Elwood 5566

Sam-Kyop Trofalot- the Fattest Korean

Posted in Daegu, Diary notes by 노강호 on September 17, 2010

On Sunday I walked down to the east gate of Keimyung University to wait for a friend who was an hour late. As I’m sitting, watching life, I hear the familiar sound of one of those mopeds that usually dominate the pavements. This one has a whinier sound than usual, in fact the engine, basically a hairdryer, was screaming. It’s also unusual because the moped is on the road and not  terrorising the pavement. When I look up I understand why, it reminded me of one of those Cold War, Soviet destroyers which always seemed top heavy.

Soviet Kashin Class Destroyer (1984)

Sat on the moped, dwarfing it, was the fattest Korean I have ever seen. Without any exaggeration, he was proportionately as fat as the infamous Mr Creosote from Monty Phython’s, The Meaning of Life. If he’d ridden on the pavement he would have bowled everyone over. Then I noticed he was riding a pizza delivery moped on the back of which, and almost hidden by his gargantuan arse, was the ‘hay box’ and company logo.

Yes, along with all the junk food and a little help from sam-kyop-sal (barbecued belly pork), fat has arrived in Korea and it’s not pretty! Too late to whip out my camera, the moped screamed past at all of 15 kph, hugging the gutter as traffic sped by. I would imagine any delivery to more than a couple of kilometers away, plus the lengthy lug up any stairs, and the pizza would have arrived cold. If of course,  the delivery man hadn’t truffled the hay box contents first!

Mr Creosote and Link to Youtube (click photo)

Creative Commons License© Nick Elwood 2010 Creative Commons Licence.

Tagged with: , , , ,

Just… (그냥…) Doctor! Doctor!

Posted in Comparative, Diary notes, Just - 그냥, services and facilities by 노강호 on September 16, 2010

Barbapapa

I’m fat. Whenever I visit my doctor he asks, ‘What do you think about your weight?’ I never know what to say. What the fuck are you supposed to say? I stifle a little laugh.

‘I love it. It’s great wobbling into a bathhouse looking like Grandpa Barbapapa.’

Once I replied, ‘not very sexy,’ but he didn’t get the joke.

I actually saw him in Samjeong Oasis bathhouse several weeks ago. I didn’t feel comfortable and left before he could see me. I should have talked to him. ‘Hey, Doc! What do you think of my weight?  How would you like my awesome man tits?’

Another time, 8 years ago, I met him on the way to E Mart. A Saturday morning in autumn as I was waiting to cross the intersection. I’d just returned from the UK after having a hernia repair.

At the intersection he’s excited to see me and do you know what he proceeds to do? Examine my stomach!  An on the street examination! Not many people can boast such a privilege.

Just as the lights turn green and a sea of pedestrians begin to cross the road, he pulls up my shirt, kneels on one knee, has a look at the scar and pokes around for a few moments. A little girls stood nearby, looking bewildered, stares.

It was hilarious! I didn’t even have to pay the extortionate 3000 Won (£1.50), usually charged for a consultation.

Back home in the shitty UK, your doctor doesn’t talk to you even when you’re in their surgery.  If I passed my UK doctor on deserted street he wouldn’t know who I was and getting to see  him in his surgery can involve waiting up to four days.

I like my Korean doc; he once gave me a tour of his new endoscopy machine but was a bit too enthusiastic as he waved about the part they stick down your gullet or poke up your backside. He was like a kid with a new toy.

Most UK local doctors don’t have such equipment and the most sophisticated toys my UK surgery have are stethoscopes and a weighing machine. Actually, two weighing machines because last time I visited them I was too heavy for one machine and had to stand on two. What surgeries in the west, ‘Lard Land,’ buy scales that only weigh up to 16 stone! Standing on two! That was embarrassing!

Creative Commons License© Nick Elwood 2010 Creative Commons Licence.

