Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I Wish Someone Would Tell Me...

*Not the actual rabbit seen by the author, but similar to it.

-Why a person can age for forty-some-odd years without feeling significantly different from year to year and then, one day, all at once, notice about 10 new, unpleasant, age-related changes.   I recognize that there has probably been a certain amount of denial going on, but it has been happy, healthy denial that hurts no one.  Getting hit with such a huge load of harsh reality all at once just seems cruel.  I would just like to say that this has been bad for my already-fragile psyche and causes me to speak harshly to my loved ones and jump at loud noises.

...how it is that, in an apartment roughly a third of the size of our home in the US, the children still lose their socks. Where could they be going?  And while I'm at it, I'd like to know why, after what seems like a thousand years of reminding them, they still fail to turn their socks right side out before putting them in the laundry. Those of you with teenage boys will understand why the prospect of handling the dirty socks in order to turn them right side out before laundering is about as attractive to me as dipping my hands into battery acid.

...why there was a rabbit sitting in the middle of the main pathway that runs through the greenspace grounds around our apartment building.  (And, no, I had not been drinking.)  Now, mind you, this was not your garden-variety greyish-brownish, scrappy wild, streetwise rabbit.  This was a coddled-looking white, angora rabbit with tasteful black appointments, clearly an indoor pet, and yet, it was sitting in the middle of the outdoors, without a responsible human in sight.  What I can't understand is, how in the world does a pet rabbit get outside of a high-rise apartment in the first place? Let's just say, for the sake of argument, you have a house rabbit that runs free in your apartment and it makes a dash for freedom when you open the apartment door.  I can see that happening.  What I don't see happening is:  a) an elevator door  that's open and ready to go down at the very same moment when the rabbit makes his break for freedom, and; b)  the other elevator passengers simply taking it in stride as an enormous angora rabbit bounds into the car and letting him ride down without taking some sort of action.  And on top of it, wouldn't you notice that your rabbit had made a break for it and give chase instead of letting it head down the elevator? Anyway, regardless of how he got down there, while we do have some nice greenspace around the apartment, this is a fairly limited area, surrounded by traffic, and quite unsuited to the support of any type of wildlife (except for pigeons).  In this case, the odds of survival seem extremely low, especially for an animal that seems to have been bred more for its silkiness than for its sharp wits and survival skills.  These observations were fully supported when he hopped slowly toward the shrubs and then turned and darted purposefully into the parking garage and disappeared into the gloom.

...who are the people hired by Korean (and Japanese, and  Chinese) toy and novelty manufacturers to come up with the English comments, phrases, and words that appear on virtually every item that one finds for sale in Korean toy shops?  I would be more than happy to provide basic, uninspired English text for a reasonable fee with virtually no danger whatsoever of having my employers produce toys covered in either;  a) nonsense or b) something totally inappropriate.  It might not be particularly catchy, but they could rest assured that it wouldn't be stupid, or worse.  By worse, I mean, of course, obscene, and I submit as evidence the following:


For my non-American readers, let me just state that 'poony' is a very rude word indeed, and certainly not one you would want emblazoned on your little girl's toys.  Of course, in all fairness, it's possible that the person doing the English translation was not familiar with this linguistic subtlety of American English slang, and it's my guess that Koreans wouldn't know either, so no harm done - in theory.

...how it is that apparently, everyone in the free world is planning on spending their winter holidays in Phuket, but none of them know me and therefore cannot provide me with reliable hotel recommendations? Of course, the point is now moot, since it is so close to Christmas (only 11 weeks) that, naturally, everything that seems desirable on TripAdvisor has been - naturally - booked, leaving me as alternatives either a) 'boutique' resorts (where 'boutique' means 'you can't afford this'; or b) 'budget' accomodation (where 'budget' means 'shared bathroom at the end of the hall.')

....why it is that Korean pedestrians feel the need to put their hands up at you (in sort of a 'stop' gesture) when they dart in a death-defying manner in front of your car? I do not see the point of this at all.  If you, as a pedestrian, are going to dart in front of a car (and this is standard procedure in Seoul, where people treat cars more like large, annoying moose than like the enormous rolling hulks of deadly metal that they really are), it makes no sense to me to bother to hold up your hand.  I mean, if the person in the car is going to hit you, presumably this will happen whether or not your hand is held up in the 'stop' position.  And if your hand is not held up, does that mean that the driver has free rein to plow right into you? I mean, it's not like the driver sees the pedestrian and says, 'Well, since she's not holding her hand up, I shall hit her."  For whatever reason, this system seems to persist in Seoul.   I see Koreans using this technique all the time, and they never get hit.  Who knows.  Maybe it's some type of  force field.

