Today is 김밥 (kimbab) day. All my first graders are divided into class teams. At the end of each month, the best team gets a treat. It’s a small price to pay for good behavior and energy in class.

So on the morning of 김밥 Day I am short on cash, and rush off to school a little earlier to draw money from Ever Rich. Due to some fortunate miscalculations on my part, I miss the little yellow bus by seconds. I could wait for the next bus… or I could take the taxi which is oddly and conveniently parked right by the bus stop.

I open the door and hop inside only to realise that I have entered another world, a kind of compact Ulleungdo. This taxi driver has been fused with Crocodile Dundee. I can still smell the leather from his hat as I am writing this.

Before I’ve settled properly in my seat, Croc has unfolded a special screen on the dashboard which starts screening nature scenes from Ulleungdo. Our Ulleungdo is framed on the screen in pans and cheesy zoom shots perfectly timed to Enya.

As Croc glides around a hair raising bend in the road which is climbing unsteadily uphill, he points out to me that this taxi ride is fitted with fully functioning 노래방 (karaoke) equipment. He then proceeds to divulge all the special features. Microphone next to the hand break, screen on the ceiling, and booklet in each seat pocket.

I try to make “I’m impressed” noises as I bounce up and down on the backseat while clinging to the seat in front of me so I don’t bump my head on the brand new singing room equipment. I notice that the microphone is still in its plastic wrapping.

The ride from the bus stop to the school is only about seven minutes. I wonder whether I will actually be able to pick a song before I get to school. Perhaps one day I will take his taxi (if I can find it again) to one of the places on his little dash screen and take him up on his offer. Who knows? He may even sing along.

In case you’re too young to know who Crocodile Dundee is…here’s a clip for ya… I’m just not sure if I always feel safe with MY Crocodile Dundee…


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