The Seoul Train

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Mr. Cab Driver


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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 in
Mr cab driver dont like my kind of skin
Mr cab driver youre never gonna win
Mr cab driver wont you stop to pick me up
Mr cab driver I might need some help
Mr cab driver only thinks about himself

Here we go

Mr cab driver, mr cab driver
Mr cab driver, mr cab driver
Mr cab driver dont like the way I look
He dont like dreads he thinks were all crooks
Mr cab driver reads too many story books
Mr cab driver pass me up with eyes of fire
Mr cab driver thinks were all one sixty fivers
Mr cab driver fuck you Im a survivor
Oh yeah, one more time, ahah

Let me in

Mr cab driver, mr cab driver
Mr cab driver, mr cab driver


2 Responses to “Mr. Cab Driver”

  1. Anonymous savannah_jane 

    are you american? sorry for the "intrusion." i have wacky internet at school and i can only view one "next blog" per day. today was yours. hope you don't mind my dropping by. personally, i am afraid of cab drivers.

  2. Blogger lala 

    hmmmm... confused about the whole comment system here.

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