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Invisible In Winchester. Lost in Translator #MyMurrayMoment

Von | 13.12.2012, 1:12 | 3 Kommentare

There is something in the right kind of embrace the wrong kind of sex cannot deliver. In praise of those Murray Moments.

The phone rang at seven, as usual. „Time for Taxi, don´t miss the flight“, she said, her voice was rough, just lovely.

„I´m in it“, I said.

„Oh, you´re already in it.“ –

„Yes. I miss the Kimbap, though.“ –

„I´m gonna miss you“, she said.


The Kimbap was there every morning, sometimes as early as five, we had to get up with Low Tide, which was alright, she was there. Always on time. So was the Kimbap, those lovely sour bits in rice, wrapped in Nori. Plus, a hot Cappuccino.

Heaven knows where she got the coffee from, long before sunrise, but she did. „It is my duty“, she said, „there´s a long day of work ahead, you must be strong.“

How cool is that?

Then she started the car and headed east and I ate the Kimbap. It was bliss.


Recently, I was assigned to Korea, the island of Jeju, the very south of the country. A place where they didn´t just speak Korean, they spoke Korean with an accent, they needed a special translator.

South Korea is as Yin and Yang as it gets and, Yang as I am, I didn´t need another, there´s only so much space in a car.

It took me two weeks to find her, I called up embassies and tourist offices, I googled the subjects of my assignment until, eventually, her features appeared in a clip of National Geographic and her name was dropped – „Sunny“ – and I knew she was The One. Sometimes you just know.

I found her and made her an offer she didn´t refuse.

Sunny picked me up from Jeju Airport. „How will I recognise you?“, she had asked beforehand, understandably, how do you convert something vague and virtual into substance?

„Just hold a piece of cardboard with my name on it across your chest“, I said, and there she was, holding a piece of cardboard with my name on it across her chest. I was on to a winner.

She dropped me at the hotel I was booked in, one of those massive and cold and ridiculously expensive Business ones. I was jetlagged, I went to explore it.

It was in the Fitness room when Murray first entered my mind. Bill Murray. The scene from Lost In Translation, you know, the funny one where that Crosstrainer machine runs away with good old Bill.

I could identify. Not with the man Murray, obviously (I´m sure he´s fine), but with his role in the film. That fiftysomething Hasbeen, past his sellby-date and past his midlife crisis, who is on assignment in Asia, drinking Suntory Whiskey for money, getting a welcome break from a family life of daily routine and little else, from a marriage where love found it more and more difficult to come to the surface and all that remained was debates as to what colour a room should be painted or stuff like that.

That was Murray in the film and I get it, no problem, especially this year, my 2012 was awful, nobody in the world needs a year like that. Then again, there is no point blaming something or someone for the mess you are in, sometimes things go pearshaped and if they stay pearshaped a long time it gets scary, anything´s possible, shit may happen. Ultimately, unhappyness breeds desire and corrupts inhibition. I was ready and open for something, a Murray Moment would be just fine.

Needless to say, I went to the hotel´s night club in a flash, who knows, „my“ Scarlett Johansson might just be waiting there, after all, that´s what happened to Bill. He bumped into that beautiful creature, 30+ years younger than him, but equally lost in a mental mess, full with desire for some kind of comfort and all that needed sorting out was how to bridge the unbridgeable.

Alas, no Scarlett in the night club, it was empty. Life isn´t a film, there would be no Lost In Translation in Korea. But there was a translator.


Sunny picked me up at seven, as agreed. Not at 6.59h or at 7.01h. At seven, you understand. She was immaculate, a small and sweetly shaped woman, a single mum with alert eyes in a not that inscrutable face and possibly forty years of age, I´m not sure, there are things you can´t ask a Korean woman, you don´t ask their age, for starters.

It didn´t take long to break the ice, we were driving past Hallasan, a majestic volcano in the middle of the island, and Sunny told me about the particulars of the Korean language. „We have ten vowels“, she said, „but we only have fourteen consonants. For example, we have no `F´.“ – „Oh, so you say `uck you´“, I offered.

