Sitting on a park bench, reading some old Kerouac and waiting for a friend, an old Korean lady sat next to me. She spoke no English and started speaking to me, offering me a yogurt she had just bought. At first, I had my guards up, suspecting a scam. Somehow. Maybe I’d accept the yogurt and then the old lady would charge me an absurd amount for it. Who knows. After “talking” with her for a few minutes (and drinking my yogurt), her friend showed up. She spoke a bit more English, but that’s not saying much. We “spoke” about where I was from, where I was going and Korea. I understood that she went to Thailand and she liked trees (perhaps the tress in Thailand?). That was the most I got from our exchange. I should probably point out that the woman was clearly drunk. It was also 6pm on a Thursday.
Eventually, my friend showed up and the old lady insisted on bringing us to her house for coffee and food. We went. Old Korean women can quiet persuasive. She obviously lived with her son (or daughter), but no one was home. It was a really nice place and we had our coffee and some grapes (though coffee at 6pm is never a good idea, so we didn’t drink it). The woman kept on referring to me as an American even after pointing out I was Canadian on several occasions. Oh well… I tried. Apparently, she was lecturing my friend on how I was a lonely American and how Koreans should be nice to me because I was so far from home.
Eventually, we managed to leave the woman’s house under the guise of a dinner reservation. She walked us to the elevator (she was on the 6th floor)(we walked up, but took the elevator down). Before sending us on our way, she did my unbuttoned shirt up (I should look presentable!) and told me I should drop by again.
I wonder how many strangers she’s brought up to her house…