While waiting for the bus last night in Seoul, I saw a soccer ball bounce on the street before my feet and land in the bed of a pick-up truck in front of me stopping at a red light. The whole thing had seemed so natural, I wondered whether the two men in the truck were involved in the game too. Were they using the vehicle as a winning strategy? How could their opponents’ goalie be expected to survive such an automotive onslaught?
I came to from my reverie in time to snatch the ball from its accidental–if temporary–destination and peered up the hill from whence it had flown. An old man at the bus stop directed me to set it down on the ground, so I did.
Suddenly, a teenaged boy appeared and scooped the ball up. Goaded by his elders, he thanked me meekly from a distance, until they cajoled him to into approaching me.
Hey, come on–do the polite thing.
Although I signaled that everything was cool, I shook his hand and patted him on the back, saying, “Don’t mention it” in Korean (“Kenchana, yo.”).
And we all lived happily ever after–at least as far as I know.