It’s the subtle things

Ever since being in the UK,  I am constantly reminded of the little things that I really enjoy. The place where I’m staying,  the current residents (flat mates) play a local radio station (102.8 Diverse for diversefm.com).   The music is in a unique range,  some where between chill out and  dubstep. Not quite hitting either but a rather comfortable middle ground,.   Worth checking them out on their website to listen to them live.

It’s not so much the genre but that is in English. Understanding the words does bring a subtlety that isn’t present in listening to  k-pop.  Don’t get me wrong,  there is a lot of that loan did that I enjoy but it is just that much better to hear music you can understand and then while you are out,  hearing some of the classics you know (like  Phil Collins : I can’t dance,  Lenny Kravitz : Are you going my way….).

I was never really into a lot of online radio stations,  nor am I the kind who likes to RENT songs from Apple/any other online music retailer.  Jango.com is about the only thing I have listened to but it’s not quite the same and it seems they only get away with paying “live” versions of any modern song. I only like  live songs when….. well,  when they are live.

The things you realize while living in a totally foreign environment.

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Korean Post office

Ok, this is a good one.

At some point this morning I realize we are out of milk for the coffee I just made.  Ugh.  It’s like 11:35am.  I head over to the store, buy the milk and come back.  I’m gone a whopping 5 mins.  Within that 5 mins something happens.  I see a notification that I have a package waiting for me or something like that.  I’m like “WTF?  I was got for a whopping 5 mins and THATS when he shows up??”

Fine.  I call the number on it, do my best to explain that my Korean sucks and luckily the guy knows exactly who is calling, repeats my address to me and I confirm.  He tells me the package is at the post office.  Ok, good.

So later I head over to the post office.  I forget to bring that slip of paper but honestly, it was just a generic notice with zero numbers on it.  Just my name, date and a phone number to call.  I figure my alien card should be just fine.  I get there, again with my broken Korean, say that there is a package here.  After a min or two, they get it.  She asks me to wait while she calls someone.  A minute later a guy shows up with a little box.  I have my alien card ready to show them.  The lady seems a bit flustered but hands me a blank piece of paper and asks me to sign.  Shrug.  I sign it, they hand me the box.  I put away my card.  Then, one of her co-workers says something and then she tries to ask me to see my card.

Geeze, I JUST put it away.  I had it in my hand, quite visible the whole time.  I dig it back out, and she compares it to the box.

Now, I need to make sure you all understand the rather idiocy of this.  My wife & I are the ONLY foreigners in this town.  So when they get a package with my name in ENGLISH, who else is it going to be for??

The lady looks at it, looks at the package, checks the back of my card (where the address is in Korean) and then says ok.  I bet she had no idea how to tell if the English was right or not.  In the end, I got the package but sometimes it’s just comical how they deal with foreigners.

Not so alone today

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Today I’m on my usual walk and I stop to pet the little dogs that hang out at this small church.  While playing with the dogs, a group of about 6 soldiers walk past me.  Interesting as there isn’t a base near by that I know of.  Meh, what do I know really.  So I finish with the dogs and continue on. I see the soldiers have now occupied my normal pagoda.  So I continue on to another, smaller one.  While sitting there, a car drives along this path, which I thought was only for people/bikes….my mistake apparently.  He stops right by where I am, gets out, walks around for like 3mins, gets back into his car and drives off.  Guess I kicked him out of his spot.

My snack:

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The Koran on the Coke bottle is part of a series of sayings that Coke has been doing for a while.  This one says 장수커플.  Literally “long life couple” but I think the meaning is more like “together forever”.  Actually, the last part, 커플, is what we call Konglish.  It is when you take Korean characters and use them to make English words.  In the car, 커 is like “caw” and 플 is like “pil”, so cawpil, or just couple. Same goes for the company name.  코(ko)카(ka) 콜(kol)라(la).

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In one sense it is a little easy to use some Korean and understand things.  In another its annoying because you want to practice your learning so much and get annoyed when you try to read a restaurant name sign only to read “chi” “ken” “doc” “tor”.

How about them 4 month-long sales eh?

This is for a 1.25L bottle of Pepsi.  That’s like $1 approximately, or about $0.91 CDN/$0.88USD (according to xe.com today)

Or maybe you just want to learn “How to English”.

Then you can get a job in Marketing here and help companies look popular by using English in their materials like this:

And who can possibly forget their favourite Nuddle pasta?!

It’s Fresh!

Weekly Photo Challenge: English used by coffee shops (Updated)

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I’ll see how many of theses I can find in Busan this weekend.  Keep an eye on this post.

Update:

Ok, we didn’t get to as many places as we would have liked too but I did find this other, awesomely messed up sign.