Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Strange Things Are Afoot In The ROK

Well, I'm back from a two-week break for Korean Thanksgiving, (Chuseok). It was a couple of whacky weeks! I went to Yong In and met my friends Scott, Min Ju and their boy, Alex at Everland. Amusement was slowed slightly by a small boy and pregnant woman but I think I had enough fun for my aging amusement park taste. I still went on the freakiest ride in the park. I don't know what it was called but it shoulda been called "The Ball Crusher". It was one of those rides where there's a long cylindrical seating area where about 40 or 50 people sit and it spins while the whole ride also rotates. We did 5 spins in a row one time I think. Only Scott and I went on of course. Small, hard plastic seating area, and pretty intense g-force from the dual spinage. I give it two thumbs up but I shoulda worn a cup. But it wasn't half the adventure that getting there was. I live what looks to be about 1 or 2 hours away from Everland on the map but it took me at least 6 hours to get there with the "convenient" bus system here. I won't get into that.
Next it was off to Pyeong Taek for a couple days to visit Scott's family. We had a round of golf simulation and a barbecue. It was great.
Then I went to Seoul to visit Heather and Mike. We took the kiddies to see Open Season, a new Disney flick. I really liked it. Thumbs up. It was on the US base so I got to put as much buttery flavoured topping on my popcorn as I wanted and got a HUGE, blue, raspberry slushie to go with it. I think I was so buzzed on sugar from that I would have liked ANY movie. The whole experience got a blue toothed smile from me. I can't remember the last time I went to a real theater.
I did some shopping around Seoul and had some really weird experiences. Seoul is getting weird. One night in my hotel I was awakened at 3 am by a phone call. It was just someone saying hello. So I hung up. Then the same person called back and asked what room I was in. The person said, "I am Korean woman," but if at any time in the past this person had been a woman I wasn't convinced by the voice I heard. I didn't divulge my room number. In fact I got up and locked my door.
On Saturday night I went to Woodstock, my favourite bar in I Tae Won. It was jam packed. I couldn't find a seat. Woodstock is NEVER packed. I usually sit in the same seat. They call me Norm for crying out loud. So I didn't stay. Two days later it was empty. Just me and a much too friendly Korean guy listening to an outstanding Filipino band called Infinity. I bought lotsa tequila shots for the band and we had a really good time. I sat in my favourite seat too.
The following Monday was Canadian Thanksgiving and the alleged nuclear test in N. Korea. Heather, bless her heart, cooked a massive Thanksgiving turkey dinner and invited me and Uncle Darryl, (her brother who is in the military), over. The dinner was great and we watched the movie Crash afterwards. Again, thumbs WAY up.
The next day I was out to get a sub from Subway and I saw a commotion on the street on the way. Some shop owner was selling assorted hip hop clothes for 1000 won each. That's like a buck! I got a nice Sean John shirt and a pair of jean shorts for 2 bucks! I guess maybe they fell off the back of a passing truck or something. ???
I got back to my home town for Friday the 13th. I had to proctor an exam for my skin and hair students. It was chaos. They all cheated their asses off and still failed. Par for the course. Sigh.
When I went to bed the night of Friday the 13th another strange thing happened to me. I had been reading a book I bought at Kyobo Book store while I was in Seoul called "Haunted". It's a great book. Yet again a hearty thumbs up! I shut off the lights to go to bed and I saw a green glowing blur in my apartment. I didn't have my glasses on so I had no idea what it was. I thought maybe it was just the scary book doing things to my mind but as I got closer to the green, glowing globule, it didn't disappear. It turns out the cover of that book glows in the dark. Ha ha ha! That was weird but in a cool way.
Then on the next day I was walking down the street and a guy pulled over in his car. I didn't recognize the guy but he just leaned over and looked out the passenger window at me. I was pretty sure he could have found a more viable source for directions. I just waited for him to say something. He didn't. So I said, "Hello?" He just grinned creepily and asked in Korean if I was American. I told him in Korean that I was Canadian. He said, "Oh Canada!" Then he just grinned. We had a long lull in our roadside conversation. What was his deal? Was he trying to get a drive-thru English lesson? Was he an early strike North Korean hitman trying to take out a few American soldiers before the main assault? Couldn't have been, his car was too expensive. Come to think of it, his voice sounded very similar to the 3 am phone caller. (shudder) Anyway, I saw a taxi, flagged it down and got the hell away from the guy.
Then today I got into a cab to go to work because I woke up too late to catch the bus. The cab driver is an old guy who has commented on how much he likes my beard several times in the past. I asked him in Korean if he had a good Chuseok. He said he did. Then he launched into a speech, complete with a couple dangerous pivots to get a better look at me when he should have been watching the road, about how handsome my beard is. I didn't say anything for the rest of the ride.
What gives? What's the old saying, "Unlucky in love, lucky in cards?" Maybe it goes for movies, shopping and Filipino bands too. I dunno. Just ONE time I'd like to hear a WOMAN comment on how much she likes my beard! Oh well, even though I may be irresistable to gay, Korean men, I ain't shaving any time soon.

1 comment:

The Histrionics of a Fat Housewife said...

Dave. I really like your beard.