Written by Venessa Locher
Pohang, South Korea. One particularly rough morning after a particularly heavy night of drinking, I decided to round out my list of terrible life choices by going to KFC for an early breakfast. No, KFC is not my preferred hangover cure, but as there was no McDonald’s around, I shuffled my way into the dismal abyss that is KFC at 6 AM. Head spinning, I eyed the menu to make my choice. Number 10. The Zinger Burger Set. As it was only my third month in Korea, I still was not comfortable using the language and found my interactions with Koreans to be much more effective if done in charades. I looked at the worker and put up my 10 fingers. “Number 10 set. Zinger Burger. 10 set.” We nodded awkwardly back and forth to each other, feigning comprehension, until he took my card and swiped. “20 minutes,” he stuttered. Well shit, so much for fast food. My bus out of here is at 6:30. I’ll make it. Gotta eat! “Ok!” I nodded, and slumped down in a seat in the middle of the restaurant. I occupied myself with phone games for a good 10 minutes before I decided to lift my head and return to reality. I looked at the countertop and noticed several trays laid out, piles of french fries, and loads of sodas being lined up. My initial thought was that my food was going to take so long because someone had a huge order ahead of me. Then, as I turned my head to see who else (if anyone) was in the restaurant, the realization trickled over me. I jumped up to the food counter and with wide, frantic eyes, I waved my arms over all the food being put out. “Is this (hyper arm circles), is all this for me?!!” He looked a bit stunned and nodded yes. Wow! I am a DUMB. ASS! I put on my best face to show just how dumb and apologetic I felt. I pointed to the menu and showed him that the zinger burger set was number 10, not that I had wanted 10 of them. When he finally clued in to what I was saying, we had a mutual moment of, “no f**king way.” Then without hesitation, he took my debit card and refunded my money (Yeah, my dumbass didn’t even notice I had been charged 60,000 KRW–60 USD). I said my many thank yous and showed my gratitude before quickly grabbing my food to make the 6:30 bus.