Monday, December 28, 2009

Tally Snow!

Snow: It snowed in Seoul pretty much all day yesterday, accumulating an inch or two, and today's high temp was about -5 C, so the snow went absolutely nowhere, except into slushy piles along the curbs of intersections, and into my shoes.

Still, the stuff looks pure and lovely, so it provides a fine photo op. Here are two shots, one looking onto Maehwa Park next to my building, the second looking up Jeungmisan, the hill behind my building, both taken yesterday:



The hill had frozen over pretty good by this morning, so I was unwilling to negotiate it at the risk of my bodily integrity. I went the long way round, and met up with my morning co-walking co-worker Mr Hwang at the crosswalk.

In spite of the inclemency, the HiMart next door still insisted the poor young lass barking their perpetual Grand Reopen Sale stand outside under the inflatables and yammer non-stop into the PA system. If you look closely at the photo, you can see she has a HiMart (I assume) space heater warming her lower extremities:


Tally: After school today, we had a meeting of Tuttle's co-teachers at the garlic-fed duck restaurant, and I still didn't get pictures (FAIL). It was scrumptious! Afterwards, Hwang and I ended up at Indis, a "Western bar" without ice table for a few beers, where I finally asked about the Korean bartab tally system. Here is a photo:


You see there, next to the 500 (meaning 500 ml beers), a strange accumulation of sticks. That is a jeong 정, which literally means justice or truth or actuality or something like that. It comes from a Chinese character.

Each time you order an additional item, the server adds a stroke to this figure, until it is filled up. Then it starts anew. If you recognise that we've had six beers at this point, you can adduce that the first stroke is a horizontal one. Here's how it works:

4 comments:

Victoria said...

I'm always confused by the order, thank you!

Adam said...

It really is amazing how many things Korea and Japan share. Japan also counts up to five like this, the equivalent of making the five hatch marks for us (four vertical and the fifth diagonal).

Tuttle said...

Victoria: You're welcome!
Adam: Interesting; I don't remember, but I guess they do it like this in China too. The link I found here: http://www.prcp.org/publications/sig.pdf was talking about some other meaning of jeong.

Tokyou said...

Tuttle: about the article and your last comment "some other meaning of jeong", the two "jeong" are actually two different characters that happen to have the same pronunciation in Korean. The one mentioned in the article is written as 情in Chinese character (hanja). :)