Tag Archives: joke

Dirty Kimbap

On my way home from school yesterday, I decided to take a walk through the old neighborhood and visit the kimbap restaurant that I frequented last year. It’s called Kimbap Heaven (김밥천국). I went there every morning and bought the same thing: tuna kimbap. The ajumma (middle-aged woman – pictured below) who worked the morning shift got to know me and even grew to like me over several months. But our relationship wasn’t always so friendly – my first time in the restaurant didn’t go well. This is the story of my first time in a kimbap restaurant:

Screenshot_2013-03-22-12-45-23It took me a week to work up the nerve to go into the restaurant. In three months I had never seen a foreigner inside, and I was certain that none of the employees spoke a word of English. The fact that most of the employees were in their 40’s or 50’s meant that they were not likely to be patient as I stumbled painfully through ordering in Korean. After I chickened out three times, I finally walked in and sat down.

I spent so much time worrying that I was surprised by the fact that nobody seemed to notice me when I walked in. None of the usual awkward stares and not-so-quiet whispers (look, a foreigner!). Even the employees didn’t give me a second look, which was awkward; they usually get as far away as possible for fear that I might attack them with my English.

I sat patiently as the woman delivered food to other customers. I used that time to practice ordering in my head. I knew that a simple sentence could become a tongue-twister in an instant if I wasn’t prepared.

Finally, the woman walked over and asked for my order:

Woman: 뭐 드릴카요? (What can I get you?)
Me: 잠지 김밥 하나 주세요. (Tuna kimbap, please.)
The woman looked at me like I had three ears.
Woman: ……….뭐??? (………what???)
Me: 잠지…김밥…하나…주세요. (Tuna…..kimbap…..please.)
Woman: 뭐 말했어?!?!?!? (What did you say?!?!?!?!?)
At this point, I was getting pissed. I pointed at the tuna as I spoke.
Me: 잠지…김밥…주세요!!! (Tuna…..kimbap…..please!!!)

I guess that pointing really helped, because she finally seemed to understand. But she seemed angry, even when I was leaving. I couldn’t figure out what I’d done wrong, other than being a foreigner.

I told my Korean friend Leon about my experience the next day. I tried my best to order in Korean, but the woman was not impressed. I used respectful Korean and tried to speak clearly and slowly. For some reason, she was still rude. He asked me what I said to her. When I repeated my order, he started laughing hysterically.

“Taft, you should probably just order the tuna kimbap next time. Most places around here don’t serve vagina kimbap.” Oops…

The difference is subtle: 참치 (cham-chi) is tuna – 잠지 (jahm-ji) is vagina. Hence the confusion. I was so embarrassed that I didn’t go back in for a week. When I finally returned, I emphasized the CH sound.

I’ve never made that mistake again. But don’t worry – I have made plenty of others.

Until next time.


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New Approach

As the majority of my avid readers and adoring fans have noticed, I have not been posting as much lately as I did last year. The main reason for this, in conjunction with laziness, is the fact that I don’t have as much free time sitting at my desk at work.

But you can rest easy! I may have found a way to get back in the swing of posting regularly. While waiting in the Immigration office today, I explored my phone’s app store and found a WordPress application.


I also discovered that my phone’s talk-to-type feature works quite well. It is accurate 90% of the dime.

My goal is to get back into the swing of posting regularly, but shorten the posts considerably. So, stay tuned, and we’ll see if I can pick up the pace.

Until next time.


P.S. Did you like the little talk-to-type joke I snuck in there? Of course you did! But seriously, it isn’t perfect. Don’t be surprised if I throw you a few curveballs in the future.

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Messing With Mr. Kim

I can’t help myself. I need to have some fun around here. I decided to screw with my coteacher.

I share an office with two other teachers – Mr. Kim and Ms. Shin. At least once per day, I find Mr. Kim passed out at his desk. If given enough time, he falls into a deep sleep. The only thing that seems to wake him up is the sound of the door to our office opening. This is fortunate for Mr. Kim, because this provides just enough time to wake up and pretend like he’s working.

EPIK English Coteacher sleeping at deskLast week, while I was working on lesson planning, Mr. Kim began to snore. I knew he was on his way to a deep sleep, so I waited a few minutes and then tested him. I called his name – no response. It was time to mess with him.

I opened the internet browser on his computer and navigated to the Victoria’s Secret website. Then I did it again, and again, and again. After opening and maximizing about ten windows, it was time for Mr. Kim to wake up. I walked out of our office and opened the door. As soon as it squeaked, I heard him wake up and begin typing. It took about three seconds for him to realize that he was looking at scantily clad women. I heard “OH!…UHHHH…UHHHHH….WAIT A MINUTE” (in Korean).  As I walked into the office, he turned the monitor away from the door.  I pretended not to notice.

As soon as he got all of the windows closed, Mr. Kim called the school’s IT guy (aka “Computer Boy”). I didn’t understand much of what they said, but I could tell that Mr. Kim was arguing with Computer Boy about whether or not his computer had a virus.

I’ve done this a total of three times now, each time with a different website. It gets funnier every time, because he’s growing more and more frustrated, and he panics a bit more each time. The last time, I opened way more windows and made them different sizes so they were harder to close quickly. He panicked so hard that he simply unplugged the monitor.  Eventually he’ll figure out that it’s me, but for now I’m going to enjoy it.

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Until next time.


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Good Advice

I can always count on my dad for good advice.  We were talking about my post yesterday – the one about freaking out on my kids.  He explained to me why it worked so well, and how I can build on this window of opportunity.  He said that the best course of action any time you’re backed into a corner – be it a classroom or a bar fight – is to convince the other guys that you are truly, seriously, bat-shit crazy.

What’s this guy willing to do?  Bite my finger off?  Lick my forehead?  Hit me with a brick?  This seems like a bad idea….I shouldn’t mess with him.

You want a piece?

He suggested that, in order to build on my new reputation, I should pull my shoe off and break something.  Maybe whip it at something in the back of the room, or use it to break off the corner of a desk.  I could even do what my friend Chris did recently – take my belt off and hit things with it when kids won’t get quiet and give kids Wet Willies when they sleep.  Seems to work well for him.  So I guess what I’m saying is that I’m going to take off my clothes and stick my fingers in kids’ ears.

If you’ve got any good ideas, I’d love to hear them.  Leave a comment – let me know how to freak them out.

Until next time.


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Best Birthday Ever!

Okay, so it’s not my birthday…but don’t tell anyone at the bar that.  My orientation roommate, Mark, played a joke on me last night.  He walked up and started singing Happy Birthday to me as loud as he could.  By the end of the song, a huge group was gathered around me.  People were wishing me a happy birthday and others were buying me shots of Soju.  The owner of the bar brought an entire bottle and split it with me.  It was my “bursday soju drinku.”  I tried to decline after the first two shots, but he was persistent.  A friend from Australia who understands Korean culture explained that it is extremely rude to refuse a drink in that situation.  So, I drank.

This picture was taken a a few seconds after they finished singing Happy Birthday. The bar was packed, but I think most of the people were standing behind the camera man.

I tried to tell everyone that it wasn’t my birthday, but nobody could hear me over the music and the applause.  Mark told me to, “just go with it.”  And I did.  It was fun.

As soon as I got to the cafeteria this morning, someone walked up to me and wished me a happy birthday.  I spent the rest of the morning explaining to people that it was a joke.  Luckily, nobody was too offended.  I didn’t even have to pay people back for the drinks they bought me.

Until next time.


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