Why You Should NEVER Ski.

Have you ever been skiing? Because you see, I hadn’t until this Saturday – so the whole thing was a completely foreign experience for me! For those of you who haven’t, and/or are visitors from out of space, let me give you the low down…

…basically you get to wear bizarrely fitted clothes which always make you feel like you’re either incontinent, or as if your pants are forever at your knees – this is all thanks to the strange swish, swish, swish the material provides. But forget about that, it’s not important – so yeah, then you put these big moon boots on, which you are sort of expected to walk around in, as if it isn’t a big deal…but you look like a demented zebra who is trying to walk on their slightly bent hind legs. Seriously everyone just staggers around, trying to pretend like they are walking properly…as if they always walk with their legs positioned in a strong C curve…

Weird Walking GIF

…then you attach these sticks to your foot, and you have these walking stick things. Except they don’t really help you walk so much, as just get tangled in your new-fangled extended feet contraptions, and doom you to fail from the first off. Your natural reaction is to laugh at all of the morons who are falling over…it’s your own personal screening of You’ve Been Framed…like a 3-D performance just for you! But then you fall, and it is no longer funny. You want to change the channel, but no…you are living it, this is real life. And now there is slushy grey snow down your butt-crack. And no, it is not at all pleasant.

Anywaaaaaaay, I didn’t do too badly – at first. I was on the baby slope as they called it, or was it the bunny slope? Either way it made me feel rather emasculated – why can’t it be called ‘the mini GOD track’ or ‘the tiny TITAN’…why do we have to feel like shit just because we’re not fucking winter olympians?! But I digress…I was doing pretty well, or so people lied to me anyway. I hadn’t fallen down (apart from when I tried to help another person up, and ended up being pulled down with her! Doesn’t count…doesn’t count…) I was actually getting a lot of confidence, and had started to shoot all the way, throwing in some imitation skill moves I had either played on a Playstation, or watched on a bad movie from the 90s. As I said to many…I felt like Pierce Brosnan….but probably looked more like Piers Morgan…

Piers GIF

So I was killin’ dem slopes, yo. I hadn’t caught any air, or curved the…alright I don’t know any skiing/snowboarding slang so I’ll just stop for both our sakes! I was doing well, so after a lot of pushing I decided to take my amazing skills to the big hill. WHAT A FUCKING DISASTER OF A DECISION. I mean I had an incline as soon as I saw the damn thing…it was basically as steep as a wall. Like an actual wall. There wasn’t much of a slope at all. But I still found myself sitting alongside some small children on the rickety steel lift thing…what the hell was I doing…and was I responsible for these children now, should they tumble to their death?! 

I needn’t have worried. They whizzed off with no problem. On the other hand I peered down the track uneasily, with all the confidence and cheer of a man on death row. It was basically the same thing. But only one way down…which was, like down, down. A new version of down I had no idea was even a thing. Sheer drop, break your neck, rest of your life as a vegetable level of down. That’s when gravity took hold…and against my will I was just sliding down this thing…I tried to retain composure….the speed increased, and increased, and increased…I thought about slowing down, but this hadn’t been much of a problem before…what had people told me about fries? Or pizza? Or…was it watermelon? No…maybe I’m just hungry! Trust me to be thinking of food at a time like – 

SLAMMMM! My pizza was too damn cheesy for the slope I guess, and I went tumbling, and falling with the grace of a rhino on stilts – I felt my leg click, I suppose I must have dislocated it or something….no matter, still tumbling, still falling – it should stop soon. Cartwheel here, back flip there, gravity will get sick of me soon, and move on to someone else to bully…hmmm…I think…

Ski GIF

But in that moment, looking up at the sky, I was relieved to have jarred to a halt. I was positioned awkwardly, splayed out like a swastika – basically the most offensive snow angel you’ve ever witnessed in your whole entire life.  I eventually dragged myself up, I was barely a quarter of the way down the hill…and could see me leg somewhere in the snow right up near the top…well okay, not my leg – but my stick slidy ski thing that had jolted off from my right leg – I’d have to reapply it, and continue on this cursed path…

