[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Just relax and exhaleOften foreigners send letters to the papers here asking for clarification or to lodge a complaint over conflicting cultural differences. Here’s an incident I found light-hearted.
After a certain police officer’s experience with me, I wonder what he thinks about foreigners driving in Korea. A few weeks ago I was driving through Masan late in the evening. I rounded a corner to see a string of bright blue and red flashing lights. A police officer walked up to the car, so I rolled down my window. He had a small black box in his hand. I had never seen one before so in a snap decision I concluded it must be a recording device of some kind. This thought was confirmed when the officer thrust his hand through the window, looked at me and said “Who?”
In my best voice and clearest pronunciation I said “David.” He looked at me. He looked at the box. He put the box to his mouth and powerfully said “Who” into the box. I guessed my volume was not loud enough, so when he put the recorder back into my face, I spoke forcefully, “David, Canada.” He merely shook his head, pointed down the road and simply said, “Go.”
Only later did I realize the box was an alcohol breath tester. I felt like a fool and I am sure the police officer thinks the same.
by David Woelke