Yesterday on the bus ride home, an older Korean gentleman got on the bus a stop ahead of mine. He only had a 5,000 won bill and the bus driver couldn't make change for the 1,000 ride. The man really wanted and needed to get on the bus, but the driver was unrelenting without the proper fare. In that moment, I walked up to the front and used my bus card to pay for the man's fare, much to his and the driver's surprise. The man tried to give me the 5,000 won, but I smiled and said, "괜찮아요 (it's okay)." The bus proceeded to my stop, where the man and I exchanged bows and farewells. I could feel the eyes of all the other passengers when I departed the bus, wondering about the waegookin who had helped one of their own.
And no lie, the next song that came on my IPod as I walked the rest of the way home? This wonderful cover of Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror," sung by British artist James Morrison.