But no, there was to be more shame, and embarrassment to come. You see the patrol ski guy…who thinks he’s so great because he has a red, and yellow jacket, with a little cross on it…and he can probably do backflips intentionally, rather than you know…by accident like me. But still, doesn’t make him any better than me! Apart from maybe, just maybe…at skiing…

He picked up my dismembered leg. And yanked off my other one. “YOU. WALK.” That was all. I was left alone of this icy tundra…just with my little grandpa poles to help me down, as everyone else whizzed past me…I felt like a pensioner version of spiderman…trying to walk down this basically vertical slope…digging my heels in, and bending my knees, so that I didn’t tumble, and turn into a giant destructive snowball – if cartoons have taught me anything, that is never fun, and ruins everyone’s day involved.

At the bottom, I got back my skis, and returned to the other hill. I was the big fish again…then again that’s not saying much when the other users were largely seven, and under.

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DISRESPECT YOUR ELDERS.

Were you brought up, and instructed to “respect your elders”? Well yeah, so was I…and although this phrase sounds a little Star Wars-ish, once you get past that, it is for the most part a sound bit of advice. After all with age, comes experience, and with experience comes wisdom (most of the time)…why would I want to make my own mistakes, when someone who has been there done that, can advise me against them? It’s common sense, right?!

What are not so common, are these super-rare dance moves:

Old People Rock GIF

YOU’RE WELCOME!

Anyway, now the reason I am rambling on this topic, is that I have found in South Korea they have the same ethos…except it is, for want of a better phrase…out of fucking control! In this land you must respect your elders, but continue to do so even when they continually show YOU, or anyone else aggressive disrespect. You, and the rest of the onlookers must just remain silent, or possibly nod – and/or apologise if the aggressor demands you to do so. Odd, right? 

I’ll give you a couple of examples…alright firstly, whenever I am walking around with a Korean friend (who has the misfortune of being female)  it is not a rare occurrence for evil death glares to  be shot our way by senior citizens. Uncomfortable, sure…but I smile back politely, and try to remember my Jedi training. My issue is with them coming over, and screaming at my friend for even sitting next to me…calling her a slut, and other things that I can’t translate, but which are probably worse. I mean respect your elders – sure…but how do I respect that kind of behaviour? 

No one intervenes…and tells them they are out of line…they just look down, and think “they’re old, so it’s okay.” Well patently – it is NOT okay. 

Oh, and here’s another one! Just this past weekend – I walked past a few old guys, who jabbered something angrily in my direction…again, as usual, I just smiled at them, nodded politely, and carried on. Before long I heard the jabbering again, this time it was a lot more agitated – I didn’t turn around straight away, just moved along nicely…but then when I did eventually look, I saw that one of them was running after me with a crazed vigor – he may as well have been foaming at the mouth. I wasn’t particularly scared – what was he going to do, chew my leg with his three remaining teeth? But my friend urged me into the crowd of the market, and said it isn’t the done thing to deal directly in that way. So I entered the bustle, and foul smells of the little stores….still, I heard him getting closer. I felt someone grab my shoulder, and spun around – he started pushing, and shoving – swearing at me in Korean…

Again, no one intervened…to tell him he was out of line…they just looked down, and probably thought “he’s old, so it’s okay.”

Funnily enough from what I could gather, and what was told to be later – he was complaining that I had shown him a lack of respect, as he had said “hello”, and I had ignored him completely, (bullshit). He began pushing again – my face was so red with rage, I thought I was going to explode. Thankfully my friend apologised despite no wrongdoing, and pushed me into a back street…he followed for a while, still ranting, and raving…but after a while my aggressor gave up, and returned to his pensioner friends. Probably to tell them how people have no respect for their elders these days, oh the bitter irony. 

Crazy Cat Lady GIF

This is so commonplace  – it’s a cultural flaw, really. It’s so bad, that it is now a huge stereotype – and consequently rude Korean grannies become the butt of jokes (when they’re not around of course!) I know you can’t lump everyone in the same category, and that is never my intention – it’s just something I couldn’t help but recognise; that got me thinking about respect, and whether it should be expected...or earned.

So what do you think? Have I got it all wrong? 

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