Time for another Wonderchicken Laundry List Of Annoying Things About Living In Korea© :
Local elections are being held today. This is good, because for the last week or two, every time I’ve walked to the subway station I’ve had to run a gauntlet of literally dozens of people bellowing ‘annyong hashimnikka’ (‘hello’, basically, in formal mode), bowing and chanting in unison the name of their candidate and his number on the ballot. There’ve also been roving A/V trucks with airbrushed posters of these grinning bryll-creamed bribe-mongers roaming the beehives, stopping several times a day, and declaiming over their tinny loudspeakers to the mock-ecstatic, worshipful rent-a-crowd the marvellous things they’d do for the community if we’d just vote for them. I assume they’re passing out ‘Vote For Me’ envelopes containing money, too. That sort of thing happens here. If one of those pinstriped, corrupt jackals promised to get rid of the omnipresent piles of reeking garbage and institute a city ordinance banning the horking of phlegm at every third step, I’d worship the bastard. Not likely, though. Too busy making plans for large-scale graft.
Five times, today. There is an intercom built into every apartment in this beehive. A special one, with no controls, volume or otherwise. What it really is is an outercom, I guess. You can’t shut it off, or even turn it down, and at predictably inopportune moments (which are best left undescribed perhaps), this tiny speaker will fire up and one of the guards in the guardhouse down by the parking lot will begin to yammer on endlessly (in Korean, of course) about the o-ring vendor that will be in the parking lot for the next 17 hours, just in case you really really need to buy some washers, now don’t forget, that’s O-RINGS and you know that reminds me of a story….I’m waiting for one of these guys to get liquored-up and start singing un-turn-offable karaoke into each and every apartment in the complex, until a certain fierce-looking foreigner stomps into the guardhouse, wrestles him to the floor and gently pummels him into sweet silence…My relatively peaceful day has been interrupted five times already by this demonic device.
That’s enough for today. Just had to vent a bit. Thanks for listening.