Perhaps I can learn to use it to help me find those socks.

20 comments:

Hails said...

Re: socks. I am, admittedly, not a teenage boy, but unfortunately I live more like one than like a responsible woman, and I believe my mother would agree that it has always been this way. I have received many such lectures about turning socks etc. right side out before putting them in the laundry, and I have never complied simply because I do not understand. I am now taking the opportunity to find out from someone in the know: Why?! WHY do I have to turn them right side out? How does this affect my life? They're going in the machine where they're going to be soaked through with water and detergent... what does it matter which way round they are? And so, you see, I don't bother with this task despite years of nagging... erm, reminders (!) from my mother. Now I live alone, and my socks remain inside out until the moment I pick them out of the drawer (or, um, off the drying rack!) to put them on. Am I doing it wrong? And if so, how? I repeat, why?!! Apparently I feel very strongly about this issue - I had no idea. :)

Oh, and the hands up crossing the road thing confuses me, too. I was at a traffic safety thing with my kindergarten children where I saw them being taught to do this. Look both ways, raise your hand, cross the road. I asked why and was told something vague about it making them more visible to drivers, but I don't really understand how this is so...

As for the rabbit... no idea. The mind boggles. Tonight, my friend and I were rendered speechless when a motorcycle went past covered - COVERED - in little multicoloured neon lights. This included the motorcyclist's helmet and clothes, right down to the flashing lights on his boots. There is no plausible explanation for this sort of thing. It's Korea.

Wilma said...

They know what Poony means in Asia. Do a Google search and you will come up with dozens of porn sites. LOL

If you find the solution to the socks, please let me know. I have held seminars on turning them right side out and linking them together so we have even pairs but, alas, I still have to go on sock hunts, turn them right side out and count to make sure there are even pairs.

BTW, it's starting to turn to fall here. It dropped into the low 60s last night and is currently only 66 at 9:30am. :)

Barbara said...

Wash the socks inside out-it won't make any difference as to how clean they get. Then you can either turn them right side out after they're already clean, or, better yet, let the boys turn them right side out (or not) when they put them back on their feet.

MsCaroline said...

I am fascinated by the passion the topic of socks has engendered, both here and on FaceBook. It's apparently an issue close to a lot of hearts!
Hails and Barb: I actually would not give a damn about the socks being right or wrong side out, except that, when they are inside out (keep in mind I have boys) they don't get fully clean OR dry. What happens is, the boy takes off the sock, usually in sort of a partial doughnut roll; the sock goes in the washer, where the fabric does get washed (Hailey, you are right). However, if there is debris on the bottom of the sock, it does NOT ever make it out of the doughnut hole, because it has been captured within the inside out sock. Furthermore, since the sock is rolled up, it does not fully dry unless I unroll it. This means, when everything else comes out of the dryer I have a bunch of socks that are still mostly wet and that have contained any solid debris (I can't tell you the number of times I've reached into a supposedly clean damp sock to turn it right side out and have found grass, pebbles, and dog hair still covering the bottom of the sock) like an efficient little tube. And even if they don't have any solid debris on/in them, they're still wet from being rolled up in balls. So then, I either: 1) take the wet balls and petulantly fling them (along with the dry clothes) on top of the pile of clean clothes I dump on their beds or 2) unroll the socks (while muttering darkly) and throw them back in the dryer to get dry. Neither option - to my mind - is fully satisfactory.

MsCaroline said...

Oops, Wilma - sorry about that, hope you didn't pick up any viruses! I would have included a definition, but I was afraid that I would end up attracting even more strange Googlers, since I am still getting hits from the penis fish. You would think if the word poony was so prevalent in Asia, the Koreans would have been given notice along the line somewhere. So far, it is running 50-50 with my mostly native-English-speaking-readers. Even my shopping companion - who is a lovely, sweet refined lady, unlike myself - was familiar with the term. Maybe it's a geographical thing, since we had both lived in the South....

MsCaroline said...

Hails: I don't know what it's like in your town, but in Seoul, people just amble around cars like they'r boulders in the road, and they pretty much walk into the street when it's convenient for them, especially if you're near shops and/or markets. I guess the hand is more of a signal than an actual stop. I'm surprised a) I haven't seen anyone get killed yet and b) people even bother to drive in those parts of the city. It's really common to see a car trying to make a turn out of an alley, sitting at a corner, while streams of people are walking in front of, behind, next to, around - everywhere, for minutes on end. It makes you feel a bit sorry for the car.