The morning after, I got my first Kimbap & Cappuccino.

We visited a woman of the fishing communities in the Northeast and, possibly to general discomfort, I wanted to know the woman´s age and Sunny started what felt like the mother of monologues, then the woman talked for ages, then Sunny, then the woman and so on … until Sunny turned towards me and said: „52“.

„Was that all she said?“, I replied – and immediately realised: That was exactly what Bill said in the film. I was in Murray territory. Again.

To reach better mutual understanding, we talked about it in a little coffeeshop near Sunrise Peak and ended up knowing that little bit more about the other, I had a better grasp of the things I shouldn´t ask and Sunny learned that sometimes writers are more interested in the process of how one gets the answer than the answer itself.

It was a lovely coffeeshop, it became „our“ coffeeshop, we would go there every day.

I got fonder of her than a working relationship actually allows, I couldn´t help it. Don´t get me wrong, I am big on monogamy and have been for decades and could go on like that to the end of my days, but there comes a time when being hung out to dry doesn´t do any more, what´s the point of being dried stiff and still hung out?


I think Sunny got fond of me, too, the age gap didn´t seem to be a problem, nor were my teeth, I just kept to her left. Within days, something odd developed. An energy. Imagine you were on fifty percent max for, like, forever. And then you go hundred, just like that. It was powerful, irresistible.

As for her, she talked of Yin and Yang quite a lot and how Confucius had planned it and how good it was for a woman to live up to her Yin (providing for all her man´s needs), when the man is able to live up to his Yang. Which, incidentally, i must have done, sort of. Courtesy of my sponsor, I provided for her and kept my initial promise and, for lack of the predator instinct of ruthless youth, I treated her with respect, what else could I do, she was immaculate.

As the Korean days drew to a close, she stayed with me after duty. We went to the coffeeshop, to the pub, the time just flew without getting uncomfortable, no intrusive thought of bridgeing the unbridgeable, Confucius would have graced us with a warm glance. Last night on Jeju I took her out (alright, I took the whole production crew out, but, you know …). Later, in the pub, Bill reappeared forcefully, I sang Karaoke with Sunny, just like Murray did with Scarlett. What a night it was.

Which leaves sex. Did we have sex? We did, I´d say (obviously, Sunny would totally disagree). How shall I say, it was not what you think, not arousal as we know it in young age, just proper fiftysomething Hasbeen and past his sellby-date kind of warmth, which inevitably erupts when your last minute of togetherness has arrived and it dawns on you that it is time to say farewell to a woman who has miraculously brought you back to life without ever being anything less than immaculate. If it didn´t happen now it never would.

Carpe diem.

It was the Bill Murray kind of climax when, at the end of the film, he had the taxi wait and ran after Scarlett and finally found it in him to bridge the unbridgeable and embrace her for some seconds that surely must have felt like eternity, like a flash of wishlessness that lasts forever.

It was my Murray Moment and there was no way i wouldn´t have it. We embraced next to her running motor, for an eternity I was Lost in my Translator and there were tears and it was better than sex, there is something in the right kind of embrace the wrong kind of sex can´t deliver.

I got to the airport in time and was on my highest high when I entered the plane and you may well enjoy the feeling while it lasts. After all, you never know what´s waiting round the corner. Life may bugger you tomorrow, it could happen, it usually does. Essentially, life sucks. You could get tired of it well before your time, were it not for those rare Murray Moments.


Foto: luispita, Lizenz: CC BY-NC-SA 2.5 ES

3 Kommentare »

  • Sysdude sagt:

    There’s a Bill Murray analogue moment for every single memory in our lives. That 3.14 is the saddest.
    Some comedy in your next post please Saxman

    • Manfred Sax sagt:

      I know. Brits get uncomfortable when the laughs are missing.
      There´s been the `uck you´line, though. Isn´t that more than sufficient humor, as far as a review of 2012 is concerned?

  • FNF sagt:

    cheer up, pal. life says „bitch, please. not pia immaculata.“ funny thing, life.

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