It was a long and cool weekend (If a bit smoggy. Welcome to Seoul to me!). The OAF and I crawled up Namsan to Seoul Tower, and then descended on the other side to BPU2. This was a handy thing for me to do, as it is part of my upcoming health scheme - to walk home from work - and now I have the route sussed out. I will be fit or expire, as there are countless steps (until I go all OCD and count them) on the BPU2 side. Itaewon (as the climb out of the subway station might have suggested, had I been paying more attention) is at a pretty high elevation for Seoul, and BPU2 is not. Seoul Tower was also a really nice joint, and we didn't even go up in the tower to get in the spinning restaurant. I'll be going back to film a truly awesome cultural display they did of "traditional" martial arts. It was flash, with the requisite slaughter of bamboo poles before the onslaught of Korean swords and also featured some really good staged Taekwondo/Hapkido. But the highlight was a dance/sword performance by a guy who probably could have been in the ballet or the Light Brigade had he gone a different way. Both the OAF and I were kind of shut up by how pretty the thing was.
Today, it was off to the Seoul National War Memorial Museum, about which I hope I will have much more to say, soon. The short version is that any foreigner in Korea who whines about cultural "deformities" needs to go and see what that culture has been through to get where it is today. I'm as prone as anyone else to go off on things about Korea that seem willfully stupid, but, hey, it's not like I come from a country that *didn't* invade Iran and *didn't* watch happily as national debt increased geometrically, while national income increased linearly. Just saying that a quick graphic (in both senses) reprise of Korean history is a tonic that the expatriate troops should remember to take, now and then. And the museum has that in spades.
Which is only to say we all have our problems and that Korea, at least, has some defensible reasons.
The museum has some amusing things (including the annoying Konglish on the "English" bits of things. Really, can't they give me a fucking phone call? Honestly, I 'm a decent editor, and as everyone knows, I'll work for Soju) and some of the lovely dioramas are, well, actually, quite lovely.
But that, my little kitties, is not why we are here today. Oh no. Today we are here to see pictures of the Bohemian Love Pad and, later, discuss a bit its neighborhood's amusing international flavor (for instance - the percentage of douchebag near-beards being earnestly grown by scrawny little white dudes around here. It is at least triple the rate I saw in the US, and I was in the SF Bay Area, where this kind of faux-hipster facial hair was de riguer).
The pad is cool. It has a bedroom, an office that will soon have a bed (so ya'll better come and visit!), and a separated kitchen and living room. The pictures, like love in a Mary Tyler Moore episode, are all around. The kitchen may be the best thing ever. The refrigerator is vast (you will note from the picture that I could kill several OAFs and stuff them in the refrigerator without even having to dismember them!), the stove/oven is grand and gas-based, and the kitchen comes with a hot-cold water dispenser. This may seem a nugatory thing to all you people in the land of healthy tapwater and economic collapse, but here in the land of economic malaise and iffy tap-water, this thing is a boon. It saves me from having to purchase (it costs me about 8 bucks for two big water-cooler bottles per month) individual bottles of water and then hump them up the pretty substantial hill I live on.
Also as I am on the top floor of a villa, the office and bedroom have that cool slightly-gabled interior. The lovely MAF will note that the green fan, having not yet killed me, has followed me to Seoul with, no doubt, homicidal intent.
The only crappy thing is the shower... this place was redone to be western (the "office" even has western electrical plugs) and this went all wrong in the bathroom. The shower has a tub, but it is the puniest thing in the history of mankind. If I stand facing the long way, my feet are trapped by the sides of the tub and each drop of water threatens to toss me astern. If I face the short way, my toes are jammed against the side, and the slightest breeze will toss me to the floor. That floor with is about a foot lower than the tub level, solely to ensure that should I fall, my skull will not remain intact. My scheme is to pull the shower head out into the bathroom proper and take a shower the way any sensible person in Korea would.
I can use the bathtub to make Gin, or something.
The Ondol is splendid, having a washer is splendid, and as always when I move, I feel splendid.
also, classes begin tomorrow and I could either prepare for them or write an lengthy and non-sensical blog post.
As a far greater man than me once posited our role in the universe, "a man's got to know his limitations."
Words to live by.
My limit is three bottles of Soju, and I'm off to accomplish it..