Oh, you’re so cute.

Mr. Jang –there’s a picture on Flickr of us sitting in front of the rock fountain– showed me his needlework project.  If you look at, or remember the picture, you will understand maybe why it was very amusing for this dude to be showing me his cross-stitched angels in progres.  He’s got their little halos and expressionless faces done.  I said such things were too small for me and he held up his much larger hand.  I only ever tried cross-stitch once –when my mom was into it– a training pillow with the x’s printed on but I got tired and gave up.  No, I lied, I made a picture of a two inch square boat with yarn.

But I learned something, and I think this is great –in cars you often see cute little cross-stitched pillows with numbers on the bottom.  It took me a long time to figure out that they were phone numbers.  So I asked, and apparently they’re put in car windows so that if you’re blocking someone, that person can call you and ask you to move.

“In America what do you do in that situation?”

“Call a tow truck.” Less friendly.  Less cute.



  1. That’s not a bad idea… except it would be misused here. Really, who wants to use their cell phone minutes up fending off angry drivers?

  2. It’s funny, the things that I end up being embarrassed to say about America. Like, sorry, cute pillows with kitty cats and phone numbers would *not* work. Why? Because we’d be assholes about it so instead we have to be assholes about it by having your car towed. There’s also the idea of grown men cross-stitching that wouldn’t really fly. Though it’s not clear from the sampling of my fellow teachers how prevalent that is.

  3. Being abroad, I found, made me realize how egocentric Americans are. For instance, instead of thinking “that asshole blocked me in,” we could think “gee, if I had parked better to allow for the maximum allowed cars in this area, the blue Taurus wouldn’t have blocked me in.” I think somehow we’ve lost the perspective that living in a society that benefits from harmony makes more sense than a society that “works” by everyone having a Me First! motto.

    p.s. I am moving this weekend. I hate packing, as always. Quite sad to leave Pittsburgh… you should come home and we can live somewhere cool in DC or New York 🙂

  4. In my apartment complex parking lot, if you park someone in, it’s no problem. Just just leave the car in neutral and the parked in person will push your car out of the way in the morning. PS. I found your blog! Yay!

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