Banner design by Helena, portrait by Eva


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Angry Buddhist Airs my Dirty Laundry

Today I got my ear chewed off by my landlady: the angriest Buddhist, with red lipstick, I have ever met.

She sometimes comes by unannounced, sits cross-legged on my floor, and rambles passionately in Korean, almost none of which I understood. I nod and put on a sweater to cover up, wondering why she is in my apartment talking loudly and happily to someone who doesn't understand her.

Today she wasn't friendly. She grabbed my arm and showed me a list of building rules scribbled in Hangul. She had torn open my bag of garbage, along with my neighbor's. It was strewn all over the street. I must find out what I have done wrong.

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Becky said...

Garbage IS a big deal in Korea. Don't tell anyone but I sometimes sneak some "wet" garbage into the regular. I also flush toilet paper. DON'T TELL! I will miss your Suwon stories when you leave.

Jane Milton said...

Eva, don't worry about your crazy landlady. She's just doing that because you're so sweet and young and that's what ajummas do here in Korea. That and she's crazy. Garbage *is* a big deal in Korea, but you weren't raised here. Even my DAD has a hard time separating out the whites, why would you be any better? Sometimes it seems Koreans forget that as foreigners, we try our best, but that we sometimes come up short. I guess it's the same in the US. What happened to tolerance?

Anyways, you better tell me the secret! Email me if you'd like. Like Curious George, this girl wants to know... it can't be *that* shocking... can it? (Tell meeeeeeeeee)

Carlos Lazaro said...

stumbled onto your blog a few weeks ago. really interesting blog and i enjoy reading your observations on korean culture. i had a couple of korean classmates earlier this year so i find your comments very interesting and insightful as opposed to typical tourist experiences. also had a chance to visit south korea middle of this year including suwon which was really beautiful. i was lucky enough to survive walking the entire hwaseong wall. good luck and thanks for sharing your experiences in korea.

Tyler Seed said...


1)I've had similar experiences with my landlord. He always seems to be standing outside my apartment when I am on my way somewhere and wants to talk. Also his wife has woken me up three times in the morning only to ask me questions like 'is everything okay.' or 'do you have our phonenumber?' Considerate, and yet...

2)the pictures are lovely. Particularly the third one with the bus and the restaurant (I assume) and the gorgeous sky.

3) the secret thing... not cool. Come on, be a little more considerate of your readers.

Eva Karrin McKinnon said...

Hey Becky,

no I haven't been to the red light district yet. Maybe I'll fit it in this weekend! but it could be dangerous because my desire to take photos is stronger than my desire to stay un-kidnapped.

Thanks for the kind words. And ... shh... I flush my toilet paper too. Now THAT would have been embarassing. my toilet paper on the street. Yay! good times.

Carlos, Aww thanks so much! <3 I hadn't blogged before this year but I really like it, it's fun. I'm happy to hear u had a great time in korea

Tyler- don't judge! and you are the one who has to be "good" to the readers. You are the NEW stranger in korea when i leave in 6 days. PS- i will write to book plans before i leave as promised.

Gail T. said...

oy, it's the hammering man. we have one outside the seattle art museum too. :)

did you have to sort your already strewn out bag of garbage? sounds like too much work.

Grace said...

Maybe it's b/c you're leaving soon...when I left Korea, my landlord, who was always nice, became nasty. When my electricity and hot water stopped working, he yelled at me that this "isn't America" and pretty much too bad.

My secret: in the four years I lived in Korea, I never separated by food garbage!

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