He was driving me with his windows down, arm out the window, when a white Audi pulled up to him and asked him for directions. The driver answered brusquely and let the guy drive ahead. Then he closed his windows and turned to me and said:
“That guy knew where he was going.”
“Then why did he ask you?”
“Maybe he just wanted to talk to me.”
“Because you had your window open?”
I didn’t know whose hypothesis was crazier, his or mine, but he didn’t say anything. Equal parts confused and unsatisfied, I looked down and went back to Kakao-ing my friend.
“Whatcha doing on your smartphone there?”
“Oh, just talking to my friend.”
“You know, I write things online. A lot of people read my writings.”
“What do you write about?”
And then something something something I didn’t understand. It sounded like Korean politics. He asked me to search for something on Naver. Slow as I am at typing in Korean and navigating this search engine, I struggled to find the group blog he was referring to, or trying to refer to—he clearly didn’t know his way around the internet.
As he was driving, he took out his smart phone and performed the search himself. And here I was, thinking he’d get frustrated with my fumbling and give up. He showed me his screen and after a few quick searches, I found the right blog. He had me scroll through the first five pages of postings to find his. I didn’t understand a word. I didn’t even have an inkling as to what the headlines were about. And when I clicked on them, the posts were only a sentence long. No comments on any of them.
He didn’t get that I still didn’t get what he wrote about. And so he continued to talk about these beliefs he had about what’s going on in the Korean government, what “everybody should know.” What I should know, apparently.
“You know, that guy was probably a spy.”
“And this guy—“—a black motorcycle with a man also in black passed us on our right—“he’s a spy, sure. D’you know that they come down from North Korea and stay here to spy on us? They’re everywhere.”
“That’s why I don’t drive at night. I only work during the day.”
As we approached my destination, he gave me his last, desperate warning.
“Your parents shouldn’t come back to Korea. And you should go back! Can’t you see it’s no good here?”
And that’s when he showed me his crazy eyes.