Tagged with: , ,

As Delicious as it Looks! (미더덕)

Posted in bathhouse Ballads by 노강호 on September 11, 2010

The first time I ate midoedeok (미더덕) it was hidden in a bowl of soup and probably bobbling under a slice of kimchi, either way, I didn’t see it.  After wedging it between my teeth I crushed it and was shocked when it spat out a horrid sort of detergent. I almost threw up! I’ve never eaten midoedoek since and if I get any strange soup I dredge the bottom of my bowl looking for it. Don’t accuse me of being politically incorrect, I know plenty of Koreans who hate it.

Animal, vegetable, alien?

For years, I had no idea if it was animal, vegetable, or possibly alien, most likely from the Klingon home world! For a while I believed it may have been some sort of testicle and its texture confirmed this, a hard exterior, smooth and slippy with some dubious inner core, but there was an absence of any tubing and because it resembled a mammalian testicle, I was bewildered because, being not much bigger than an acorn, I couldn’t think what animal owned such a nut. Rams’ bollocks are huge, a pair being as large an weighty as a coconut, and there aren’t many cats in Korea and those silly little handbag dogs Koreans are into, the sort that are too flimsy to walk against the mildest breeze, their balls can’t be much bigger a peanut. So it must come from the sea, I thought. Do fish have bollocks? Or perhaps they belong to the octopus but balls are usually carried in a bag and I’ve never seen an octopus with a knacker sack! Well, my Korean friends seemed to have no idea what they were and were equally as mystified.

Related to the sea squirt (멍개)

Then I discovered, they are related to the sea squirt and that monster of a tumour, the mongke (멍개), which also tastes of detergent. You can see midoedoek in the street markets and supermarkets and you either love them or hate them – a bit like olives really, which is interesting as they are the same shape and size. Unfortunately, they don’t have a common English name so,  should you want to order them from your local fish market back home, you will have to ask for styela clava. Mmmm! Sounds as delicious as it looks which is why they are usually hidden in the bottom of your bowl of seafood soup….

Midoedok (미더덕), Styela Clavca get erect when hungry and look like this!

Fondling them obviously causes arousal. A particularly long styela clava. Why are so many Korean foods phallic?

Creative Commons License
© Nick Elwood 2010 Creative Commons Licence.

Sock Mania

Posted in Korean children, Korean Clothes by 노강호 on September 7, 2010

Wacky!

Wierd!

Wild!

Wonderful!

Creative Commons License
© Nick Elwood 2010 Creative Commons Licence.

Tagged with: , ,

Feeding Mummy's Milk

Posted in bathhouse Ballads, Education, esl, Korean children by 노강호 on September 5, 2010

Fab!

I’m often amazed at the blunders Koreans make in translating English and anyone who has lived in Korea even a short time will have amassed some great examples. In my writing, I write little Korean but I strive to make sure my spelling is correct. Conversely, many Koreans are quite happy to widely publicise something in crappy English, probably under the assumption that if you can tag an English sentence on your product or business sign, it is invested with greater authority. The gaff isn’t so bad, and can even be cute, on a mug or bar of chocolate; I have an old notebook on my desk on which is an enormous strawberry which a couple of years ago, when new, was scented. A caption under it reads: I’ve got a loaf of strawberries.’ But my favourite, from a packets of smoked salmon, reads:

‘Around June to September, in a something sun, 3-5 year old well-grown salmon that have brilliant gesture and swim through sea and river along the blue and dear coast of the Pacific Ocean have very good quality of flesh and taste so good and have got praised as food of low-calorie. More than one century salmon has got praise of epicures all over the world. Salmon taste from soft to strong with many nutrients and special pink colour flesh create fantastic mood and taste.’

