Monday, May 14, 2018

Phone Call from Korea

Chapter 25

          The last time I left you fuckwits I was getting my thigh rubbed by a chubby barmaid in west Texas. Well, as I stated before, that promising situation came to a screeching halt, so I walked back dejectedly to my mommy’s house and watched TV in the family room.

          I have a step-father named Juan. Juan’s originally from Mexico. He moved to the United States many years ago on a student visa and married a white girl. That’s how he received a green card. He soon got her pregnant and dropped out of school. He found work laying sheet rock and painting houses. Juan now owns his own company. America’s been good to him.

          He sat down next to me on the sofa. “Buffalo, you moving to Korea? Really? Come on, man. You smarter dan dat. You a certified teacher. Stay right where you at. Things will eventually get better. Trust me.”

          “But I want to see the world.”

          He chuckled. “Buffalo, I been all over dis fucking planet. It’s a giant fucking shithole. Mamma Mia. It so fucking bad dat I don’t even believe in God anymore. Can you imagine? Dat’s how fucking bad it is.”

          “Have you been to Asia?”

          He shook his head. “No, but you think it good? China? Korea? Thailand? Da only country over dere dat’s worth a fuck is Japan. Try finding job in Tokyo. Maybe dat OK. But Korea? Come on, man! Bunch of fucking shit-eating rice farmers.” 

           “Some exciting things are happening in Korea.”

          “More exciting than the United States? Buffalo, I like you better dan my own son. You nice guy. But you making big mistake.”

          I waited patiently for the call. Ten o’clock came and went. Eleven o’clock came and went. Midnight came and went. I cursed the bad luck. I didn’t have a phone in my own apartment. In fact, I had only signed a six-month lease because I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to stay. Therefore, I was living rough. My frugality had cost me a potential job. I put on my jammies and went to bed.

          To my surprise, the phone rang at four in the morning. I ran to the kitchen and put the receiver to my ear.

          “Is Mista Buffaro dere?”

          She sure as fuck sounded Asian.

          I said, “Speaking.”

          “Hi, I Miss Kim. What time in Texas light now?”

          “It’s four in the morning.”

          “Oh, dat vely early. I so solly to wake you.”

          “Not a problem.”

          “I own rangraugee school in Busan. You know Busan?”


          “It big beautiful city. It filled with many pletty girls. You rike pletty girl?”


          “Well, you ruv Busan vely muchee. Many many pletty girl.”

          “OK. Sign me up.”

          “So you want job?”


          She paused. “There onry one ploblem.”

          My heart sank. “Problem?”

          “You must dlive da school bus in da morning.”

          That caught me completely off guard. “Drive the school bus?”

          “You dlive in Amelica?”

          “Yes. But I don’t have a license for your country.”

          She laughed uproariously. “Dis is Kolea. It be OK. Nobody here care.”

          “I’m really uncomfortable with the idea of being the bus driver. There’s no way around that?”

          “Solly, but dis is da new business. I need to save da money. Bus driva vely expensive.”

          There was a long moment of silence. It all sounded a bit shady.

          Finally, I said, “I’m probably not your guy. I think I’m just going to stay in America.”

          She didn’t get angry or call me the F-word. In fact, she thanked me for my time and wished me the best of luck in the future.

          The next day, my mom asked about the interview.

          I said, “She offered me the job, but I turned it down.”

          “How come?”

          “She wanted me to teach English and drive the bus.”

          “Wow. That’s so weird. I’m glad you said no. You drink too much as it is. With your luck, you’d probably drive those poor kids right off a cliff.”

          We both laughed. I felt good. People were interested.


  1. Your readers demand more Juan. Also more random Koreans you encounter either over the phone or in person.