Christmas is a great holiday. Typically filled with cheer and lots of eating, drinking, parties, family and of course the occasional Weird Christmas Gift. And living in a foreign country is no exception.
Living and working in Korea has been a great experience. I find the people to be friendly, caring and exceptionally giving. And even though Christmas is not widely celebrated, it’s still acknowledged and even comes with the occasional Weird Christmas gift.
For example – My wife works for an international airline in Korea and we often travel back to the states for Christmas. One year, after we got back from our trip, our apartment lobby attendant told us we got a package for Christmas while we were gone.
So we wandered over to the special room where the larger mailboxes are kept. Entering the room we noticed a strong peculiar odor. Huh, I thought, someone must have had some major gastro intestinal problems just before we arrived.
But upon opening our mailbox, my thoughts went somewhere else. Like how could this little mail compartment hold back such an overpowering stench. My next thought was trying to avoid knocking over my wife as I staggered back from the wildly obnoxious odor. Of course her reactions were quicker, as she ran out of the room trying to get away.
I, on the other hand, just had to see what it was. Stepping back and taking a big breath, I stumbled toward the styrofoam box and broke open the lid.
And, there they were.
Two whole uncooked chickens just lying there waiting for our return. Although by now they were just an oozing mass of rotting decaying flesh that even the maggots had abandoned.
By now, the lobby guys had noticed the decaying smell and ran in behind me. As soon as they saw it, they apologized graciously and acted like it was their fault. Then they promised to take care of it. Of which they did with great haste.
Finding my way back upstairs, my wife informed me that one of the airline vendors thought it would be a great idea to send two whole uncooked chickens for Christmas gifts that year. Which I thought was a very practical idea. If SOMEONE were to INFORM the recipients BEFOREHAND.
On the other hand, leaving raw chickens in a cheap styrofoam container in someones mail box while they are on vacation… Not so much.
Although we did go to a good Korean chicken and beer place afterward in honor of the sacrifice the two chickens.
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