MsCaroline said...

Wilma: Yay, Fall! Nothing like Fall in AZ....jackets at night and that big, gorgeous, clear sky...sigh.

Wilma said...

No viruses. I didn't actually GO to the sites, just saw them listed. I may have my depraved moments but I haven't sunk to that. LOL Not quite ready for jackets but I did have to put on long pants when John and I were sitting outside around midnight last night. The shorts just weren't quite cutting it. LOL

MsCaroline said...

Wilma - well,knowing you as I do, I didn't think that you'd been trolling those sites, but sometimes you can click on a link that seems kind of benign on the search results and find yourself in pop-up/click box hell...I'd have hated to think I was the cause of that!
Oh, and it's jeans weather here, now, too, which is nice, although everyone seems to delight in telling me that we're in for a terribly cold winter this year. Whoopee. Good thing I'm so well insulated.

Wilma said...

Well, I wear jeans when we go out but I always wear shorts around home, even in winter. It's kind of a pain though because then I have to pull on my jeans to go outside to indulge in my nasty habit--yes, I'm dedicated, rain, snow, you name it I'm out there. LOL

Trish @ Mum's Gone To ... said...

It was the first paragraph that I was nodding at most - I've suddenly got wrinkles around my mouth and chin which weren't there last year, despite slathering on daily cream. Let's not talk about the other 9 things; too depressing. I will laugh at Poony dolls instead.

MsCaroline said...

Trish - bizarre how quickly it sneaks up on you, isn't it? I don't know if all these wrinkles and sags and bulges have been here all along and I've just been too preoccupied with moving to notice them, or if they really did just pop up 3 weeks ago. Probably the former. Damn.
At least we still have the poony doll to laugh at.

Nellig said...

Nice blog! I've been enjoying your archives.

The Poony doll: this kind of thing used to blow my mind too, re Japan. I reckon the products are named by people who have no experience of any foreign language, and have never experienced foreigners mangling their own (i.e. the product-namers') language, so don't even realise that language can be mangled, and product names can mean such unfortunate things in other languages. Or care two hoots about any of the above. They're just incredibly insular.

MsCaroline said...

Nellig: Thanks for stopping by! Glad you're enjoying the archives. The 'insular' comment seems to be spot-on. Definitely much less diversity than back home!

nappy valley girl said...

We always used to laugh at inappropriate/ridiculous t-shirt slogans years ago in Hong Kong. It was as if they had just hired monkeys to come up with combinations of words and randomly stuck them on tops.

Re the socks - yes. I have no idea where they go. There are very few places in our new house they could be, but so far we've already lost two single socks.

MsCaroline said...

NVG: Monkeys, eh? That seems much more plausible than just bad human translators....

Karen said...

Must chime in about the socks...like most of your readers it is a subject of great interest in my home. Like you, if they are not straightened out and turned right side out there are solid objects involved and wet socks after the dryer. I have adopted my mother's strategy which is to wash dry and return them in the state in which they are given to me. Pretty much what happens is they find damp, dirty (read filthy in my shoeless household) socks in their drawers, THEN they fix them and put them back in the laundry all the while complaining bitterly. So, the socks get cleaned after the second laundry, the teenagers get the angst and Mom gets the satisfaction that they at least noticed that the socks are dirty. As for matching pairs, I gave up a long time ago....singles go in the drawer and get matched up with other singles when said child is sockless and desperate. The other problem we have with socks is that the kids remove them and drop them where they stand, or sit as the case may be. I find "dead socks" all over the house and am constantly asking (demanding harshly) that they remove them to the proper receptacle. They refuse to believe that no one wishes to cuddle up with their dead footwear.
Getting older here, too....kinda getting used to it!!! Summer weather here in New England...85 today!

MsCaroline said...

Karen, I do pretty much the same thing, but what disturbs me is that the boys don't seem to have a problem with putting on filthy/wet socks, or even finding them in their drawers. And yes, they leave their socks everywhere, too. Every time someone comes to our apartment, I have to do a quick scan of the sofas/coffee table/end tables, because there always seem to be some abandoned socks on them.

Hazeleyes said...

Ms Caroline, why don't you just let them do their own laundry and let them suffer the consequences.

Son #1 can use the practice anyway for January.

Nikki

MsCaroline said...

Nikki: In fact, that's exactly what they are doing today - their own laundry. It remains to be seen just how the socks will come out. Ironically, son#1 is getting pretty handy with the Korean washing machine; I'll probably have to give him a crash tutorial on the machines in his dorm when I move him in in January.