Ha! Was v.productive last night, so am going to post second installment of saga. Shall apologize in advance for the Mary-Sue nature of this composition :3 I need to work the fangirl venom out of my system, you understand. Pip, pip, readership!
Or, Confessions of a Girl who met Super Junior
Was awake by 6 a.m. thanks to cries of lovely children next door over, but that is the beauty of living in an apartment. Breakfasted lavishly on chocopies, two multivitamins, and five glasses of water.
As today is Saturday, am short on time to sort self out before going into work on Monday. Have decided to pay visit to 151 Yundong Street to see if suitcases have arrived yet, and to apologize for friend’s irresponsible mailing behavior. Will not, however, be making very good first impression, as only have skirt and loose socks to wear: sweater is out of action thanks to attack from hamburger-whatsit sauce last night. Hmm. Think I’ll plump for the office blouse; more presentable at any rate.
Oh god. Just caught glimpse of self in boutique window. Look like a secretary on casual Friday playing dress-down. And where in fuck is 151 Yundong Street anyway? Should be nearby, right? Live on 115, after all. Am caught in every newcomer’s worst nightmare. Ohgodohgodohgod…
Much, much later.
Urrrgh. Have just spent 3 hours shoving address under every passerby’s nose. Is now early evening, and still no 151. Café ahead; will go there to recoup.
Typical. Only one empty table left, and what’s more, there’s a plate of half-finished cake on it. No matter. Will just have a nice little sit-down to gather wits.
One minute later.
Of course, could really do with a bit of food. Would pep me up. Hmm. Normally would frown upon eating off of an unattended plate, but desperate times, desperate times. Eh. Deal with conscience later.
Suddenly am not alone at table anymore; cake owner is back and looking none too pleased! Crapcrapcrap...
Looked at him wildly. “Em…I O.K! Don’t touch me!... D’you…do you want me for cake?” I said in the tell-tale Korean of foreigners.
A pregnant silence.
“What are you doing?” asked the stranger in English.
Was stunned in all manner of ways. Impossible…
“Look, it’s all right, I think I know what this is about—”
“God-this-is-unbelieveable-I’ve-finally-found-someone-who-understands-me-I’ve-had-such-a-time-of-managing-on-my-own-really-sorry-about-the-cake-got-a-little-lost-could-you-just-tell-me-where-151-Yundong-Street-is-I-promise-I’ll-get-out-of-your-hair,” I gushed.
Shockingly, stranger did not look reassured.
“What do you want to know that for?” he said cagily.
“Oh, well you see, a friend of mine accidentally sent my things there, so I want to go over to apologize and arrange a convenient pick-up time.”
“Huh,” muttered the stranger. “Fine. Suppose I believe you. What’s my name, then?”
Stared at him in alarm. “Is this a test?”
“Maybe,” he said furtively. “Well?”
“But—I’ve only just met you!” I moaned, to no avail. “Erm…Winston?”
Bloke seemed to cheer at my answer, and leaned forward in spite of himself.
“What do I do for a living?”
“Law enforcement,” I said nervously.
“Hmm. That was my childhood dream,” he remarked with displeasure. “Who do I look like?”
“One of my schoolmates.”
“Ever hear of Super Junior?” he barked.
“Is that a daycare?” I asked miserably.
He paused. “Well, I suppose I deserved that,” he admitted, standing up. “All right then, I’ll take you there. Come on, let’s go.”
“But,” I said, shouldering my purse. “All of my answers were wrong!”
“Which was exactly what I was looking for,” said the stranger mysteriously before sauntering into the dusky evening. “I’m Kim Kibum, by the way. Sorry about the funny business earlier.”
“Same here, on my front. Let’s just say we’re even and be quits, all right? And I’m Carling. Carling Ying.” We shook hands.
“So, Carling…what were you doing with my cake, anyway?”
Given absurd pretence of meeting, was unable to keep reserve around stranger. Told Kibum of the beautiful state I was in, trying to get by in an empty flat with no major appliances and minimal money. As he was disinclined to discuss his career, felt no reason to do same. Instead, inquired after his fluency in English; was impressed to learn he’d picked it up while on a mini-break in America. Told him was entertaining hopes to do likewise here.
