“Teeny Weenie,” “Kinki Robot,” and fire in the church

The first two are store names I ran into Saturday night roundabouts Seoul.  It happens.

Secondly, yes, the massive building I travel to most Sundays that houses bajillions of little shops and offices and things did, in fact, start spewing smoke this morning from a few of its floors.

As I walked through the subway station, I heard massive amounts of sirens up above and thought, “Hm, for being almost completely for show, the cops here sure do make a lot of noise.”

When the elevator arrived to *supposedly* take me from the basement to the 5th floor, the doors opened to reveal rain falling between the building wall and the elevator.  Obviously, I didn’t feel that getting on that particular elevator would be the best choice.

As I climbed the stairs, the smell of smoke first warned me that all wasn’t quite right.

The fireman who chased me back down the stairs solidified that idea for me.

Exiting the building revealed roughly 10 firetrucks–give or take–parked in front of the building.  Better safe then sorry!

It wasn’t too awful though.  After about 30 or 45 minutes we were allowed back inside and business as usual.


I was supposed to meet a fellow teacher that evening back in Incheon for some dinner.  Her English is a few steps higher than my Korean, so miscommunication is easy.  With that in mind, I labored over creating a text message in Korean to inform her that I would be a bit late because, well, the church caught on fire.

Since I have little-to-no faith in my Korean ability, I snagged one of those wonderful bilingual types to help me iron out the wording.

Of course, the unfortunate result of sending a fluent Korean text message was, 30 minutes into my ride back to Incheon, I received a fluent Korean text message in return.

It took me about five minutes of flipping back and forth between the message and the Korean-English dictionary on my phone to piece together the general gist of the message.

As a side note, I absolutely adore Korean babies and toddlers.  Not only are they ridiculously adorable, but our Korean levels are about equal!  I spent a few minutes playing with my friend’s little son and asking him what the names of his animal-toys were.



2 responses

  1. Have you seen the bar/cafe called F***ing People, properly spelled out for all to see? It’s in Hongdae, and it blew my mind every time I walked by. Never felt like walking in and checking it out 🙂 I wonder if it’s still there.

    The smoke and fire at a subway station, on the other hand, is no laughing matter. That must have been scary (no matter how many fire-trucks were parked nearby; sometimes, the sheer amount of safety officers was what scared me the most). You are lucky (and smart) that you can understand some Korean. I just wonder, what were you doing those 30-45 minutes that you had to wait to be allowed back in? Simply waiting to see what was going to happen next?

    • I hung out in a Dunkin Donuts with a several others to escape the wind and freezing cold and let the firemen sort it out.

      The cause was, an air conditioning unit had exploded. Which is weird ’cause I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been used in months. Although this is Korea, so who knows!

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