Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How to move in Korea

We just moved out of our apartment this morning, and although we were sad to say good-bye to our first home, we rather enjoyed watching the Korean movers do their thing.

Over the past week, we spent more than 20 hours going through our things, throwing things away, deciding what to put in our suitcases and what to send on. It was torturous, and I had many moments of near despair that were narrowly avoided due to the help of Girl Scout cookies. I was certain the movers would take forever to move our precious belongings the next day, but I was wrong. The movers spent no more than two hours boxing everything, taping it up, making an inventory sheet, and sending it out the window. Really! No, no elevator or stairs. The window. Check it out.

The movers sent a ladder up to our fifth floor apartment. Here was the truck at the bottom. See Chin-Hwa's guitar? It's like Where's Waldo, but with more brown packing paper and more Koreans.

This mover was out on the precarious platform. He had no safety equipment and seemed to be completely at ease.

The platform had no barricades or anything! An American moving company would be facing a lawsuit. This Korean moving company just got their job done way faster. When the platform was full, he would honk a horn to signal to the truck driver to take down the ladder.

Teamwork in action. Maybe it wouldn't have taken us so long to pack if we had had eight friends, yes?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fear the meme!

Have an unruly child? Need a little extra help? Read on!

Most Korean children have at least one thing in common. What, you might ask? They are adorable? Although that's true 99% of the time, I can't confirm it to be 100%, so that's more a theory, albeit a very good theory. This one common trait is a fact:

Korean children fear the MEME (say "mehm meh"). DUN DUN DUUUUUUNNNNN

***A note: The writing on the meme translates roughly to, "I do this for love." So the meme can also be considered a stick-y guilt tripper. It's so versatile!***

***Additional note: Although the meme appears to have lost its fearsome hold on Chin-Hwa in the above picture, he still screams out "MEME!!!" at night while shaking his fist in fury. It's really quite irritating.***

What is this mysterious fear monger? It appears to be but a mere stick. What's so scary about a stick? Well, apparently you've never been poked in the eye by an errant twig. Or tripped by a log. Or tried to cross a river over a fallen tree. Or seen a tornado throw sticks around willy nilly.

The meme is like a switch. Older Korean people use the meme on naughty children. They might use it to swat the wrist, or the behind, or the back of the legs. . . you get the idea. Chin-Hwa's mom is a fan of saying, "You want the meme?" to her adult children in order to intimidate them during card games. (It works!) Even the word strikes fear into countless childrens' eyes . . . . mehhh mehhhhhhhhhhhhhhh