Nursery rhymes

Ironically, the crappy English actually spurs my taste buds in anticipation of that creamy, special pink flesh, unfortunately eaten many years ago. But when the ‘company’ or individual is involved in English education or aspires to be ‘educated’, it becomes a glaring error upon which an astute reader is going to base a value judgment. Online commentary on anything regarding education demands careful checking in terms of vocabulary, grammar and spelling and should one make even the slightest mistake, it can be expected that no matter how sound the argument, your credibility will be vaporized.

I quite like nursery rhymes! No! I don’t wander around my one-room singing them to myself but as a musician, I have an appreciation for their catchy melodies. The English composer Roger Quilter wove a very successful overture, a Children’s Overture, out of nursery rhymes which I frequently happened to play as a flautist in the British Army. Quilter was a student of the extremely eccentric Australian composer, Percy Grainger.

A year ago I bought a a set of two CDs in E-Mart, badly named, English Chants and of course, a nursery rhyme is nothing like a chant. However, out of the 160 songs, I thought I was sure to find a few of use especially with classics like Humpty Dumpty, Hickory Dickory Dock and Polly put the Kettle on, included.

It was only in a bout of boredom that this week, I perused the titles of the other songs:

Time to stetch – your guess is as good as mine but I’ll go for ‘stretch’.

Going to the friend’s house – no comments!

Going to the Pediatrician, Going to the ENT Doctor and Going to Orthodontist, presume the child is both  acquainted with medical terminology and of a sickly disposition.

Going the DepartmentI can only guess is meant to be a ‘store.’

It’s a snack time – it amusing.

Want to go Potty – Who? Hilarious

Going Back from School – simply confusing!

On birthday – and whose birthday might that be?

But the king of all gaffs is, Feeding Mommy’s Milk. One still has to ask, ‘feeding mommy’s milk’ to whom? And the lyrics are classic:

Are you hungry? Are you hungry?

Feed mummy’s milk

And taste it good.

Sucking. Sucking. Sucking. Sucking

Mummy’s milk is good.

Are you done?

Hear it for yourself – drinking a glass of milk, especially with a straw, will never be the same again!

Click link below:

Are you hungry?

Creative Commons License© Nick Elwood 2010 Creative Commons Licence.

Tagged with: , ,

Emergency Dump!

Posted in bathhouse Ballads, Diary notes by 노강호 on September 4, 2010

You’re not supposed to write pooh stories! Actually, a few months ago someone made some nasty comments about an article I wrote about pooh humour. Anyone who has a problem with pooh stories is simply anal and needs to loosen up! Anyone who has traveled outside the domain of Club Med 18-30, anyone who has had to eat a drastically different diet or squat and then clean their bum from a tin can of water using their hand, knows the subject can be very entertaining and is well worth writing about, for all sorts of reasons.

Every Friday, I eat lunch with my boss; not an occasion to talk about pooh!  Usually we go somewhere a little further afield than the area  in which we live. I’d woken up early and started working straight away and didn’t each breakfast until around 11 am, which was no problem – except I’d cooked bean soup (된장 치게) and eaten it with some kimchi and acorn curd (두투리묵). The fuse for such food, especially without rice, depends on the individual, but mine is about an hour. If liquids are consumed, and I’d had several cups of coffee, it can be as little as 45 minutes. But I so engrossed in my writing, I was completely oblivious to my mistake.

Pooh on a bag

My boss calls at 11.30 and we drive off to the area fronting Keimyung University. Fifteen minutes later and we are sat in chicken bar. Its predominantly a beer bar that sells chicken by night and predominantly a chicken bar that serves beer in daylight hours, they’re all over Korea. The chicken is drenched in spicy sauce, or is fried in batter or perhaps served with a sweet soy sauce and a beer swishes it down nicely but, I never drink before work.

