Assisting, Chanting, Sweating, and Laughing

assisting chanting sweating and laughing

We’ve all heard about those stories and social psychology experiments that involve someone in clear distress in a public place while passersby ignore the situation.

Well, I found myself in one of those situations last night.

My friends and I had just finished being silly and taking pictures in the sticker photo booths  (see bottom of this post) and were walking to the subway station to head to Hongdae, the next neighborhood over.

Suddenly, I saw a pair of legs sprawled on the ground. As I drew closer I saw that they were attached to a broken-looking girl lying on the busy Sinchon sidewalk in a pile of vomit that extended into her hair and all over her sweater and jeans.

Judging from the situation, I would guess that she had been there for 15-30 minutes, lying face down on the street. Countless people must have walked right by her, unwilling to postpone their Friday plans.

My friends and I approached her slowly and tried to see if we could get a response from her. Tears streamed from her closed eyes and she continued to lie there. Christina and I propped her up and she immediately coughed out a large amount of liquid and sputtered. Auke, Bret, Clara, and Cale went into a nearby cafe to get napkins and we began asking the girl if she was alright while CJ translated for us. A bystander who was passing with his wife stopped and called the police to help.

I don’t speak Korean very well, but even I could tell that this girl was absolutely incoherent. We gathered that she had gotten into an argument with her friends, they had all left her, and she was very distressed and upset about the situation. Christina and I cleaned her off and got her shakily onto her feet and moved her to a bench as she insisted that she was okay to go back home in a cab, all the while kindly thanking us and apologizing, but none of us thought that just sending her on her way was a safe idea.

We continued to comfort her and clean her off until two police officers arrived and tried to get her information. It became clear that she lives very far away and was not in a state to be in a cab or subway. The paramedics arrived and that’s when me and my friends agreed that our role was done and that it would be better to leave her completely in their hands. We all hope that she is okay now and are happy that she got into the helpful hands of the police and paramedics.

On a much lighter note:
After that we went to Hongdae and met up with Cale’s roommate and his friends. They taught us a bunch of Korean drinking games and all of the Korean chants and songs that accompany them. It was immensely entertaining, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt more Korean in my life. It was fantastic.
Today, I went to Changdeokgung (a palace) after tutoring and today I also experienced the world’s most stifling humidity. I made the mistake of wearing a floor length skirt that usually ventilates very well but, silly me, I forgot that there is NO BREEZE IN SEOUL. So I was basically a sweating mess, chugging water, and using a fan that I got for free from a coffee shop and just happened to have in my bag. I managed to pull it together for 20 seconds to take a couple of photos.

Afterwards, I met up with the rest of my friends and went to go see “Snowpiercer”, a film directed by Joon-Ho Bong, starring Chris Evans and Kang-ho Song. Many people loved it, but I found to be one of the most absurd films I’ve seen in a long while. The cinematography was intriguing and eye-catching and the movie was entertaining as a whole (occasionally unintentionally) but there were so many odd and obvious holes in the story, the script was contrived, and moments that were supposed to be serious caused me to double over in laughter in my seat.

Kang-ho Song’s character was, quite obviously, Korean, and this was a great audience to experience that with. When he spoke his first words in the film, they were in sassy, inappropriate, and un-subtitled Korean and the audience laughed and there was a small smattering of appreciative applause.

Feel free to go see it, but I think the film was very overrated and was potentially written by a class of 5th graders (or maybe drunk college students. I would argue that both groups would produce the same script).


Tomorrow, I’ll be going to Gunsan all day with my Yonsei family of fools in the photo below. We’re meeting in the lobby in 5 hours…so I should probably get to bed. Chat with you all later!


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