This Saturday I had a Today You, Tomorrow Me experience.
I was out on one of my weekly photo walks, but instead of taking the bus downtown like I usually do, I decided to stay more local and discover more about the area in which I live. I walked east from my apartment, through a small farming community, and down to the Yeongsan (영산) River. While there I discovered that I should have brought a long lens, because I saw some amazingly beautiful birds. I had gone out with the intention of shooting street and scenic, and therefore had not brought a long lens. So much for packing light...
So I wandered around for a while, grabbed some quick shots, and soon got fed up with the lighting situation. It was a hazy, gross day for shooting in a park. I started heading back to an area where I knew I could catch a bus when I saw this kid. He was struggling to figure out how to transport a brakeless fixed-gear bicycle and a brakeless BMX bike. When I first saw him across the street, I thought to myself, "Man, this guy looks like he's having troubles, I'm going to go take pictures of him." He ended up heading the same direction I was, but kept stopping over-and-over, trying to readjust. He would try putting one over his shoulder while riding the other, or try "ghost-riding" one, but it wasn't working out due to the height difference. (Ghost-riding is where you ride one bike while pushing/steering the other, usually by the stem.)
After a few hundred meters (Koreans use the metric system - when in Rome...) I finally turned back to him and asked "Do you need help?"
"Yes," he said.
I could already tell his English was relatively simple, but I asked, "Which way?"
He just pointed, and I mounted the BMX and rode off at a leisurely pace. For a while, he stayed behind, even though his bike was faster than mine. I'm not sure he trusted me. I would stop every once in a while to ask which way, and he kept telling me to go forward. It wasn't until we were within a few hundred meters of my apartment that he apparently felt like I wasn't trying to rob him, and rode ahead. We took a few turns and ended up at an apartment complex less than a kilometer from where I live.
As we rode in, there were many children around the complex, and they gawked at me, a white man (there aren't really that many in Gwangju, let alone Singa-dong), riding a bike with a Korean boy.
"Here," he said.
I gave him a high-five, thanked him for the good ride, and asked him for his photograph. He kindly obliged, and after that, I walked off. But before he was out of sight, I turned back to find that he had given the bike to one of the younger children that had stared at me with such curiosity as we rode in.
At this point I kind of felt like an asshole. When I first saw him, I wanted to take a picture so I could post it with some snarky caption like "This guy can't figure out what kind of hipster he wants to be" or something else like that. Instead, he gives the bike to a younger boy. The good news is, it ended up being a Today You, Tomorrow Me kind of experience, which made me feel kind of warm and gooey inside.
In case you don't get the reference (i.e. you don't reddit), here's the source for that phrase: Today You, Tomorrow Me
Feeling like a redeemed asshole, I walked off to the nearest bus stop to play the bus game. And I failed miserably. I lost on my second bus.
And, for the most part, that was my Saturday misadventure! Hope yours was good! Keep having more, and so will I!