Los Angeles International Airport is one of the lousiest airports that has ever graced the face of this planet – or any planet I imagine. Terminal 3, in particular, contains the bare minimum when it comes to dining options and bathrooms so dirty that I seriously considered going outside and digging a hole to do my business in. I had a six hour layover on the way to Florida last week, and a 12 hour layover on the way back. Luckily, my friend Breean works for Virgin America there at LAX, and she happily whisked me off to get some Mexican food and take a walk down the ever-so-sketchy Venice Boardwalk for a few of those 12 hours. But I still had several hours to go when she dropped me back off. So, I cozied up to a power outlet, plugged in my new iPad, paid my $8 for wifi, and Facebooked and e-mailed and such for a while.
The only power outlets you can find to charge your phone, laptop, or other electronic device are scattered around the terminal at little stations. Each station has maybe 4 plugs at it, a little table, and some barstool type chairs for people to sit. The power outlet stations are sponsored by Samsung – because you can get companies to sponsor anything these days.
As I was sitting there playing with my iPad, mentally preparing myself for the bathroom break I was about to need, I noticed an older Asian man walk by staring at me and the other gentlemen was who charging his laptop at the plug adjacent to mine. Then, a few moments later, the old Asian dude walked by again.
He was like a hawk or a pedophile circling his prey. I was starting to get a bit creeped out, worried if he was going to try to steal my iPad and run off with it. Well, an attempted theft didn’t occur, but something equally as annoying, though far less traumatizing, occurred as the man walked by for a fourth time. He walked up to me, and with his heavy Asian accent, said to me: “Do you know where Samsung is from?” pointing to the big sign that said “Samsung” that was above my little table. “I don’t know. Probably Japan” I responded, very clearly in a tone that should have put across the fact that I didn’t care where Samsung was headquartered.
Asian man: “No, no! It’s not from Japan! It’s from South Korea!”
Asian man: “It’s not Japanese, it’s Korean!”
Asian man: “I come from South Korea, and my country makes Samsung!”
Asian man: “Everybody thinks it’s Japan, but it’s really South Korea! Now you know it’s not Japan.”
All the while I was packing my stuff up and getting ready to dart for the bathroom – any excuse to get away from this creepy stranger. First of all, who does that? Who walks up to a complete stranger at an airport and tells them that Samsung hails from South Korea. That’s like me walking into a McDonalds or Starbucks in Seoul and going from table to table saying “Do you know that McDonald’s is American? Well, it is! It is American! I am American and McDonald’s comes from my country!” Wouldn’t that be fucking annoying? Actually, that wouldn’t happen, because I’d probably be pretending to be Canadian. But really, even we Americans aren’t so full of ourselves that we would do that. I mean, don’t get me wrong, America brags a great deal, but this was just over-the-top ridiculous. I am all about being proud of your heritage, but come on, if you love it enough to go annoy random people at LAX, then I think it's time to go back to Korea, ok? This only tells me that Koreans are just incredibly jealous of Japan's success, or that they have some major penis envy going on.
What’s even sadder is that this creepy old Korean gentleman thought I’d be impressed that Samsung was from South Korea. Well, sorry to break it to you old man, but I’m completely unimpressed. First of all, the Japanese brands are superior. Given the choice between a Samsung and a Sony, Panasonic, or Toshiba, I think most people would go with the Sony… or the Panasonic… or the Toshiba. I mean, would you buy a Kia or a Hyundai over a Honda or a Nissan? No you wouldn’t. Not unless you were poor.
And, I’d like to point out, that a few months ago a headline out of South Korea graced the front pages of the newspapers. A South Korean couple, so addicted to computer games and the internet, spent so much time in an internet café playing a game where you raise a virtual baby, that their actual real life baby starved to death upstairs in their apartment. I’m not even shitting you. And these are the people who make Samsung.
After this episode, I've decided that I'm boycotting Samsung and Kia and Hyundai and kimchi. I'll stick with my Sony and my Nissan and my chow mein noodles instead. Japanese? Bring it on. Taiwanese? Hells yeah. Korean? No. I don’t want any of it.
Except maybe for Red Mango. But only because their yogurt is super delicious.