One Monday evening, Josh and I decided that we wanted to venture into town to enjoy some hot beverages and a giant piece of toast. In Korea, we live in a small village. Other than our school and farmland there are two convenience stores (7 Eleven and GS 25-which is pretty much a 7 Eleven) and a small bank. There is a small chicken restaurant but the chicken there is not great. And that is about it. We bought a scooter to give us easy access to the closest city where there are grocery stores and the bus station that takes us to bigger cities.
So on this Monday evening we decided we would hop on the scooter and enjoy some cafe time at the Angel In Us in town. Angel In Us is a Korean cafe franchise, it’s kind of like a Starbucks in that they are everywhere and they serve coffee and some sandwiches and sweet treats. Josh and I had both been craving some drinks…I wanted a hot chocolate and he wanted coffee and naturally we both wanted a giant piece of toast covered in chocolate and whipped cream.
After this cafe time we stopped by to pick up some kimbop for dinner and some groceries and we were on our way home….until our scooter made a loud snap sound and smelled of burning rubber. Josh immediately pulled to the side of the road and after a little tinkering around figured that a belt must have snapped. At this point it was lightly drizzling and we were out of the main portion of town. After Josh put the scooter in the local gym’s parking lot we tried to hail a cab for about 20 minutes (4 cabs…no takers) and then decided what the hell, let’s just push the damn thing home. I guess I should mention it was about 1 am at this point so there wasn’t much in terms of people to help us out.
Luck was on our side (after the scooter broke) and it stopped sprinkling for out walk home. Our apartment was about 3 miles from where we broke down so we figured it would make for a nice little hike (plus the scooter). Josh cracked open a beer and we trekked home.
And then some pretty interesting things happened.
We were pushing our scooter up a hill on the back road (that is pretty much empty at night) and saw some lights coming towards us. A little while later we discovered that it was a police car. Josh and I weren’t sure if we were breaking any laws by pushing our scooter on this back road or if they would offer to help us. As it turns out they slowed down, looked at us and then kept driving. After they left Josh and I laughed for probably a solid 5 minutes as we imagined they were just as confused as we were at what transpired. I guess dealing with foreigners was not in the books for them on that fateful evening.
Not too long after this we were swarmed by a pack of small dogs who wanted to bark at us.
There were some small hills on the way home but after pushing the scooter up the hill we would coast down it and it was pretty fun. When we were back in So Cal Josh and I would regularly go camp in hiking, many of these trips would require us to start hiking after dark. So, we are used to walking around in the dark and even enjoy it.
After what proved to be an enjoyable 45 minute walk back to our small village we decided to stop by and pick up some snacks from the 7 Eleven. In front of the 7 Eleven were two huge trucks with giant cages housing chickens. It was an extremely sad sight, the chickens did not have enough room to stand up and were overcrowded and miserable. The chickens behavior ranged from desolate to aggressive and seeing them kept like this really put a damper on our mini adventure.
To be honest this really made me think twice about eating chicken, or any other animal meat, in the future. Since it happened I haven’t eaten any meat because I can’t get the sounds of the chickens basically crying in misery out of my head. I’m not saying that I’m going to become a vegetarian after this, but it really made me think twice about how we get our food.
After the chicken incident, Josh pushed the scooter back to the apartment and we crashed for the night.
Just thought I would share what I personally thought was a strange, night. There was panic, intrigue, humor, sadness…and hopefully I learned something.