Thursday, July 31, 2014

the world is funny that way

My two good deeds for the day, shamelessly trumpeted here:

1. I fed a starving cat. The poor thing was meowing and meowing at passersby, but also retreating whenever someone—like yours truly—would try to approach it. It obviously wanted something, so I stopped inside the nearby convenience store, bought a can of tuna, cracked it open, and put it on the street for the cat to eat. Hunger overcame fear, and the cat came out from its hiding place to start lapping at the tuna water. I went on my way; when I came back, the cat was happily chomping on the tuna itself. Half the can was empty, and the cat had figured out how to drag the can back with it into its hiding place.

2. On my way to see today's movie, I gave up my bus seat to an elderly man—an act that used to be de rigueur in Korean society (the young always yield to the old), but which seems to be fading fast. During that ride, I saw several younger people—younger than me—sitting in yellow-backed bus seats specially designated for the old, infirm, handicapped, and pregnant. They didn't bother to get up for the old man. I felt a pang that might have been a mixture of embarrassment at the younger folks' rudeness and anger at their lack of solicitude.

In return for my good deeds, the cosmos sent me an angel—or maybe it was a bodhisattva—in the form of a cleaning ajumma who barked at me to "Step back!" from the edge of the subway platform while I waited for a Line 1 train to arrive. I was in no danger; in fact, I was leaning against a safety railing, and would have moved back, anyway, once the train was about to arrive. I chalk this up to pettiness: the lady felt she had to order someone around.

Whatever. Bitch.



Charles said...

It's been so long since young people routinely gave up their seats to the old that no one but crazy old people call them on it anymore.

Me, I'll stand rather than sit in the yellow-backed seats, even on an otherwise empty bus.

Kevin Kim said...

I follow the same code.