I Don’t Know What I’m Doing

Boo Jiyoo
The only lookable picture of myself from Jeju

Being stuck in South Korea and having your flight cancelled was the worst thing that could happen to a socially anxious college kid who wished more than anything that she was at home reading century-old novels for the heck of it.

I am not sure how I survived. But I did, and this is a late revelation but isn’t it amazing how we think we can’t do something until after we did it, then realise we can actually do it? Not saying that surviving a cancelled flight is a big accomplishment or anything, but I managed to do that without even being unnecessarily grumpy.

That’s a miracle in and of itself, and anybody who was travelling with me was probably thrice grateful that they didn’t have to deal with a problem child like me.

On another note, I’ve been missing a lot of classes at my university and I made a deal with myself to graduate before I turn into a corpse. Not sure how that is going to work out, though.

Another thing I’ve been dreading over is a memory of one stupid incident in Korea, where I braved through my shyness and had a one-sided conversation with the bus driver. It’s ridiculous to say the least. I usually don’t like talking to people when there are other people around, and thought I’d picked the best circumstance for which I will be able to talk to a staff without having eavesdroppers making me self-conscious.

So there I was, getting into this van as the driver (Lee Hyun Soo) opened the door for me.

“Are you doing well?” I asked.

The driver stared at his phone, turned to stare at me, then stared back at his phone.

I stepped inside the van.

“Hello, are you doing well?” I said again.

The man looked up, considered something for an eternity, before saying, “Where are you going?”

This tripped me, obviously. I blinked. My hands were sweating by this point.

The driver looked behind his shoulder.

I followed his stare.

The van was not empty as I thought. It was, in fact, half full with the usual faces I’ve seen for the last couple days. On top of that, the college photographer was staring at me with this stupid smile on his face like he’d caught me doing something illegal.

My reaction was the worst.

I literally gaped, then ran to my usual seat before anybody could interrogate me. In hindsight, it didn’t look like a big deal, but to somebody who has social anxiety, this almost deserved a full on panic attack. I miscalculated. I don’t even know why I still feel embarrassed when nothing actually happened, but I am and it’s the worst feeling ever.

The funny thing is, the driver didn’t think I belonged with the van. He thought I was just some Korean girl who got on the wrong van. I heard his conversation with the photographer, and I deduced it was something along:

“Oh, she’s with us?”

“Yeah, she is.”

“Isn’t she Korean?”

“Yeah, no. I don’t think so.”

But whatever, I suppose. I shouldn’t worry too much about that. Besides, on that day, there was one incident that made me glad my flight was cancelled.

I gave a macchiato to a grumpy girl from a shoe store. She was really cute too, but she was sort of mean to the passersby. Actually, we were walking past her shop in the morning, and I felt for her, truly, since she was trying to move this gigantic crate in front of the store. She was so small. (I was smaller though.)

“This is so damn hard,” she said.

The foreign shoppers were getting in the way, because they were not sensitive to their surroundings as I was, and I stood anxiously to the side.

Oblivious, the non-Koreans walked by and one of them smiled widely at the girl. (I inwardly cringed because if I was the girl that would really rub on my nerves too.)

“Yeah. Enjoy your damn coffee,” said the girl, just as the others walked off.

So, I know I should feel bad for the tourists for being made fun of like that, but I can’t help feeling bad for the girl since she was outnumbered.

The thing was, the group was really mean to her behind her back. They were badmouthing the girl, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her.

So when the group went to look at shoes from the ‘friendlier’ stores, I went to buy a cup of coffee. I bought a macchiato and sneaked back to the ‘unfriendly’ shop. The girl in that green sweater now managed to drag the cardboard box into the store, so I walked in and handed her the coffee.

“P-please have a nice day,” I stammered. “I bought you a macchiato.”

“Ah, ah! Thank you!”

The girl looked stunned and thanked me. And I know I’m totally lame, but I felt really happy that I managed to make her smile. And she was a lot cuter when she smiled too.

We bowed.

But yeah, who knows what all this mean? I mean, I don’t even know what I was doing. I sometimes feel like I rely too much on my intuition and impulse. Well, I’m just glad it didn’t end badly this time.

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