Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rapture in the Hood

My new hero stands on the edge of the street with a bottle of beer in his right hand, and a bottle of soju in his left....

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Doctor, Doctor, Please.... Oh, the Mess I'm In... Part 1

Oh.. such a bad blogger and so much has gone on...

two nights ago I wandered into the local and ordered a beer. My friend, an army nurse/administrator was sitting there. He's a crew-cut and fit dude of roughly my age.. to the right of him were a group of younger men with the same look but a bit younger, some of them nearly out of swaddling clothes.

There was no room at the bar as they were drinking car-bombs, Jaeger-bombs, and beer. Much macho banter (which should be the name of a drink) filled the air. As the conversation at the bar continued these guys rotated in and out of the seats.

Until the point that the crippled one tried to get on a chair.

He was lanky and red-headed and had some kind of disease that hampered his ability to get up onto a bar stool. The bar stools at the local are particulary tall - the wife has to acquire the services of a sherpa to ... well enjoy sex... but also to get up on the bar stools.

I think I've said "stools" too many times?

But this dude had a right arm that was in some kind of curved rictus and I nearly got up to help him onto his barstool.

Which would have been wasted effort because the crippled lad bolted from the bar.. barely escaping the open glass doors to the right, to vomit profusely ... partly onto the shoes of his buddy

To the left of me one of this buddies said, "he shouldn't have had those two ambien."

Outside, the red-head vomited again.

His leaving had given me a chance to sneak up to the bar, rather quickish.

I asked my friend if these were his buddies, and he said, "no, but I know them."

Turns out they were the bomb squad (Hurt Locker, for you LA fucks)

For the rest of the evening (to be related next post) they played that macho game of dismissal/love/homoeroticism (in a thoroughly non-gay way)/brawl that all us boys love to play...

Ah.. yeah.. the wife and I also went to Hwaesong... google it.. or I may post...

It's totally cool..

the walls of a fortress include the cool full fortress part and a killer park. Then they lace through the community as well..

Come on over to Korea.... Yvonne and I will show you around!

all the wires are black! and tangled.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Didn't even see a berry flashing those high beams

Got to work and it was presentation day, which is always an easy one. I just sit there and grade them, and the grading is done by the time I leave the classroom. After that it was sitting around for 45 minutes waiting for the “teacher’s day” celebration of the English Interpretation and Translation Department.

This even is always super-fun as the students enjoy anything communal, and it involves cake. I was able to bust out about this much Korean when it was my turn to speak

Everyone, students and professors, welcome. That student (pointing to a guy who had spoken earlier) has good English. I have bad Korean. I will practice it (I botched that sentence badly!). I love teaching my students. Now, I will speak in English.

It was pretty ragged language, but students always like the fact that I even try – in fact Koreans in general will treat foreigners who know a little Korean better than non-speaking foreigners.
Once all speeches were done, the cake-candles blown out, and the pictures taken, it was time to call it a day. The video of the episode of the cake is here:

The day was too nice to go back home and after calling Yvonne without results, I headed down to City Hall Underground Shopping Center and bought a book I had been looking for and that seems to be out of print even though Amazon offers ‘new’ ones; Everlasting Empire.

Then it was up to City Hall Square where some enormous festival was setting up. On the side was the “adoption day” (입양 달) booth, and they had some cute kids drumming. So I took a lovely home movie which I have reproduced here.

It was still too nice to head home, so I headed for a Starbucks, relatively deserted by Seoul standards, and grabbed an Americano and typed all this.

My weekly three-day weekend begins tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Yesterday's Rain

The lovely wife came home for lunch (Monday is my day off), and after I hurriedly despatched my rentboy out the bedroom window, we headed over to Yongsan to get ink for our printer, and then took advantage of an empty restaurant with a wide open front, to snarffle down some tueji galbi....

A nice mid-day surprise!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Some Marriage Thing..

The sun struggles up, another beautiful day
And I felt glad in my own suspicious way.
Despite the contradiction and confusion,
Felt tragic without reason,
There's malice and there's magic in every season

So yesterday our friend got married and with all the best signs - free booze, barbeque, and the rain dissapearing into the ether. This last thing important for a wedding conducted on the roof of the Somerset Hotel (up there by Angguk Station). It all went well and it was free booze for nearly 5 hours, which has left me nearly unmanned today. ;-)

Still, a super event and I believe the picture below suggests a happy marriage will ensue. They are already ignoring each other, and he has a bottle of beer tucked into his elbow...

Nice-uh, as we say..

Friday, May 06, 2011

Seonyudos and Seonyudonts! Being part uno...

