I'M IN TROUBLE

My landlord reminds me of the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland. He’s got an ear-to-ear grin, and he’s quite short and stout. To add to this image, he once meowed like a cat when I told him (via a co-teacher) I wanted to adopt a kitten. He was trying to tell me the cat shouldn’t make noise. At least that’s what I interpreted from his meows.

I feel like my landlord and his wife must think I’m ridiculous for always smiling and saying the same thing over and over. We can only communicate through acting, guessing, written notes, or calls through my co-teachers.

They own a small convenience store on the first floor of my apartment building. I used to go there, but they don’t have string cheese or double-shot lattes. My demands are simple. I can’t help their shop doesn’t meet my needs.

I’ve had this fear they secretly hate me because I never go to their shop. I’ve even developed strategies for sneaking around so they don’t see me going to other stores in the area. These survival techniques have worked for over a year.

Until today.

I live right next to where I work. And my landlord not only owns my apartment building with the convenience store, but he’s also a security guard, and volunteers for safety patrol at my school. This morning he was helping children cross the street near the other shop. I was running late, and in desperate need of coffee (the usual). That's when he busted me. Now I’m in trouble!

He talked to one of my co-teachers about it, and said he saw me buying ramen noodles at another store. He told my co-teacher he wants me to buy noodles at his store instead. Where they're cheaper. But, I don’t buy ramen, and I didn’t buy noodles this morning. I bought 2+1 (buy two, get one free) double-shot lattes, and that’s something his mart doesn’t offer.

You can’t beat 2+1 deals at FamilyMart (now CU). And at least I bowed on the way in and out, right? Or, was that just a slap in the face to him? Someone needs to start a new Korean drama series about my life in this country, please.

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