I’d felt the warnings on the brief walk to the restaurant but it hadn’t clicked and I was thinking they’d disappear but they actually intensified. I began to perspire. There was the panic too, because you know that when in the grip of needing to defecate you will do it anywhere; in your pants, squatting behind a car in public and even bent over in your bedroom holding your backside in a plastic shopping bag. This is almost my fourth year in Korea and I’ve never had to crap in any other toilet than my own unless in a hotel or the comfort of someone’s home. I’ve never had to take my chances on the street where, unless owned by nice restaurants or western style eateries, you can guarantee toilets are going to be grim.

About to explode!

There have only been a two occasions in my life when the fuse has been so short that I’ve only had seconds to find a toilet. Once was in Osnabruck, Germany, after a military exercise when all the toilets in my barrack block were occupied. I had to pooh in a carrier bag in my bedroom and that was illuminating as you never realise how  hot and heavy a pooh can be until you hold one in a bag.  The next occasion was some 20 years later, again in Germany, in a small town close to Bonn. That was out of the blue; one moment I was fine walking through a quaint little village with a small stream running through the center of it, next moment I had seconds to find a toilet. My third ordeal had just started!

‘I’ve got to use the loo!’ I announced and immediately made for the back of the restaurant. We should have chosen a more up-market location as the toilet was shared by several establishments and not easily reached. I found it with thirty seconds to spare and of course, not only was it a squat down job but there was no toilet paper. But I’m good, ex-military good and before I’d even got to the door and discovered conditions, I’d covered my options. My jeans and shoes were off within seconds and having already spotted the hose in the small garden that lay close by; I turned it on an dragged it into the toilet wedging the gushing end down the drain just inside the toilet door. Then, I closed the door, took off my boxers and a second later, in one expulsion, my late breakfast was reincarnated. As I was hosing my arse and swishing the bean soup into the sewers of Daegu, I suddenly realised what had caused my upset – my badly timed, watery breakfast! Drying my arse on one of the large hankies I use in hot weather, I quickly got dressed, repositioned the hose and washed my hands. Although the toilet was was grotty the soap was actually quite nice. I hadn’t even got my feet wet and neither had I crapped on my heels which is always a danger on a squat loo and is why I take my pants off! And by the time I got back to my table, a lovely plate of spicy chicken awaited.

Creative Commons License© Nick Elwood 2010 Creative Commons Licence.

Tagged with: ,

Kids' Dictionaires

Posted in bathhouse Ballads, Comparative, Korean children by 노강호 on August 22, 2010

Whenever I use the Korean word ‘dong-sa’ (동사 – verb) in classes, kids will have a little giggle. Neither does it matter how softly I pronounce the ‘d’ and even almost annihilating it altogether, and saying ‘ong-sa,’ will be met with laughter. Well, my Korean is crap but adults don’t have a problem understanding it.

‘Shit’ is funny for Koreans probably because they’ve never had to smell it, but if you’re British you will undoubtedly recall numerous occasions when you’ve seen something strange on the carpet or on your shoe and like an idiot you’ve poked your finger in it,  sniffed it, and then recoiled in horror.

Korean 'dirty' humour

For Koreans, stories and cartoons in which shit is either a central feature or a passing reference, are common. And because they haven’t had to sniff it as much as us Brits, because our pavements are notorious for being strewn in dog shit, it can even be cute and  even pretty.  There is a popular Korean book (강아지 똥)  about the life and adventures of a sentient turd which ends up  sprouting a little  dandelion flower out of its head.

강아지 똥. A scatological version of the Ugly Duckling, story

And then there are the various references to shit: ‘shit flies’ (ddong-bari -똥 파리), chicken’s gizzards amusingly called a ‘dong-chip’ (똥집 – basically ‘shit-hole), as well as the habit kids have of poking their clasped fingers up your backside in a ‘ddong-ch’im’ (똥침 – a ‘shit injection/needle’).

