Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What the ... whackjob?!?!?

I was sitting out with friends and family at my brother's Sunday night (we had a long weekend). We started talking about strange people we have met over the years. One of the strangest I have ever met lived in YongAm-Dong.

His name was Ross, supposedly that is his real name. He was so strange it is hard to know if he gave you his real name. Ross seems too pedestrian for someone as messed up as him. He was my neighbour. His apartment was in the building across from mine. By across from mine it was only about 10-12 feet away. Our windows were facing and I was 1 floor up from him. Now you are probably wondering why the kimchi I am telling you that. Well, it will help you understand part of the story better.

Imagine that it is a hot summer night, your window is shut, air con is running, and you are watching TV. The sound seems strange. In synch but something is wrong. Later you switch channels the sounds are stranger. It is hard to place it but something is wrong. Then it is time to sleep. You shut off your television to go to sleep and ... you STILL hear your television!. Or is it your television.

You shut off the air conditioner and the sound of the TV is louder. Even with your window shut. opening your window your ears are assailed with the sounds of gunfire from a TV show. Some asshole across the way (Ross) has his windows wide open and his TV cranked up as loud as it can go. You end up going over and pounding on the door (expecting a Korean) to get them to turn it the fuck down. No answer. Is it so loud that they can't hear?

That situation lasted for 3 days. The next day I talked with my boss and then my landlord. My landlord said she would call his landlord. Someone, turns out it was his landlord, ended up climbing up the wall and shutting the windows from the outside. That didn't help much. Unfortunately, nothing really changed.

I went out to dinner with co-workers the night of Day 3. Spock was giving me a bit of a ribbing because I was complaining a lot about the TV noise. He figured I was exaggerating about it. My apartment was on the way to his house. When we got within 5 blocks of my apartment I could hear the assholes TV. At 3 blocks even Spock was complaining about it. (Desperado was playing. Lots of gunfire and explosions.)

When I got home from work the landlord was just getting in. I told her to call the other landlord or the police or I was going to smash the door in and shut the TV off. She called his landlord again. This time he used his key and went into the apartment and shut off the music. The asshole who lived there was no where to be found.

That was my first introduction, of sorts, to Ross. A mook of the highest magnitude.

Spock actually ran into him a few times. He saw Ross rooting through peoples garbage. A couple of times he helped Ross carry stuff back to his apartment. Like a fridge. He had a fridge but brought home another one that didn't work.

One night he showed up at a co-workers apartment. He was drunk or stoned, or both, and thought it was his apartment. Her boyfriend was over and for some reason he took exception when Ross kept insisting it was his apartment, even though his key didn't work, and tried to force his way in. Ross ended up on his ass in the stairwell. All of this happened before Ross and I met face to face.

The first time I actually met Ross in person he almost ended up on his ass again. It was a few weeks after the TV incident. Spock had helped with the fridge and mentioned I wasn't happy with Ross. So Ross felt he had to confront me.

I was on my way to the post office carrying a box to mail. I noticed some pale stringy haired freak heading down the road. He seemed to be staring at me. Luckily, the post office was down another road.

A few minutes later the hair on the back of my neck was on end. A hand grabbed my shoulder and started to yank. I turned around ready jerking my right hand back to throw a punch. Ross was sober or straight enough to back away quickly.

"Hey man. I hear you have a problem with me." he whined.

I was thinking, stupid fuck grabs me from behind of course I have a problem with him. Who the hell is this idiot? So I played Captain obvious and said "You have a problem with me right now. Who the fuck are you?"

"I'm your neighbour, Ross. I hear you have a problem with my TV."

"Your the asshole." I replied. Then I went off about his TV.

"Whoa man. All you had to do was knock on my door and asked me to turn it down."

I shook my head incredulously and replied "I did. No one answered."

"Wow. Really. I must have gone out to the store."

"Wow. really? You must have been gone to the store for 3 bloody days asshole. Your landlord had to go in AFTER 3 days and turn off your TV!"

"Really? Well, next time ask and I will turn it down."

At that point I didn't want to waste anymore time on this waste of space. I called him a few more obscenities and left. This guy was so out there he made Jeff Spicolli look like a tea totatler. I wasn't going to waste any more time on him.

Ross wasn't good at getting the message you didn't want him around. No matter how blunt you were. One time a coworker and I were sitting at a corner store talking. Ross walked up and asked if he could sit down. I said no, we are busy talking. He replied "Oh I will walk around and come back then." He never left. He stood there for a few minutes. Then he sat down. We left.

Another time Spock and I were in the park talking with a Korean friend. Ross invited himself and then proceeded to interject himself into our conversation. He actually tried to tell a Korean that he knew nothing about Korean culture. Then tried to explain REAL Korean culture. The Korean and I left before the urge to kick the shit out of him became too strong. Spock followed fairly quickly.

The last I heard of Ross was about 3-4 years ago. He told so many lies, some so outrageous it is hard to believe someone would try and pass them off as the truth, that it is hard to know what he was doing then. If you really wanted to know. I didn't.

I always tell people that I have met a lot of people after 9 years in Korea. Most aren't that memorable. Ross is memorable but for the wrong reasons.


  1. Welcome back Flint! Glad to read your post.
    Glad that I haven't met a "Ross" yet....

  2. Thanks. :)

    Unfortunately they are out there ... waiting ... biding their time ... then they pop out like a boil on your ass. :)