Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Chatty Cabbie

I have to say that today's taxi ride to work was one of my more entertaining ones in recent times. I can almost forgive the little guy for almost killing us three times.

So, after acquiring my coffee and lunch (a new Caesar Chicken Wrap from A Twosome Place, which I shared with Eunyoung - we both thought it was quite good), I headed down the block to the taxi stand to catch a ride to work. I hop in the taxi and the little driver (I say "little" because his seat was pushed waaaaay up) turns around and says, "Oh! How are you?" So now I'm thinking, "Great...another driver is going to want to chit-chat on the way to work. *sigh*"

Me: "Anyong haseyo. I'm fine. You? Samsung Jeonja tongyong mun."
Driver: "Oh, Samsung Jeonja...tongyong mun...hmmm"
Me: "Yes."
Driver: "I don't know where that one is." reaches for the GPA.
Me: "It's not in the GPS system. It's by jang mun."
Driver: "Oh! You know where it is?"
Me: "Yes."
Driver: "Oh, good. You can teach me then!" Starts to pull away from the curb almost into a truck passing us.
Me: "Um, yeah. I can teach you where it is."
Driver: "You work for Samsung Jeonja?"
Me: "Yes."
Driver (very excited): "Oh!! Wonderful!! Samsung Jeonja is very famous company in the world! In Korea, Samsung Jeonja is number 1!"
Me (nervous laugh): "Yeah, Samsung is number one."
Driver: "Where are you from?"
Me: "America, miguk saram."
Driver (excited again): "Oh!! USA! USA is number one country in the world!" Pulls into an intersection while the light is red. We get honked at by the car that almost t-bones us.
Driver: "Oh, sorry, sorry! USA is great country. To go to America is my dream."
Me (nervous laugh again as I think how happy I am that I used the bathroom before I left for work): "Yeah..."
Driver: "All Koreans respect America. All Koreans are very grateful to America for protecting us. I am thankful to America."
Me: "'re welcome?"
Driver: "All Koreans love Americans."
Me (trying to not laugh out loud at that that one): "Yeah..."
Driver: (more babbling about America)
Me: "Um, straight...jikjin..." Driver turns left at the light.
Me: sighing and thinking to myself, "Well, alrighty then...we're taking the long way around and he's a chatty one..."
Driver: "Thirty years ago I went to Europe. I worked for a European company in Saudi Arabia. I worked in Saudi Arabia for 2 years."
Me: "Oh yeah?"
Driver: "Yes. I had just married my wife and then I had to go to Saudi Arabia for work. I've been there and to Europe, but not to America. It's my dream to go to America. But going to America requires big money, so I work very hard!"
Me: "Yup..." As I wistfully look at the road that we should've turned we're really taking the scenic route.
Driver: "Yes. At that time, the company I worked for, it was a French company, gave us special one month holiday to travel. They gave us..." stops to make hand motions and I can tell he's counting decimal places, "3000 dollars. Yes, 3000 dollars. At that time, 30 years ago, that was big money, but now, not so big money. But I traveled all over Europe." Pulls into another intersection with a red light as cars honk at us.
Driver: "Oh, sorry. Very dangerous here. But yes, I went to Rome in Italy, and France. We went around Germany, though. And...I'm sorry, I forgot where you are going."
Me: "Um, Samsung Jeonja."
Driver: "Oh! Samsung Jeonja!! I missed the turn! I'm very sorry! So sorry! I was busy talking to you and forgot! So sorry!"
Me: "Kwenchanayo. It's alright." Meanwhile, I'm thinking that I'm glad I have an hour to get to work so I won't be late at least.
Driver: "Oh, but you wanted tongyong mun...this road goes to jungang mun." Turns onto main road that passes Samsung.
Me: "It's ok. Jungang mun is fine."
Driver: "Are you sure?"
Me: "Yes, it's near my building, too."
Driver: "Ah, ok, very sorry. You are very nice woman. Are you Christian?"
Me: "No."
Driver: "No? I am a Christian, but I respect all religions. I want to learn more about them. I went to a Buddhist university. Law school."
Me: "Oh really? Law school is very hard."
Driver: "Yes. But I enjoyed it. I have two children: one son and one daughter. I sent them to New Zealand for elementary and middle school to study."
Me: "Very nice. Lots of Koreans go there, I've heard."
Driver: "Yes. How long have you been in Korea?"
Me: "Four and a half years."
Driver: "Two years?" Turns to look at me.
Me: "No, over 4." I hold up four fingers, "Sa nyun."
Driver: "Four years?! Wow! You must be Korean now!"
Me (nervous laugh again): "haha...yeah..."
Driver: "There is Jungang mun...near the Yeongtong Gu office building. Are you sure it's ok?"
Me: "Yes, it is fine - I work in that really tall building there."
Driver: "Oh, I see. The complex is very big!" Turns into the entry to Samsung.
Me: "You can just u-turn here."
Driver: "Ok. Lots of cars!"
Me: "Yeah, it's lunch time."
Driver: "Ah, yes, people going out for lunch." I pay the driver a bit less that the meter says since he took the scenic route - he only requests 5000 won instead of 6000 won.
Me: "Thanks, it was nice talking to you."
Driver: "Oh, it was very nice to meet you! Have a nice day!"
Me: "You too." I scurry away towards the gate, very glad to have arrived alive.
As I enter the gates, I hear cars honking behind me and wonder if the little old man has pulled out into an intersection again without having a green light.
He never did learn where tongyong mun was...


  1. Replies
    1. If you don't care about a post, don't read it. However, you apparently cared enough to take the time to post that you don't care.

    2. Agreed Veruvia! The person didn't even have the guts to post with their name. How rude! I enjoy your blog Libby. Anonymous can suck an egg.

  2. I care! I love reading these blogs!