Click picture to activate link

Only yesterday, I was asked what  ‘ddong-ch’im’  was in English. ‘Perverted,’ I replied. I had to explain how strange we find the ‘dong-ch’im’ habit and while many waygukins will see it as cute, amusing, and harmless, myself included, I read two posts yesterday, where the authors, men of course,  claimed they would ‘severely damage’ any kid who touched ‘that area.’ For western men, especially British and Americans, ‘that area’ is a powder keg of sensitivity and touching it likely to ignite all sorts of problems. It’s all silly of course, and culturally constructed!  The male fear of their bottoms being touched and their over-protective attitudes towards them, are as ridiculous as women fearing spiders or mice. Get, real! You have to have a very insecure image of your own sexuality to find a little kiddy touching the back of your trousers, a threat! You can’t translate ‘dong-ch’im’ into English, not effectively,  – ‘bum sting,’ ‘butt-stab,’ ‘anal-poke..;’ none of them really work and as they all carry sexual connotations,  ‘ddong-injection’ or simply ‘dong-ch’im’ are probably the most effective renditions.

Cute, cartoon turds

As for associating food with anal passages, nothing is more likely to put me off. Cat shit, dog shit, I’ve smelt them all and any food which reminds me of that filthy orifice is unwelcome. I’ll only eat mak-chang ( 막창 – barbecued intestines) if I’m pissed as colonic conduits aren’t my thing unless severely minced, mashed and renamed a sausage.  I’m even put off the idea of chicken feet (닭발) because they spend all day tramping on shite. Conversely however, I love sucking the juicy fat off of an English chicken’s ass, after it’s been plucked, basted and roasted, of course! This exception exists because the name, ‘parson’s nose,’  isn’t a reminder of its actual location or function. A Parson’s nose, the very point at which poop is birthed, is almost respectable and reminds me of Sunday afternoons as a child when being offered that fatty morsel for lunch, was a treat. Tastes are all socially constructed!

More 'turdy fun.'

While Koreans will tolerate ‘ddong’ and its various manifestations, the don’t like piss.  They call piss, ‘dirty water,’ though I don’t particularly find it dirty. I’d much rather be pissed over than shat on, if forced into making a choice, and if ever I was shat on, being pissed over  afterwards would be positively refreshing  by comparison.

Middle school dictionary

I have three different student dictionaries and all of them of them contain drawings of the human anatomy. They quite interest me as in all three dictionaries, plus a similar poster on the wall of a classroom in my school, the bodies are androgynous. Shortly below the belly button, biology ceases and anything happening in this area does so by some assumed, magical process. In three of the four examples, the poop shoot  continues down until it meets the world which is fairly important as the poop shoot is the source of so much Korean humour, but other than this, all other tubing and their associated mechanics, urinary and reproductive, have been censored.

No poop shoot!

And while the drawings have all been denuded of rude bits and the dictionaries purged of anything sensitive, so as to limit speculation, analysis, discussion and questioning, there are instead a numbers of words English speakers rarely, if ever, use. I often have occasions to use words associated with reproduction and urination, as most  English speakers will,  but I have never used the word ‘scurf’, ‘ordure,’ ‘nose wax,’ or ‘eye wax.’  An understanding of what ‘wax’ is, is clearly missing when the translator defines ‘sleep,’ as ‘eye-wax.’ Indeed, ‘scurf’ and ‘ordure,’ I had to look-up in a dictionary as they are uncommon to me. I’m not even sure, without further consultation, how you would use ‘ordure.’ My ordure was tumultuous, perhaps? I need  to ordurate? Whatever, I clearly like the word!

