Tuesday, July 20, 2021

when a bitch stops being bitchy

Enjoy the politically incorrect title of this post; not many people have the balls to say what they mean anymore, for fear of being labeled some kind of bigot.

I was in our basement grocery over the weekend when one of the cashiers saw me standing on line to use a self-service checkout machine. She called me over to take care of me so that I wouldn't have to wait. This lady and I have a tense history, and I normally think of her as an arrogant bitch given how she's treated me in the past. She's made a point of speaking to me in a rude and curt way, of using English (bad English) with me after I've spoken to her in Korean, and even of holding me up in line while she took a long, dramatic swig of a drink because she was apparently so thirsty that she just couldn't wait. She's the kind of woman who you could tell was really beautiful once, and she still carried with her the natural arrogance of many beautiful women, despite being well beyond her prime, and well past middle age.

Out of the blue, as she was ringing up my things, she suddenly asked in English, "How long you stay in Korea?"

There were at least two ways to take the question: "How long have you stayed in Korea?" or "How long do you plan to stay in Korea?" I knew it was the former that she meant, but I answered with the latter.

"Until I die, maybe," I replied in Korean.

She switched to Korean: "Your Korean is very good. Your pronunciation is really exact."

I normally bristle at what I see as a condescending remark made by Koreans when they hear a simple "hello" from foreigners. "Hello," says the foreigner in Korean. "Wow, you speak Korean so well!" says the Korean. Linguistic expectations in this country are extremely low, despite the presence of so many Korean-fluent foreigners on TV. (To be clear, I'm far from fluent. I'm middling.) But I sensed this might have been some sort of olive branch, so I replied with my standard, "I still have a lot to learn." I think she smiled.

So huh. That was strange. The bitch wasn't a bitch for once. She called me over, for one thing. Normally, that would be unheard of, as she usually does her best to ignore me. Then she offered me a compliment after I spoke Korean to her (I've heard her trying to use her bad English with other foreigners in the past). Maybe she's lowering my defenses so she can launch some kind of frontal assault...? Nah. I'll just take this as a rare, random kindness and leave it at that. And I won't be surprised if she goes back to being bitchy. 

The heart of woman is a mystery.


John Mac said...

Obviously, it is because of your weight loss. She thinks you are a sexy beast worthy of her time now. Congratulations!

Kevin Kim said...

I was actually wondering about that.