Free Interpretation

I’ve noticed most taxis have “Free Interpretation” written on their back door window.  I’ve got a guess at what they mean, but I’m sorely tempted to jump in one and say: “Listen, I’ve been struggling with Isaiah 53:9…”

Today we set up the booth.  The shipment arrived as scheduled, and if I hadn’t forgotten a few small things in the lid of a box we left in the crate they wouldn’t have had to make another trip and we would have been finished even sooner.  I also got a free sauna and a good deal of frustration when I tried to obtain some string.  After about 20 minutes of walking in the sun and “asking” several people I got a white “string,” actually labeled “rope,” but in truth closer to an endlessly long and thin WalMart plastic bag.  I got some cable ties, too, and they did a lot better in the end, especially because they can be ratcheted tight without an advanced boy scout degree in knotsmanship.  Or is that knottery? knotation? knotwork?

In the end we finished by about three o’clock, and the booth next to us hadn’t even started, despite being twice the size.  I’m curious to see the overnight metamorphosis that is bound to happen. 

The hotel manager suggested we go to a Japanese restaurant if we have time, because he, too, is learning Japanese.  That morning I’d asked as best I could if the other staff whose English is minimal might perhaps know some Japanese.  I haven’t yet had much luck with that question in Korea, but I figure it’s worth a shot.  While all my language adventures here should give me excellent practice for charades, I’d rather be communicating, and not being understood is a feeling I find revolting.  It prompted me to write a little ditty to be sung to the refrain of the Village People hit Y.M.C.A.

I’ve got to say that I’m in-com-pe-tent.
I’ve got to say that I’m in-com-pe-tent.

Not a word of Korean that would do any good,
I can’t make myself understood …

I’ve got to say that I’m in-com-pe-tent.
I’ve got to say that I’m in-com-pe-tent. 

I can never connect, no one gets what I said, 
They must think I’m dumber than bread …

I ate an odd mix tonight: skewered chicken bits and a “Chinese pie” with honey and cinnamon from a street vendor, two donuts from the Dunkin Donuts shop, and some stuff I bought at the supermarket I discovered on my hunt for string.  It still beat the “Freshness Burger” for lunch, the one with the cold tomato, soggy bun, and pasty cheese.  Oh well, bachelors are supposed to eat junk, right? 


1 thought on “Free Interpretation

  1. Pingback: thduggie’s blog » Blog Archive » Burgers and Macs

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