Monday, March 1, 2010

An Open Letter...

Dear Delightful Canadians Who I Passed On The Street This Morning,

Congratulations! You won! Who knew it would go this way? What an exciting time for us all and what a way to finish up a very special Winter Olympics. 3-2 in a nail biting finish, Crosby pulled out all the stops and Canada ends up with 14 Gold medals. I know the emotional rollercoaster you're on; I felt the same way when Vanessa Redgrave received a fellowship from BAFTA last weekend. It's a big day and everyone is entitled to celebrate in their own way.

As I trotted down the road from my house in Itaewon towards Hannam-dong I spotted several of your compatriots smiling and filled with joy, it made me feel good to see them in such a celebratory mood. My heart warms when others are happy, it puts a spring in my step and a song in my soul. Seeing them made the day seem brighter despite the mixture of snow, rain and blasting wind that surround us. I felt at peace with the world, I felt a brotherhood with Canada, I felt pretty bloody good... and then I saw you.

Everyone likes a drink (except for those who don't) and I can often be spotted quaffing a beer or two when a big international sporting event comes on the box. It's good to mix alcohol with triumph, our fermented ecstasy takes us to a frothy nirvana where our worries disappear and we feel truly part of the team we support. Beer plus sports equals happy... in most cases.

9.30 in the morning on the main street of Itaewon is where I saw the five of you, in between the Rocky Mountain Tavern and the Fire Station. Most of you were very drunk, some of you wore Canadian hockey shirts and one of you was violent. No one got hurt (at least not when I passed by), but shop shutters were slammed into and noises were made. I think there may have been a few sweary words, but my delicate ears chose to block those out.

I expect that kind of behaviour at 2.00 in the morning on Hooker Hill, not at 9.30 in the morning on a busy street. Spirits may have been high, but your behaviour sank mine into despair.

I passed more of your fellow countrymen as I walked on and they were exemplary in their attitude and activities. I've met Canadians in the past, Roboseyo, for example, is a true gentleman and a genuinely nice bloke. In fact all the Canadians I've met until now have been lovely and friendly and a pleasure to know. You on the other hand, I wouldn't touch you with a barge pole.

Ask A Korean wrote a wonderful post recently about "How not to be an arrogant American". Substitute the word "Canadian" for "American" and it should guide you pretty well as to how to behave in polite society. In the words of 'Ask a Frenchman': "You represent your country, whether you like it or not." Your actions this morning encourage groups like this, help spawn articles like this and generally make you look like this.

Congratulations again on the gold medal and I hope I never see you again.

Lots of love,

Paul Ajosshi

No comments: