Grandpas Over Flowers in Spain: Episode 5
EPISODE 5. Broadcast on April 4, 2014.
girlfriday: The group arrives in Seville and Seo-jin gets behind the wheel of the Rental Car From Hell. Things seem fine at first, but judging by the cartoon black smoke that they’ve edited in post, I think that car is probably cursed. The navigation even speaks Korean at them, robotically telling them to make left or right turns.
javabeans: The caption changes to horror-movie script and asks leadingly, “Do you suppose the navigation lady will remain nice?” Well when you ask me like that…
girlfriday: This seems to be the start of where things go wrong, because maybe they trust the GPS robot too much because it sounds like it knows Korean. Seo-jin sits back and seems to trust that the lady will tell them where to go.
javabeans: Then we hear a series of commands that are basically “Turn right. Turn left. Turn left. Turn right. Recalculating…” I wonder if it’s worse that the halbaes can understand, because now they’re fully aware of their situation rather than riding along in blissful ignorance. On the other hand, if they know the cause, maybe they won’t blame Seo-jinnie?
girlfriday: Besides the fact that the streets are super narrow and windy and all one-way, she keeps giving directions in pairs with no other markers: “Turn left then left.” Uh…
javabeans: At one point Seo-jin kind of laughs because uh, the street only goes to the right. We get the view from the car behind as they drive in a confusing winding pattern, and I wish we could hear the staff audio as they tag along.
girlfriday: The tension just mounts in silence, because Seo-jin isn’t the type to say anything even while he’s panicking on the inside. Also, this isn’t an exaggeration, but this is the weirdest navigation lady ever. She’s like, Turn left, left, right, left, right, left, then right. HUH?
javabeans: I’m wondering why Seo-jin doesn’t switch to English, in case the directions are better. I mean, they have to be better than this. She’s directing them to go against one-way signs and everything. I keep thinking she’s just broken and leading them around in circles, but miraculously, finally she says, “Turn left, and then you will be at your destination.” And then, HA, we see that the destination is a place they distinctly passed earlier, and navi-lady said nothing.
girlfriday: I bet Na PD paid her to be tricksy. After what seems like a thousand left turns, they finally arrive.
javabeans: I love how Seo-jin is SO low-key that when they finally get there after passing it a dozen times and recalculating and turning around and around, he’s just calm and even-keel as ever as he pulls up and announces that they’re here. Ho-hum. No big.
girlfriday: But then as soon as he sees Na PD he starts taking on a little whine to his voice, and demands to be told where to park the car. Nobody knows, so he hops back in. I’m scared it’ll take a few hours before he can circle around to the same place.
javabeans: And meanwhile the halbaes are just standing around in the courtyard waiting since these are apartments with no reception and they need Seo-jin to do his magical check-in thing for them. I’m amused at their reactions when a lady sees their arrival and takes charge to get them checked in, but they’re all panicky, saying, “I’m not Seo-jin Lee! He’s coming! Not here!” She only wants to know who to talk to when preparing rooms and keys, but they’re just like, Not it!
girlfriday: It’s pretty hilarious that no one will make eye contact with her. Meanwhile Seo-jin just takes his VJ for a ride, and somehow they end up back at the tree they circled maybe three times on their way here. He sighs that they shouldn’t have rented a car. He finally gets desperate and revives the navigation lady (No! Don’t do that!) and she immediately leads them to a dead-end. Ha.
javabeans: But worse than bad directions: No direction. “Why is she not saying anything?” And then, “Why does it keep moving around on its own?” I love the twin blank faces of Seo-jin and his VJ.
girlfriday: They look choreographed, blinking at the same time and looking at each other and then back at the navi-lady, desperate for guidance.
javabeans: Finally the halbaes get tired of waiting and Gu halbae steps up (I know!) to ask the lady for the room key. See, he does make a decent leader when he wants to — it’s just that mostly he doesn’t want to, ha.
girlfriday: Things are really the best when he leads. He gets through the whole exchange in English and even adds a “Gracias!” at the end.
