Playing Charades

My co-teacher asked me to buy some flyswatters this afternoon.  I scampered across the street to Yeongwol’s version of the dollar store.

After a thorough casing of the store, I didn’t see any flyswatters.  I saw dog leashes, giant kimchi containers, hangers and sewing kits, but no flyswatters.  Just to be sure, I thought I’d ask.

Then I realized that I didn’t know how to ask for a flyswatter.  I turned to the next available option, which was mime.

“Bug,” I said, making a small circle with my thumb and forefinger.  “Fly.”

The shopkeeper stared intently at me.  He had been drafted into a game of charades.

I traced the outline of a flyswatter in the air with my fingers, then grabbed the imaginary flyswatter with my left hand as I continued to imitate a fly with my right.

“Swat,” I explained, bringing the flyswatter down, hard, on the fly.  “Whack!”

“Hairbrush?”  the man asked.

Time to try another tactic.

I conjured the fly again, this time with sound effects.  “Bzzzzz,” I said.  “Bzzzz.”  I threw in a wing flap for good measure.

“Whack!”  A world of pain was delivered onto the fly.

“Bzzz, whack!  Bzzzz, whack!”

Another employee had been watching with interest.  “Aaah!” she said, followed by a Korean word that I couldn’t understand.  We both looked at the man.


“No.”  My shoulders slumped.  Then I had another idea.  “Can I draw it?  Kerisayo?”  I mimed drawing.

He thrust a pen and small notepad into my hand.  I could see that he was just as eager as I was to reach common ground.

I drew a small flyswatter with an arrow pointing towards a fly.  This was my last hope.

“Aahh!” he said, his eyes lighting up in recognition.  “Butterfly!”

“Yes!”  I cried.

Our cultures merged as we simultaneously swatted imaginary flies with our imaginary flyswatters.

The man put down his flyswatter and chuckled.

“Opsoyo,” he said.

We don’t have any.

I bet these guys know about swatting flies.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *