He returned to the phone and said something in Korean. A concerned look fell across his face.
Mr. Kim: None. Computer should have none virus.
I almost laughed right then. I fought hard to keep it together, and managed to avoid offending him.
Until next time.