July 7, Guri Fruit Men

I could tell you about a lot of little adventures today but I’m most proud of this:

After coming down from Acha Mountain over in Guri I passed by a produce stand, flanked by two men, one of whom was calling out deals of the day. He caught my attention with 1000 won blueberries.

I was in a hat crouched over some plums when the younger fruit man approached and started talking to me in Korean. I looked up from under the brim of my hat and I swear to you this was the most movie moment of my entire life: There was a very long pause as younger fruit man stood in shock that the customer he thought was Korean was very much not so. (If I could add an effect, it would 100% be a sparkle filter around my face.)

I saw twelve years of compulsory English education bleed out of his ears as he stood open mouthed and finally said “ah.. can I.. help you?” I answered him in Korean while the older fruit man cackled from behind.

While younger fruit man bagged my purchases and struggled with the the scale (“어떻게…?”) the older man asked me if I was American. I told him I was studying Korean and he told me I was doing well (“잘 지내요”). Wow. Count me as a repeat customer for the entertainment alone.

Thank you, my Guri fruit men.

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