Redundant dirt

Creative Commons License
© Nick Elwood 2010. This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Paedofinder General – On a Lighter Note

Posted in Blogging, Uncategorized by 노강호 on July 22, 2010

Paedofinder General - formerly The Witchfinder General

One reason I love Roketship.com is that ‘a picture certainly paints a thousand words’ and with an added caption or speech bubbles that thousand is stretched even further. It seems my opinion on paedo-paranoia, expressed in Uncle Ernie’s Daegu  Antics Prompt a Rant, has attracted a few comments on The Marmot’s Hole and a few nasty ones which I deleted from my pages. Well,  popular sentiment has never been my bag. Boo-hoo sentimentality leads to war, one still being fought, and all sorts of other social travesties.  I work under the axiom that if it’s popular it’s shit – or in this case, suspect! Rap – that’s shit and a lot of it borders on repugnant. Most Hollywood movies are crap and the majority of celebrities fucking wankers! Even the  shittiest chocolate is the most popular and as for the Bible… boring. I’m a Mahler man. There’s more spirit and humanity in Mahler’s music than you’ll ever find in the pages of religious twaddle. Mahler should be a religion!  And then there’s Bruckner, and Handel… and a pantheon more! I’m a snob to anything popular and proud of it.

Mahler fiddled with my head when I was 12. Ich liebe Dich!

Then I found ( via The Marmot’s Hole), this excellent link to some animations which express exactly what I was trying to say  about Ernie’s Antics  and obviously  didn’t.  The sketches are very funny and encapsulate what I failed to articulate. Amusing animations have the capacity to go places where words often fail without causing irritation.

Paedofinder General: Fiddler on the Roofhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoxQINcVBgU&feature=related

Paedofinder General: We Three Kingshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dC6iQwoXc-w&feature=fvw

Paedofinder General: Don’t ever go with Strangershttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBFqe_3M2Z8&feature=related

And just who is Uncle Ernie? Fiddle About, from TommyThe Who

Creative Commons License
© Nick Elwood 2010. This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Korean Teenagers' Wacky World of 'Vacation' Fashions

Posted in bathhouse Ballads, Education, Korean children by 노강호 on July 20, 2010

Just when you thought you knew the kids in your classes they turn up with hair dyed red, or sporting the poodle perm. It’s especially worse with the girls as an adult hair style forces you to acknowledge the fact they are young women and not the kids that they’ve appeared as all year. Yes, the summer ‘vacations’ have arrived and through the blurry haze of humidity and the incessant chirping of the memi,  a weird wackiness prevails.

Vacation hair fashion

The perms, if that’s what you call them, as I’m not au fait with the methods of metamorphosis used by women, are heavily discounted over the school ‘vacations’ and cost as little as 20.000 W (£10).  This year, common trends seem to involve tinting the hair with a touch of burgundy, a summer fashion common with boys as well as girls and of course, the perm, which has been popular for several years. While boys may grow their hair longer, or at least as long as you can grow it in around 40 days ‘vacation,’ girls often paint their nails in quite adventurous and beautiful ways. Along with the various hair styles is a concurrent rise is temporary tattoos. Most of these tend to depict fantasy book characters though unicorns seem to be particularly fashionable on younger girls. Blurred and blotchy tattoos declaring filial devotion to ‘Mum and Dad,’  or the British Bulldog, are as non-existent in Korea as tattoos in Chinese characters declaring the wearer to be ‘female’ (女), this being a frequently observed ‘fashion’ in the UK.  And to accompany ‘grown-up hair styles a little leniency is given to earrings, rings and other forms of jewelery bar anything which pierces or punctures the face or drives studs through noses or tongues. The great thing about Korean kiddy vacation fashions is that they are temporary and as such have to wash-off, wash-out, come-off, cut-off or un-clip, which is the destiny they all face once the new term is looming. For kids it provides a period of self-expression and/or momentary madness which helps wash away the stresses and strains of the past academic year.

Vacation fashion - the shaggy perm

A little re-touch needed

I find the perms particularly unattractive. Korean hair, especially on youngsters, is wonderfully beautiful, full of lustre , body and that typically black-blue, black. The perm bakes and frizzles the life out of hair and the ensuing curls and kinks  undermine rather than enhance the original appeal. Of course, I’m missing the point! ‘Vacation’ fashions are a symbol of freedom which I understand is  precious especially as  kids don’t  really have a vacation. Only in Korea can you have a ‘vacation’ that isn’t really a vacation but not to worry, you can perm your hair and mutate into a spaniel look-a-like for your ‘vacation’ classes and summer school!  Unfortunately, if your destined for a ‘vacation’ boot-camp you’re buggered! Personally, in the muggy sweat of summer the only comfortable hairdo is a number 4 buzz with a pair of hair clippers.

