Umbrella erect, I waded through the rain towards Sinchon subway station. Walking towards me on the other side of the street I noticed a stocky, gloomy-looking black guy. He had no umbrella and had an expression like he had just been sold a tumbler of apple juice at a bar in place of scotch.
"Hey man," he called out in an American accent,"do you know where I can get a cab around here?" He crossed the street towards me.
"Yeah, there should be plenty around the corner. But the subway is just left here. Where are you going?"
"City Hall," he replied, walking along side. "I met this girl last night and brought her back to a hotel and fucked her. When I woke up she was gone. What's the matter with these goddamn Korean girls?"
I laughed. Korean girls went to even greater lengths than normal to convince the world of their virginal innocence. In what is still quite a conservative country, girls who are anything other than pure and innocent are looked down upon even more than in the West.
"Angels", therefore, don't hang around for breakfast. I'd experienced it myself first hand.
"So are you are an English teacher?" I asked him.
We came to the station and he stopped at the steps.
"I'm going to have a cigarette. If I see you, I see you," he said, shaking my hand.
And with that I left him at the entrance to contemplate how it felt to be on the receiving end of a one night stand cliché that was supposed to be the preserve of men. Weren't men the ones who snuck out the next morning without so much as a goodbye?
In Korea, no, apparently not.