8/19/09

Failed rocket launch and somewhat successful McDonald's trip

According to the Korea Times: "South Korea postponed its rocket launch Wednesday as an order was issued to stop the rocket's liftoff 7 minutes and 56 seconds before the firing.It was not immediately known why the launch was halted. The South Korean government said that it will announce the reason of the launch delay."

My question: Will anyone get arrested? It seems that every failure in South Korea results in someone getting arrested, executed or being forced to resign.

* * *

Ordering at McDonald's

I'm what is known as an aggressive shopper. I always want a discount. Yes, everyone wants a discount, but I mean that once I see an item on sale, I will never buy it again until it is on sale again. Anything another customer is offered, I want it too. In America I could always understand and find deals.

But in Korea? I'm not always aware of what's going on or what's available. Some friends took me to McDonalds the other day. If you buy a set meal then you also get a free Coke glass. I noticed that another woman had been handed the item as I waited my turn. Of course, when I ordered, the woman was so flustered that she couldn't understand that I wanted the number three set (Big Bulgogi Burger) + extra value menu. My friends with me helped me out. The woman then handed me the Coke glass as my reward.

But it was a tad frustrating that I couldn't even order something at a McDonald's! I've eaten at McDonald's so many times during my life that I should be considered a stockholder. Walking around looking for something to eat earlier today I suddenly stopped at McDonald's. I've been eating so much Korean food that suddenly McDonald's was a change of pace. Of course, the woman couldn't understand my feeble attempt at ordering in Korean. So she called over The English Speaker working there who had probably convinced a supervisor that he could speak English. He couldn't understand either, he probably thought my attempt at Korean was an English dialect.

He first rang up two different orders of the number three set. Then, as I kept trying to explain, he then rang up three orders of the number three meal. I'm a patient guy so I just kept smiling. Otherwise, I would have aborted the mission.

Finally, a light bulb went off in his head. He finally understood that I wanted the number three set meal + extra value. Meaning, four different meals.

I kept trying to tell him in Korean and English that I just wanted one of them. Finally, he got it right, at which point the woman returned. Then, after getting my food, she didn't hand me a Coke glass.

I pointed at it, not bothering even trying to say it in Korean. She handed it to me.

Of course, I wasn't completely happy. In America, when I order Fries at McDonald's, I will ask to get them fresh out of the grease. McDonald's Fries have a short shelf life and aren't very good when they are cold. I don't even really want them warm. I want them hot, hot, hot! In some cases in America they would tell me that I would have to wait until they cooked them, meaning I would have to wait 2 or 3 minutes. I was always fine with having to wait a few minutes. But after all of the trouble with just getting with the food I happily ate my warm Extra Value Menu Fries earlier today.

* * *

About wanting the same service...

Because my computer blew up when I tried a transformer I have been computerless. That means that I have been using the computer at work and at PC rooms.

1) If anyone in Seoul tells you, "I couldn't email you," trust me, the person is lying. PC rooms are everywhere. It typically costs about $.70 to $1.00 an hour.

2) I've noticed at some places that they will immediately serve Iced Coffee to customers. And, I've noticed, that at some places they will serve Iced Coffee to Korean customers but not always to me. Of course, I let them know immediately that I have been slighted. It usually just takes one reminder; the next time I come in they will get my Iced Coffee right after I am seated.

3) There is an occasional report about a Korean man named Kim or Lee who dies while playing video games for 50 consecutive hours. I have previously expressed my doubts about this story. But now that I am here I may be able to give an on-the-scene report if one of the folks here keels over while playing.

4) I'm at a PC room now. Most of the customers are men playing video games together or against one another on networks. But there are often female customers playing the same games. There were two chicks who were playfully shouting at each other while they were playing. During the day there are plenty of kids who come in to play games. Yes, there are also some people drinking and smoking, but the kids just play games.

5) I left my Playstation in America. I wanted to avoid spending my free time in South Korea playing Madden. It wasn't easy parting with my PS2. I have avoided going to the EA Games Website so I won't be tempted. Of course, being surrounded by people playing video games for hours is like trying to quit smoking while joining a support group for chain smokers. But I have resisted the temptation so far and even rejected my coworkers who have tried to get me hooked into video games again (by hooking PS2 into the large projector screen).

CJL

3 comments:

Korten said...

Casey - didn't know you were back in Seoul - sorry about your computer, and hope you can bring it back to life somehow.
-- Pat Korten

Casey Lartigue said...

Pat! e-yup, 'tis true. I am back, for now. Will email you.

CJL

mitaeappa said...

Hey, hey, ho, ho, whaddaya know CJL is back in Seoul. We'll have to hook up sometime.

Dean