Love those locks!

Creative Commons License
© Nick Elwood 2010 Creative Commons Licence.

Ear Piece Mania

Posted in bathhouse Ballads, Entertainment by 노강호 on July 19, 2010

Have you noticed that it seems a trendy, usually in western style restaurants, to equip your staff with radio earpieces. I often eat in a couple of places where the CIA and Personal Protection Services collide and fully expect to see staff with the barrel of a revolver poking from the waistband. It would be understandable if there were only a few members of staff per restaurant, but  in Korea it’s customer service overload.

Two of the restaurants I frequent involve parking in a supermarket where I am always amused by the directions provided to vacant parking. First, there is the manic series of Power Ranger poses that alert you to the fact you have to turn left to enter the parking facilities. Of course, directions are adequately posted on both the tarmac itself and on street signs and you can hardly miss the building; it’s five stories high! Korean drivers have a reputation for multi-tasking, mobile phone in one hand, sandwich in the other; so I guess the Power Ranger routine grabs the attention of even the most inattentive driver. And  next, once in the car park building, you can enjoy being mesmerized by the glitzy-glamour gals and their sequined stetsons that stand to attention on the apex of every corner and provide you a selection of semi-sexual hand gestures. My favourite is the direction to, ‘dim your head lamps,’ which looks like sign-language for, ‘it’s snowing.’ Performing this motion for several hours a day would drive you potty, unless of course you’d dropped an acid tab which in tandem with the glitzy-gloves, would be an exhilarating experience. Simply parking the car has been facilitated by 10 student staff, and that was only as far as the first level, but  no one’s complaining when an hour’s wages are just enough to buy you a coffee and bun.

The Power Range Poses for directing traffic to parking lot

In the restaurant, another batch of students are re-enacting Men in Black. It’s early lunchtime and despite the fact there are only three customers, there are nine waiters each adorned with an ear-piece! I remember when CB radio was a fad and it was common to listen ‘into’ police radios, for fun. I wonder if you can listen ‘into’ restaurant radios because I’d love to know what instructions are transmitted. Do individual waiters have a ‘handle?’ Do they follow standard radio protocol?

Han Man One calling Waiter Number 10, take order from table number 5. Over.

Han Man One calling Waiter number 6, deliver steak and banana jam, with portion of kimchi and pickle, to table 5. Over.

The radios remind me of a Burger King restaurant in Osnabruck, Germany, which installed radios where you made you order. Staff had to speak your order into the radio which then broadcast it to the staff ‘cooking.’  Not a bad idea except the staff doing the ‘cooking’ were less than a meter from the staff collecting the order, and sometimes the staff ordering would turn about and become the staff ‘cooking.’ It seems nothing could be done without speaking first into the radio-loud speaker contraption. Worse, the sound the radio produced, perhaps because of the proximity, was muffled and incomprehensible and so, ‘Whopper,’ sounded like, ‘wowa.’

Maybe the ear pieces transmit calming music to anesthetize staff when there are no customers or when staff outnumber  them. Maybe they’re totally dead, simply window-dressing, because I never seen any staff directing waiters. I’d sure like to have a whirl on them, secretly – and if of course, I could speak Korean. One of the places I eat has the most handsome waiter and I’d love to say a few things directly into his ear-hole.  Unfortunately, though the restaurant serves a rather delicious sausage, amusingly called ‘sausage on the bone’ as it has a spare rib painfully protruding from one end, the only sausage I want is not on the menu!

Creative Commons License
© Nick Elwood 2010. This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.