Knee Deep in Kimchee
by Charles Lemos, Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 09:00:40 PM EDT
It is likely though not definitive that within the next two months I will be leaving the United States to teach overseas. If I told you where, you'd question my sanity and to be frank this one place I never thought I'd visit let alone live in. But there are jobs there and given my own current and disturbingly persistent underemployment the lure of income is appealing. But the deal isn't struck as yet so I won't divulge the details as yet.
Nonetheless, I am expecting a deal to materialize and thus I have begun to prepare to leave San Francisco, a city that I love, after 13 years. So tonight I went to the Wharf to indulge in an In-n-Out Burger, one the fringe benefits of life in California. Fisherman's Wharf is a part of the city few locals thread. There really isn't much there beyond tourist traps, mediocre restaurants and the aforementioned In-n-Out Burger. I needed to have a double-double animal-style before I left.
While the meal was a treat, I was also treated to listening in on the conversation of my neighboring table. Perhaps treat isn't the right word, more like suffer through the inanities of Southern conservatives on tour in San Francisco. I'm not good at pinning down accents but my guess that these three gentlemen, comfortably enjoying their golden years, hailed from Alabama or perhaps Georgia.
It is not that I intended or even wanted to hear their conversation but the proximity of the tables and their loud jocular manner provided no cushion and I had no escape. On the plus side, they were discussing politics both domestic and international. On the negative side, it's shocking at times to hear the profound ignorance that permeates certain sectors of American society.
They engaged in a far-ranging conversation covering Hugo Chavez (a Marxist socialist that needs to be disposed of) to Afghanistan (the knee deep in kimchee part and sure to be "Obambi's" undoing) to the health care reform (communism comes to America). The conversation was at times just comical. One made the case that the reason the Taliban would prove impossible to defeat was that each jidahist was promised 14 virgins. Another stepped to correct him. "No, they get 42 virgins." Well, at least, he was closing in on the right number. It's 72.
At other times, their conversation was just plain disturbing. One gentlemen noted at his Church, a missionary had just come back from Iraq and had told his congregation that Iraq was "beyond redemption." Those Muslims, you see, preached hate and couldn't never understand the principles of "Christian love." The solution was to let themselves kill each other as long as we could still grab the oil.
Still for me, the most disturbing part was