I am in a rush and I flag down a cab outside Yonsei University's front gate and slip into the back seat. I quickly state the five word phrase in polite Korean that is needed to get me to the soccer pitch right around the corner.
The ajushi turns to me and mimics me in some high pitched, mumbled nonsense. He turns back pauses and resumes being an asshole by stumbling through seriously sub par English. This is my best guess at his intended meaning:
“Do not use Korean. Speak in your language.” (translated from his English into English)
Struck by the old man's snide arrogance I repeat what I said more slowly. I am truly enjoying this brisk fall Sunday and I refuse to have it ruined by frustration. I look at him in the mirror, anticipating that this 2 minute ride will seem much much longer.
He chuckles at me.
“You no speak Korean.” (verbatim)
Slightly annoyed but more amused at this absurdity I calmly say in Korean, “I'm studying Korean. We're in Korea. I will use Korean.”
My Korean isn't worth writing home about but his English isn't worth the broken chair I removed from my apartment earlier this week.
Whatever. Doesn't matter. Lenny Kravitz has more to complain about but his jingle is appropriate. Appropriate in the sense that both cab drivers suffer from unfortunate predilections.Mr cab driver wont you stop to let me inMr cab driver dont like my kind of skinMr cab driver youre never gonna winMr cab driver wont you stop to pick me upMr cab driver I might need some helpMr cab driver only thinks about himselfHere we goMr cab driver, mr cab driverMr cab driver, mr cab driverMr cab driver dont like the way I lookHe dont like dreads he thinks were all crooksMr cab driver reads too many story booksMr cab driver pass me up with eyes of fireMr cab driver thinks were all one sixty fiversMr cab driver fuck you Im a survivorOh yeah, one more time, ahahLet me inMr cab driver, mr cab driverMr cab driver, mr cab driver