In my attempts to quit spending copious amounts of money on grossly overpriced western food (in my defense, I eat Krappy Korean food for lunch everyday), I had stocked my fridge with all the necessities for decent homecookin' -- avocados, chicken, milk, multiple cheeses, butter, mayo, various vegetables -- you know, the usual. I was all ready to whip up an extraordinary meal. When I opened my fridge, however, my nose was assaulted. WTF?! I frantically began touching everything in the fridge. Yep, all warm. Like "been sitting in a warm fridge in a warm apartment on a warm day" kinda warm. Fuck.
I quickly began tossing out anything that would make me sick/had grown mold/smelled raunchy and threw the cheeses in the freezer (I do have some standards.) I hauled my trash out to the curb and headed out to dinner.
Now the funny (and by funny I mean completely retarded) thing about Koreans and their trash is this: while perfectly content to cram landfills with partially used bookcases, Roly Chairs, and other perfectly recyclable furniture, they make a big 'ol fuss about separating paper and aluminum recyclables, food and general trash. So much of a fuss that they even provide color coded trash bags as a friendly reminder to separate that shit. And if you're too dense to understand the color coding system, you can usually find a bitter old ajumma squatting roadside, rifling through the trash and making meticulous piles as if Central Seoul were the side streets of Mumbai. (Sometimes I think Korea forgets that a passport stamp into the First World pretty much rules out the "ajumma as Waste Management Engineer" scenario.)
So when I awoke at 7:30AM to my screeching doorbell, I pretty much figured it was my Building Ajumma calling to complain about my trash. But at that hour, who can be bothered to engage in a poorly translated conversation about "trashy?" Besides, I didn't even really care. I was still pissed about having to throw out my moldy avocados. And with that in mind, I pulled the Foreigner Card, pretended not to hear my doorbell and hopped in the shower.
But my friendly ajumma was not deterred. She rang the doorbell. She knocked. And then, as I was lathering up, I turned around to see her trash-picking little fingers trying to open my bathroom window!!
I couldn't help myself.
"What the fuck are you doing?!" I screamed.
Now, I'm not normally one shout obscenities at little old ladies, especially ones who bring me fruit and toothpaste. But seriously, WTF? I rinsed, turned off the shower, and towel dried all to the sounds of my incessant doorbell. I had to give her props; she was fucking persistent. Obviously she knew that I knew that she was there and she was in it for the long haul. I flung open the door. "Yes?" I questioned.
"Sorry. Sorry." She said with her syrupy sweet "why-didn't-you-open-the-mother-fucking-door-the-first-time?" smile. "Trashy. Separate."
"Neh." I said with my equally sweet "I-fucking-know-the-deal-but-don't-really-give-a-shit-it's-7:30AM" smirk, all while attempting to close the door. But then she pulled her wild card: my bag of trash, complete with moldy avocados, rotten chicken, tin cans, and stanky milk carton. Apparently she needed to make her point to this dense foreigner.
"Trashy. Separate. Food bag."
Yeah, got it. I nodded my head and flung the door shut.
*I just realized I swore A LOT in this post. But I have sailor-like tendencies in real life, so deal with it.