javabeans: The apartment itself is really nice — spacious, three rooms, kitchen. The halbaes settle in and note that they’re one bed short, but Na PD says Seo-jin can camp on the couch. Geun-hyung halbae says, “If he’s on the couch, will we be able to sleep easy?” Something tells me that won’t stop ’em.
girlfriday: Meanwhile Seo-jin is still circling, when a police officer flags him down and starts asking him things in Spanish. Eep. Real panic sets in, and even though they can’t understand each other, Seo-jin just adopts this wide-eyed stare and hands the man his driver’s license hoping that that’s enough. I don’t know if it’s better or worse that he’s nodding as if he understands.
javabeans: It’s totally worse. I think the officer can tell Seo-jin doesn’t understand and he’s trying to simplify his words as much as he can, but Seo-jin just nods along and what can you do?
girlfriday: The funnier thing is the VJ, pretending to be busy the whole time fiddling with his phone or camera, just to avoid the whole interaction. Seo-jin doesn’t even know if the cop told him it’s okay to leave, and he just leaves anyway, asking, “Why did I get pulled over?”
javabeans: The cop told him a bunch of times, “No puedo pasar.” And the first thing he and his VJ ask each other is, “Can I go here?” “I think you can.” They just drive off in relatively good spirits, figuring it’s just a random strange thing that happened that they can forget now.
girlfriday: He seems far more concerned about the waiting halbaes than whether he just got a ticket or parked illegally, and runs in to ask if the rooms in the apartment are okay. While Soon-jae halbae and Geun-hyung halbae walk around to tour the nearby cathedral, Seo-jin settles in and tells Na PD there’s a good chance the car will disappear. “You don’t think they’ll tow it away, do you? If they do, we’ll just go together…to jail.”
javabeans: At this point I’d be more surprised if he actually parked legally without any issues. Don’t you love the snarky captions? They pass by a sign with a big P crossed out: “Something tells me parking might be prohibited here…” They pass by a machine by the curb: “Something about this feels parking-related…”
girlfriday: Though it always cracks me up that Na PD acts sooooo smart-alecky after the fact with the captions, while in the moment he’s no big help.
javabeans: Well yes, he gets to use hindsight as a weapon.
girlfriday: I love their stupid hyung-dongseng interactions over nothing. They pass by a tiled wall that according to Soon-jae halbae is to prevent you from peeing on it, and fight over who has to try peeing there to find out. As they pass by a gift shop, Na PD points out an apron: “You’ll need it later!” They futz with the parking machine for what seems like forever, and Seo-jin can only manage to buy a ticket that lasts for the next hour.
javabeans: I can’t believe his plan (albeit not one he enjoys) is to come back hourly to feed the meter. He has that look on his face, the “Why me?” look of resignation as he tries to figure out workarounds, while I’m thinking there HAS to be a different way to buy time. After all, he literally just punched buttons on the meter like a monkey, not really knowing what he was doing.
girlfriday: I know! But all he can come up with is to pay a hotel employee to go back and feed the meter every hour. All night?
javabeans: So he goes back in 45 minutes, feet dragging, wondering if this is to be his lot for the rest of this trip. And lo and behold, his next ticket (which he still doesn’t really know how to buy) spits out an expiration time tomorrow morning. All of a sudden he’s all smiles.
girlfriday: The best part is, he’s done none of this, and it’s all up to the capricious machine god how much parking time he gets.
javabeans: Once they’re all together, they head out for their event of the night, a dinner show with flamenco dance.
girlfriday: Seo-jin is the only one interested in the dinner more than the dance, as the captions keep pointing out.
javabeans: I don’t actually think he’s a disinterested traveler in general, but it’s like he’s working this trip — he doesn’t get to have a tourist mentality when he’s part of the staff. You can just imagine all the logistics and travel arrangement concerns filling his brain: How do we get home from here? When do I have to get up in the morning? Where will we eat lunch? What if I move the car and can’t find another parking spot? What was that officer asking me when he pulled me over?
