«This taxi looks good is in it for you?»

Waiting in line for a cab at the central station of Seoul, I initiated small talk with the Korean girl behind me. She was older than me, hard to guess how old really. Her characteristic Korean mini skirt fashion revealed two perfectly shaped legs. I asked her about the different coloured taxis which moved in the two lanes. She spluttered “black special, yellow, normal.” I told her that I wanted to go to Mapu-gu. She showed me an automatically translated phrase on her cell phone.«This taxi looks good is in it for you?» I read and reread the phrase a couple of times it still didn’t make sense to me. The girl pointed at me, at herself and then at the taxi.
“Ah, you want to share the taxi?” I smiled. “Good idea!”
We fell into the soft seats of the yellow taxi and spent the rest of the ride in silence. We passed glass-steel skyscrapers and concrete blocks in different colours and moved from a three-way to the Freeway. Looking out of the window, I thought about the hierarchy in Korean conversation and the subtlety with which people talk to each other. I was about to ask the girl about it when the cab stopped. The girl let me out. I wanted to pay half of the fare but she rejected. I tried to press the bill into her hand, she pulled away and shook her head. I gave up and bowed deeply to show her my gratitude. Even though the phrase had nothing to do with it its automatic translation seemed to make sense now: This taxi was in it for me.

#street talk
#language is a universe
#The best things in life are for free or cost one cent