Wierd or Offensive? You Decide.

Before leaving for Busan, Seth and I spent about 45 minutes waiting for our train in the KTX station in Daegu.  We wandered around for a few minutes looking in some of the shops and stands that line the huge concourse.

The huge bank of windows is the exterior of the concourse.

As we were walking from one shop to the next, a middle-aged Korean guy walked up to us and struck up a conversation.  As usual, he began by talking to Seth in Korean.  I told the man that we are Americans and that Seth does not speak Korean.  He switched to English.  That’s when it got weird.

Man: Do you remember, maybe ten year in past.  New York.  Trade Centers?
Seth: Are you talking about the World Trade Center?  9/11?
Man: Yes.  World Trade Center.  And they say airplane crash in building.
Me: Yes sir, we are familiar.
Man: It was not real, right?
Me: …..yes it was real.
Man: No, no.  It was computer graphic, right?  Not real.  Right?
Seth: Seriously, it was real.  It was not a computer graphic.
Man: No, it not real.  You know insurance company?
Me: Yeah.
Man: Tower not really crash down.  Insurance company get monies.  It was on computer, right?
Seth: No, dude.  Not on a computer.
Man: Not real, right?  Not real airplane crash.
Me: Yes it was real.  It was not done on a computer.
Man: Oh ok.  I see.  But not real, right?  They make on computer, yes?
Seth: It was real.
Man: Oh, ok.  Goodbye.

I have a temper sometimes, but it’s pretty damn hard for a stranger to get me riled up.  Having been a cop for so long, I’ve heard it all.  I still don’t know why this conversation got me riled up, but I seriously wanted to knock this guy’s teeth in.  I think that if this conversation happened in the US, I wouldn’t have had the same reaction.

I didn’t lose my cool, and neither did Seth.  A couple of minutes later, after I calmed down, I was pretty glad that I kept it together.  Making a scene in a big public place is bad enough when you don’t stick out like a sore thumb.  It’s a lot worse when you’re the only 6’2″ ginger in the whole zip code.

Until next time.

-Taft

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8 thoughts on “Wierd or Offensive? You Decide.

  1. Bird says:

    You handled it pretty well considering how I felt just reading the conversation…Some people just will not believe truth, no matter how much you prove it to them. That was real shit day in our history…how nice of him to bring it up!

    • wtl0715 says:

      Thanks, Bird. I agree – that could have been a bit of a scene. I’ve found myself losing my temper quickly lately. In fact, all of us foreigners seem to be in a slump lately. I guess living abroad is more stressful than we realize.

      • Bird says:

        My kid is in Japan, and she is in the same slump..she just wants to be on this side of the ocean…

        I have never wanted to live abroad…I don’t get the appeal myself.

      • wtl0715 says:

        Oh wow, I didn’t realize. That’s exciting! I hear that Japan is pretty amazing. I hate it that she wants to come home. Hopefully it will pass soon.

        I don’t really have any desire to head home. In fact, I’m having an amazing time. But there must be something about the two-month mark that gets people. All of my friends are in the same boat – and none of us can articulate what has got us in such a slump. Maybe I’ll do a post about it today.

        Please tell your daughter I wish her the best. She can get in touch with me if she needs anything. I’m obviously too far away to help directly, but I’ll be happy to chat.

      • Bird says:

        I’ll let her know..thanks! She’s on her second year in Japan, but she should return stateside in November..I just want her home, period. She still has 4 more years in the military, much to my eternal dismay. 😦 She’s the one on my site that writes about military life and goes by the name bugletto…You and she have the same sense of humor…Maybe that is why I always check your site everyday.. 🙂

      • wtl0715 says:

        Oh ok, I know who you’re talking about. I guess I assumed she was on a short stay there. Two years is a long time – I’m sure she is ready to get home. I’ve read a bit of her stuff, but I need to reread now that I know who she is.

        Whatever your reason for reading, I appreciate it! Glad you’re keeping up. Thank you.

      • Bird says:

        I read ’cause you are an awesome writer and you make me laugh!

  2. Patrick Moser says:

    Remember the last guy who told you 9-11 didn’t happen? “NO FLASH, NO!!!”

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