Last weekend the lovely wife and I both had Friday off as a result of a class-switching (I became toff) binge with another foreign instructor who wanted to go visit China to attempt to procure a mail-order husband.

So we decided we'd head down to the Gunsan and then catch a ferry to Seonyudo, which is one of three very small linked islands off the southwest coast of Korea. It's sort of an expat "todo" and by getting there on Friday we'd be in advance of any other tourists, which was likely to be a small number as this is not "island visiting time of year" (Koreans work to internal and unknown clocks that would be the envy of the Borg).

Consequently, we got up early on a day off and headed to Yongsan station to catch the Saemaul to Gunsan. This was good for me as I love the Saemaul ("New Village") and had work to do. The Saemaul has a totally cool club-car and I went in, grabbed a delicious sammich and coffee and worked on sound edits for all the way down. Yvonne, as is her wont, napped. As we crossed the river to the north of Gunsan I noticed a sign that said "Ch'ae Manshik Literary Museum" (Except, like the cool dude I am, I noticed it in Korean). Manshik is one of my favorite short-story writers and I put this away in my head in case I ever got back to Gunsan.

At Gunsan sation, while waiting for the bus, got bored and grabbed a taxi to the wharf. Probably a good move as it turned out, since it was a pretty long haul and the bus would have been even more boring.

When we got there, Yvonne talked to the ticket office which immediately put her on a cell-phone with an English speaker.

Drats and confounderation! Bad weather had stopped the ferries from running.

About 15 minutes later we headed out of the terminal and to the exact same cabbie who had brought us from the train station. He asked if the time had been bad ("shigan" something or other that was clear enough to me to answer in my shit Korea.... I answered the weather was bad and then sat sulking in the cab as I realized I should have said the sea was bad. I suck at Korean).

This time, since we had nought all else to do, we headed over to the Ch'ae Manshik Literary Museum where I got that treatment I sometimes get - Korean docent going mad that foreigner gives a crap at all about Korean literature.

The man, the legend!

This was wildly exacerbated by the fact that I accidentally had "My Innocent Uncle" (A work by Manshik) in my backpack. I spoke what little Korean I have and the docent went mad, chattering at me like a chihuahua with an amphetamine suppository in its ass. All, good... I got a bit of it and she was super happy to lecture, particularly about the museum's kind of cool map of Korea and regional authors.

The joint (on the river, so kind of nice)

Finally, we went out to catch a cab, but as we were in the middle of nowhere, had to hike back into town. Probably only an hour overall, but because we had supposed to have been at a beautiful island, I was dragging my laptop and all my camera gear in a backpack with only one strap. Then there was the shitty weather - which had halted our amphibious assault on Seonyudo. It sprinkled ever so lightly, but threatened consistently. I loudly, repetitively, and without much imagination, blamed Yvonne!

Once in town, we caught a cab from a cabdriver who couldn't understand anything I said in Korean or read a map (In Korean!). He left us on the bayline of Gunsan which is, to be fair, an absolute asshole of an area.

It is slated for urban renewal (apparently) and walking around it was spooky as all the stores are closed.. the houses broken. We could see no restaurants, and it took us a very long time to find a yeogwan. This was partly because when we were in an area with restaurants, Yvonne insisted we keep walking until we find a galbi joint.

Said "find" never happened.

Walking into the yeogwan the proprietors were on the stoop (all of a sudden this area is reminding me of bombed out areas of New York...well, you know.. minus crime, vandalism, or graffiti) and immediately ask me, in Korean, "do you speak Korean well?"

I laughed and said I spoke very little, but wondered what would have happened if I couldn't respond in Korean? What a weird question to ask in Korean.

Didn't matter.. for 30,000 won we got a very simple (large) but adequate room with a big TV and no computer. Also, it didn't have the usual "love pack" of condoms, lube, and whatnot, although we did get toothbrushes and a razor I wouldn't use on the corpse of Osama bin-Laden. Shortly, Yvonne got on the iPhone and hassled the help enough so we got directions to a galbi restaurant that was only about 10 minutes cab drive away.

To cool down we went to a "coffee/drinks" place across the street that was probably nice once. It was spacious and had big booths with couches, but also had no customers, plenty of flies, a weird smell, and a staff consisting of a completely bombed (but quite understandable?) Korean man and his wife who, once we were served, went back to their business of fighting with each other. One drink and we were out.

So we headed up to the galbi place, ate well, and came back for sleep.

Big slabs o' Tuegi Galbi

During the morning the promised storms came through.. rattling the metal rooftops of the surrounding buildings and with thunder crashing....

Yvonne, of course, slept through all that bit.^^