girlfriday: Don’t forget: Nom nom nom nom. The halbaes all talk about how much they liked the passionate performance as they walk back home in good spirits. They’re almost at the apartment when Il-sub halbae asks Seo-jin to stop somewhere for a cup of coffee, and Seo-jin asks if he’s done drinking for the night. Il-sub halbae says he’s done… and then about three seconds later adds, “Why, do you want a drink? ‘Cause I’ll have another if you do!” Heh.
javabeans: I love this drinking-buddies narrative that’s emerging. The other halbaes make it back to the apartment and aren’t very interested in joining them when they hear it’s coffee, but then when the plans change, Gu halbae is all, “Wait, they’re drinking wine?” *Immediately grabs jacket.*
girlfriday: They really should’ve led with that.
javabeans: While waiting for their order, Il-sub halbae tells Seo-jin he should go rent another room, because the halbaes won’t feel comfortable with him sleeping out in the living room. Seo-jin says pointedly, “Well, Na Young-seok won’t do it.” Il-sub halbae: “How much does it cost? I’ll pay!” Seo-jinnie: “I’ll call him over right now!” I love that he isn’t refusing, he’s just using this dynamic to his advantage.
girlfriday: So then he makes Na PD come over, and when Il-sub halbae asks for a room, Na PD swears, “He wants to [sleep on the couch]! He’s not even trying that hard! Why do you favor him so much?” Omg he’s such a whiny little brother. I love it.
javabeans: It’s so cute, it makes me grin so much. Il-sub halbae is barking at Na PD that Seo-jinnie is working so hard and deserves it. Na PD has no shame and says first that Seo-jin is being a slacker, and then says, “But I want to shoot him sleeping in the living room.” Ha, I suppose honesty has its place. Il-sub halbae actually says, “Oh, you want to flim that? I guess you’ll have to do that then.”
girlfriday: Gu halbae joins them, and then Na PD suggests a free day tomorrow since they’ve earned some extra time by not going to Lisbon. They happily agree, and Gu halbae says the cameras have to take a day off too then, and shoos them away.
javabeans: Then things take on a crime-thriller vibe when a waiter stops by to talk to the crew. At first I think they’re in trouble for something, but it turns out that one of the other patrons just got something stolen nearby and they’re asking to review footage.
girlfriday: They laugh that their cameras are doubling as CCTVs, and the VJ rewinds so the restaurant staff can watch.
javabeans: They actually manage to find the thief on camera, who appears to be a neighborhood hobo. I’m not sure if they actually catch the guy, but everyone’s happy to have figured out the source of the theft, ending the night on an up note. Then back at the apartment there’s this really sweet sequence as everyone readies for bed, starting with Il-sub halbae getting out extra blankets and pillows for Seo-jin to use. And then Seo-jin comes in, sees the extra blanket, and uses it to tuck in Soon-jae halbae.
girlfriday: Aw. The merry-go-round of concern is so cute. And Gu halbae comes in to make sure that Il-sub halbae doesn’t use the stairs at night because he might hurt himself.
javabeans: In the morning, the halbaes start waking up early at around 6, and wonder what to do for breakfast. Seo-jin’s sofa-bed is empty, and we see that he’s relocated to a staff room, where he’s woken up to be told about the halbaes on the prowl, but he’s so groggy he just keeps sleeping. Ha, they’re actually like these hungry animals pacing around wondering if there’s anyplace to find ramyun.
girlfriday: Geun-hyung halbae goes hunting in the staff rooms and comes back with a giant box full of ramyun. Score!
javabeans: Soon-jae halbae turns down the offer of breakfast, so Geun-hyun halbae sets about making ramyun for one. And then Soon-jae halbae catches a whiff and looks at the kitchen a little more longingly, clearly hanging around wanting some.
girlfriday: Hahaha. He looks SO SAD. He can’t bring himself to say that he changed his mind, so he just stands there watching Geun-hyung halbae take the delicious ramyun away as if nothing’s the matter, since hyungnim turned down breakfast.
javabeans: When Seo-jin finally wakes up, he goes running barefoot from apartment to apartment, anticipating that breakfast will need to be addressed. Thank goodness because I do think the other three halbaes would have just sat there looking sad and grumpy until he arrived.
