Gypsy Scholar Himself
Actual Genuine Photo!
Maybe you can't see the rocks yet, and that's perhaps for the best anyway since rocks can get a guy into trouble
, but on the subway yesterday, I inadvertently revealed that I also carry a couple of rocks.
I had just boarded a train on the unnumbered Jungang Line
at Wangsimni Station
, heading for Mangu Station
, and I was taking my usual, standing position near the doors opposite from where I'd entered, when I heard rather loud yelling. I looked in the direction that everyone else was staring, and I saw a woman -- the ajumma
type, i.e., short, loud, strong, and middle-aged -- tussling with a small, wiry man probably in his early fifties, possibly that ajusshi
type who'll get drunk on soju, light up a cigarette anywhere he pleases, and spit on the sidewalk but still demand boundless respect. For a moment, I watched in stunned silence, but when the woman slammed the man to the floor in a move worthy of Championship Wrestling and landed on top of him as the subway train began to roll out of the station, I thought I'd better get involved since most other people were still immobilized with astonishment.
I walked over to where the two were locked in an angry embrace of mutual dislike and grasped the woman from behind, gripping her just below the armpits and pulling with all my might as two other men also now took action, each grabbing the wiry fellow by one or the other of his arms and tugging hard in the other direction. Even with our combined power, we had difficulty separating the two.
I somehow managed to lift that bulky ajumma up onto her feet, but she never even noticed me, just kept screaming at the fellow with whom she'd been fighting only moments before. I held onto her until she stopped trying to again get at the man. As they continued to face one another in a standoff, still trading insults, I looked at the floor and saw a clump of the woman's hair, then also a ripped piece from her shirt, and I realized that the older man hadn't been as overcome by the woman's force as had first appeared. I retrieved the torn piece of cloth, glanced at the clump of hair but left that where it lay, and handed the ripped fabric over to the woman, who accepted it with nary a glance in my direction as she continued to verbally abuse the man, who returned her investment of abuse with interest.
At this point, I decided to back out of the scene, returning to my initial position by the doors, but I watched long enough to see that the woman was one of those people who ride the subway trains all day selling cheap things to make a living. I tried to imagine what had set the two off. Perhaps the saleslady had been hawking her wares too loudly, prompting the older man to politely suggest:
"Shut up, please!"
If so, then I guess that ajumma
showed him her
I got to show my rocks, too! Unclenched rocks, admittedly, but rocks nonetheless. Rocks that were revealed before the very eyes of all those other, staring passengers! Maybe some of them had caught a moving image of the events with their cell phones' video function, and I'll be on You Tube already. But with my luck, the videos will probably show only the scene of some foreign guy grabbing a Korean woman on the subway and pulling her away somewhere as she struggles and screams.
Ah, yes, another irrationally violent foreigner, but one quite easy to trace, given the very foreign appearance, as can be seen in the image above . . .
Labels: Korea, Seoul