Suffered intense attack of Asian prudence halfway through walk: what if Kibum was a crazed rapist on parole? Member of Korean gang unit? Honestly, how thick could I be, to just up and follow stranger about? Thoughts got wilder and wilder until Kibum bought me hotteok from a nearby vendor, as formal apology for having deprived me of cake earlier. Felt self relax considerably after that, as surely this was not typical drug peddler behavior?
“Here we are— the ever-elusive #9 151 Yondong Street,” announced Kibum as we stood outside its door. He reached into a pocket and produced a ring of keys.
“Durrr! I didn’t know you lived here!”
“Yes, so you can imagine…”
Flat was rather decent for a bachelor pad. There was an enviably sleek entertainment set in the living room proper, complete with sparkly karaoke machine and X-Box. No imagination to be had, clearly, but serviceable all the same. Made a few sweeps of the area in hopes of finding suitcases, but no dice. Ah well. Would just leave contact info with Kibum and go back to start on dinner (i.e. tinned tomatoes on Melba) if not too late.
“Nice place. Rather neat, actually,” I commented upon hearing approaching footsteps in the corridor. “You could probably do with a bit more ornament— say. You look different.” The man that had sloped into the room was not Kibum. Oh god. Maybe was dead on about his gang connections after all.
“Em, hi,” I said, warily.
The man looked utterly nonplussed. “Who…are you?” he said in an accent I couldn’t place.
“I, uh, I came with someone named Kibum— you may have heard of him? Listen, I don’t want to cause any trouble, it’s just, I was told my parcels were mistakenly sent here and I—”
“There you are,” sighed Kibum from the hallway. “I was just asking Heechul if there had been any deliveries today.”
“Ah. Brilliant,” I squeaked. “More people. And who’s this one?” I asked, nodding pointedly at the unnatural blond, still standing in the living room like a gormless berk.
“This is Hangeng. The three of us board together,” explained Kibum patiently.
“OH…oh.” Felt deflated and possibly slightly ridiculous. Must rid self of cynical attitude post-haste, or suffer the consequences as social pariah for rest of stay in Korea.
“Hullo,” I said, with much more sincerity this time round. “Terribly sorry for acting like a prat. I’m normally not like this.” I extended a hand, which the blond shook warmly.
“It is O.K.”
“Hangeng’s English is rather limited, actually,” said Kibum fondly as the other made a face. “He’s Chinese, so he’s bilingual with Korean as it is.”
“Oh!” I exclaimed delightedly. “Do you speak Cantonese?”
“Yes, but poorly,” he answered haltingly in the southern dialect. “Mandarin is my mother tongue.”
“Really! My situation’s rather the inverse of yours— I just picked up Mandarin a few years ago.”
We were all doing very nicely in the living room, confabulating about linguistics and the like, with either one of us alternatively translating for the other in turns, when a lithe figure appeared at the doorway.
Huh. Looked too effeminate to function: graceful, arching eyebrows, Bambi eyes, alabaster skin, and the figure of a stick insect. Furthermore, he was wearing a bright pink frock. He sized me up expertly before giving his verdict in a rapid staccato of Korean vowels. Then he held my hand in his paw and smirked, “You…are so gorgeous.”
Could barely pretend to refuse their dinner invitation, as have not eaten properly in yonks. Helped a bit in the kitchen: Hangeng is a bloody cooking wizard! And he’s even groovier up close. Not that I noticed.
We dined with abandon on dishes of japchae, bitter melons, and Beijing fried rice. Praised Hangeng’s culinary talent to the point of redundancy, but did not have the heart to point out there was no such thing as ‘Beijing fried rice.’ Wasn’t given the chance, anyway, as Heechul began to interrogate in earnest after dinner. Managed to turn tables on him though, and learned a little about hosts. I had a surprisingly good time, actually, and suddenly prospect of living in Korea seems brighter. Kibum walked me home, but not before Hangeng reminded me I was to come back next week.
Was still grinning like a twonk on speed when head hit the pillow.
Hotteok: some sort of Korean pastry, according to wikipedia.org. Like a waffle. With...stuff.
Nonplussed: state of utter confusion.
Gormless: severely deficient in the brain division.
Berk: an idiot, with a degree of clumsiness implied. Whatever. Still negative-- it works. :3
Groovy: really really good-looking.
Twonk: a slightly milder term for idiot.
Yonks: a long time