girlfriday: Phew, he gets ramyun for three on the table in a jiffy (thinking to use the hot water from the coffeepot to speed things up like a smartypants), and then runs back out to ask for coins because he has to feed the parking meter again. Uh-oh, he’s already late.
javabeans: Acccccckkkkkk. He pulls a ticket that gives him literally zero time on the meter, puzzles it over for a second, then places it on the dash anyway even though, uh, in a minute it’s no good. The caption points out that he actually cancelled his transaction so what came out was a receipt, not a ticket, but he doesn’t realize this and just puts it on the dash. Gah they’re gonna lose the car aren’t they.
girlfriday: They so are. The group (minus Il-sub halbae) heads out to tour the cathedral on foot. The halbaes are super interested in every little detail, while Seo-jin hangs back the whole time until they get to the jewels and crowns exhibit, and he hatches a fantasy plan to steal the diamonds so they can stay at luxury hotels. But then he decides he doesn’t know anyone to fence them to, and gives up. Right, ‘cause that was the thing stopping you?
javabeans: I’m recalling the pre-show tidbits about how this trip put Seo-jin and the crew at odds and how Seo-jin would attempt any sort of trickery to get more money for his halbaes, and maybe this is the point at which the criminal element surfaces.
girlfriday: If he can’t have diamonds, he’ll settle for squeezing a few more bucks out of Na PD? While the other halbaes are out, Il-sub halbae gets a leisurely start on his own and decides to tour the city his way, with delicious food and horse carriage rides. One of the PDs ask a question that gets asked of him often: “Why do you come on trips if you don’t enjoy the sightseeing?” He says he enjoys it in his own way, which I totally believe. And frankly, if I were on a trip, I’d much rather do what Il-sub halbae is doing right now.
javabeans: Yes, you don’t have to do the touristy thing to enjoy a foreign country. I mean, not that the tourist sites are bad, because obviously they’re culturally important and whatnot. But Il-sub halbae doesn’t look like he’s having a bad time; he just likes this way more. He wanders a while looking for that Japanese restaurant Seo-jin mentioned last night, but nobody knows where it is, and he gets sadder and sadder as he tells himself he’s fine eating anything. But he keeps looking for a while and stumbles across it in the end, and tries to order in broken English before just going to point at the window of prepared rolls.
girlfriday: Is that… a strawberry sushi?
javabeans: His look is hilariously blank. Like, WHAT. IS. THIS. He tries asking for tempura or udon or sushi but they don’t know what he means. They do know the word yakisoba so he orders that and some rolls. He’s clearly skeptical, but I suppose he’d rather try this than going elsewhere. He reminds me of my dad — bad Asian food is preferable to non-Asian food.
girlfriday: Yeah my parents panic about being on trips without kimchi. Lol, he takes one bite and just starts laughing. That’s not a good sign.
javabeans: The waiter hangs back and wonders if it’s any good. It’s probably a good thing Il-sub halbae doesn’t know how to respond in words he’ll understand. The noodles are salty and he ain’t touching that strawberry sushi, but he eats enough of it anyway so at least it’s edible.
girlfriday: Meanwhile, the rest of the group heads back and Seo-jin stops by the car to check on the parking meter. And uh-oh, he’s got a parking ticket on the windshield.
javabeans: Well, this time you can’t really argue he didn’t deserve it. He may not know Spanish but he could read the numbers! Which clearly stated the time!
girlfriday: It gets worse: in the preview for next week, Na PD asks someone about the ticket and tells Seo-jinnie they have to go down to the police station. Jail time after all?
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- Grandpas Over Flowers in Spain: Episode 3
- Chinese version of Grandpas Over Flowers gets green light
- Grandpas Over Flowers in Spain: Episode 2
- Grandpas Over Flowers in Spain: Episode 1
- Na PD on grandpas, money, and Seo-jinnie the con artist
- Seo-jin gets cookin’ for Grandpas Over Flowers in Spain
- Noonas Over Flowers: Episode 1
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 1