Even though I walk to school (neatly saving me from the eternal dilemma of those picked up in cars, “which seat do I taaake?”*) being late because of traffic is a valid excuse. This is because in Daegu at least, there is no pavement. It’s a world gone mad, where people and cars roam equally, sharing space with one another. One way system? Hah! The backstreets of Korea laugh at the very notion of a one way system! Giving way? Never! A Korean stands his ground! One time I came out of my house to see no less than six cars in a traffic jam around one central car, blocking all his exits and still trying to nudge past each other.

Thusly, friends, the path to school is beset on all sides by dangers. The road is steep and narrow, and very small children dart around underfoot, for a Korean child gives no fuck about a car. The number of times I’ve been asked about my feelings toward Bumblebee the Transformer, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve already suffered a few concussions and just have no idea whats what anymore. They’re probably chatting to their iPods right now, thinking its Soundwave.

For the extra danger factor, I like to listen to music on my way. This is a double edged sword. On one hand, it saves me from awkward conversation with the children which always goes the same way. We greet one another, enquire as to each other’s health, I am informed the child is “so-so”, then another greets me, and we repeat it again. This continues the entire 15minute walk to school with various kids. To be honest, I’m mean at the best of times and first thing in the morning is certainly not my best time. I’m also crushingly awkward, I do not like making strained conversation with these kids. Therefore I will smile and wave with my headphones very obviously over my ears, and risk death under the wheels of a truck before I have another “so-so” conversation at 7:50am. Also, I won’t lie, it’s a bit steep. I feel like Ness in that episode of Gavin & Stacey, “Gotta go, Stace, there’s an incline coming up”, I’m all grim determination, no room for idle chit-chat. Plus now I bring a mug of tea with me, it’s become a slightly more grown up egg and spoon race and God help the child who makes me spill my tea.

The other side of this is that it encourages me to be more vigilant. While a tragically young death at the ripe old age of 23 would be terrible to begin with (especially as my mum just booked tickets to come see me. I don’t know if those are refundable) the worst thing ever would be for the paramedics to come, rip off my earphones and the surrounding crowd to hear “…Marry me, Juliet, you never have to be alone, I love you and that’s all I really know…” blast out as I’d been boppin’ along to the Swift’s croonings. I think I’d probably just give up and die of shame anyway. And then that would be the last thing I ever heard. What a way to go.

In other news, it’s Friday, I’m going to Seoul, and it’s mine and Matt’s anniversary. Ultimate April Fool’s prank.


If only they could all be modern classics like this.