Monday, April 2, 2007

How to Make Gas Station Attendants Laugh

April 1st: "How to Make Gas Station Attendants Laugh"

- Drive a Hyundai Presto (This is a make of car that has been virtually obsolete in Korea for the last fifteen years. When we used to pull up to the pumps - or worse yet, to a mechanic for some further thing that had gone wrong with the rattletrap - they used to come out and crowd round us and say things like "My GRANDfather used to drive a Presto!" and "Hey, Kyong-bo, get a load of THIS old wreck!" and similar cracks) which is missing its front grille, back bumper, and one side light. This will ensure general hiliarity among the gas pump boys.

- Drive a white Leganza which you have only owned for one week and of which you don't know the location of any of the controls. Flick the right-turn signal on when you meant to activate the windshield wipers. Turn on the rear defrost when you wanted the air conditioner. And, best of all, when asked by the polite young man to 'open your gas tank' (yes, it's got its own little automatic spring switch inside the car!), pull the trunk release lever. Twice.

Trust me, they will fall about giggling. And keep giggling as they take your money, hand you your change, and toss the little courtesy tissue pack through the passenger side window.


On the whole, the Leganza is much more comfortable and equipped with far more amenities than the Presto ever was. Power windows (and an auto driver's side lock so that Katherine can't roll her window down and hang her de-footed socks out of it - or at least not more than once....) are a nice touch. Lots of leg room, believe it or not of such a small car, is another. There is a temperature control system which delivers air to you not in the fixed Western increments of 'Icy Navy', 'Cool Blue', 'Lukewarm Pink' and 'Roaster Red', but by means of digital arrows in .5 of a degree! If you simply must have your car's internal environment at twenty-two AND A HALF degrees, this will make you happy. ( Mom Alkema? Are you jealous yet?) The back seat has a funky little pull-down arm divider which pops open to reveal a nice space for Katherine to put her toys AND a cup rest. The trunk is spacious and came with a set of bagged chains (for those icy Korean winters - not! Koreans are paranoid about snow and put their macho hardware on at the slightest hint of a flake...)

I think my favorite touch, however, is the button marked, ominously, 'Security', with its little red light built in. It's right next to the four-way flasher button, the defrost button, and the 'mysterious symbol' button - and it doesn't DO anything. The light doesn't turn on and the button doesn't depress... which of course means that in dreadful traffic I can stab it repeatedly while chanting "Photon torpedoes away, Captain!" Very satisfying - every car should have one!

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Anonymous Thea said...

Now - which car are you driving now , the old one or the new one ;) LOL

April 2, 2007 at 6:43 a.m.  
Blogger SOL's view said...

Make it so, Number 1. lol I can imagine the giggles. So, do they drive on the right, the left, or anywhere the vehicle will fit?

April 2, 2007 at 4:41 p.m.  
Anonymous Judy said...

Thea: The Leganza! The Presto was all we could afford last time we were in Korea (and it was old then....) but it got us places. It really went downhill (pun unfortunately intended) after Bryan slid backwards into a snowy curb and removed the muffler.... people could hear us coming for five hundred metres...

Sol: Exactly! And you seem to have driven in Asia before: technically we drive on the right (as in North America) though I've seen busses and taxis insouciantly cruise over onto the other side in order to pass...

April 2, 2007 at 4:58 p.m.  
Anonymous mom A said...

Hi Judy: I'm going to try again to leave you some comments. I wasn't up to it earlier. I had more problems with my diabetes medication. I hope this is going all right, I seem to be losing the top lines as fast as I type in new ones.I'm going to try to finish it now before it all disappears. Loved the pictures, I look at them every day.
Love, mom.

April 3, 2007 at 8:30 a.m.  
Anonymous Susan said...

Hello Bry-and-Judy!
I love keeping up to date will all your (mis)adventures! I'm glad your sense of humour remains intact--I imagine it helps through a lot! How are Bryan's and Katherine's spirits these days? Wishing you well, and missing you lots!

April 3, 2007 at 5:02 p.m.  
Anonymous audrey said...

More pictures!

April 5, 2007 at 6:49 a.m.  

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