Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tales of the Porcelin God in Korea AKA Mispent Youth

There is nothing like it. The sound of someone stumbling up the stairs at three in the morning. You hear the unsteady steps. The dropping of keys on the floor, followed shortly after by the falling down on the floor. My neighbor is home. However, her night (and mine) is not over yet. I was treated to the unexpected pleasure of realizing that we share a bathroom wall. The acoustics are incredible. I could hear every horrible thing that came out of her mouth. A part of me wanted to go over and check on her. Another part of me said, 'as long as she is vomiting, she's still breathing.' That was my Friday night last weekend.

I was trying to write a column for my friends back in the states, and somehow managed to get that completed the next day...though I had a pretty nice sleep deficit going for me. I managed. Then my second promise to keep, a submission to Goldfish publishing...a wonderful anthology for a worthy cause...but somehow the echos from my neighbor came back...revisiting me like a Dickens character...the ghost of Past Drunkenness to the ghost of Future Drunkenness.

Saturday night came...and so did the retching of my upstairs neighbor. The man suffered. I can tell you that it was not as violent sounding. Hmmm, was I ever going to feel any inspiration with all of this retching going on. The worship of the porcelain God was a silent groan.
So on Sunday, enough was enough, and I decided to go to a place I hadn't been to before. A nice establishment that looked warm and inviting on a rainy Sunday called "Come Together" (ah, The Beatles). I enter alone with my bag, camera and notebook...and the urge to find something to inspire me. Anything. Ah, quiet...side rooms and open spaces...and now to contend with the terrified look of the host..."Foreign Girl" is here and I am not the least bit concerned how I throw off their seating plans.

Now taking my order was a comedy. I was gesturing, pointing, and even went to the kitchen to show them the kind of spices I liked. I don't think they were prepared for someone like me. I possibly broke a few taboos...but I think I would have really pushed it if I had whipped out my camera at that point.

My first course arrives...a segmented platter that held a light cabbage salad with cucumber dressing, mandarin orange segments, pickled seaweed, and the mystery that is pictured above. I wondered if I was a contestant on 'Survivor'...only thinking to myself..'What the Hell IS THIS?' after I did not taste what I expected.

Now Foreign Girl, sips away at her soup when the main course arrives. Yes, seafood...and I ordered chicken. Did I return the platter? No, I took a deep breath because I see a lot of tentacles in the mix. I am an octopus virgin. The other thing to take note of, is that I never eat prawn with the heads on...for me it is a matter of liking clean shrimp. The hard boiled egg also caught me off guard. Oh, this was another challenge for me. I lost my virginity on Sunday. I had actually eaten octopus and found I preferred not eating it.
The Dickens drunken classic continued with the ghost of Present Drunkenness. Though the side rooms do have doors for privacy...they are not exactly sound proof when you have a bunch of College Students chanting a drinking game. 'Ah Sah Geem...Ah Sah Geem...Ah Sah Deem....Ah Sah Deem...Ah Sah WOO! Ah Sah WOO!' You too can play the home version...just get some soju and chant and chase! I have to say it looked like more fun than the typical game of quarters.

I had to choose...get pissed off that my weekend was shot and I was going to procrastinate again...or COME TOGETHER. I knocked on their door. The manager, was panicked...and was starting towards me...I raised my hand and smiled. He stayed at his post.

The door slid open and silence filled their compartment. "Hi, can I take your picture?"
In perfect English one of the girls said, "We are drunk." I smiled. "I know." A few pleasantries were exchanged, they offered me a portion of their egg loaf and a glass of water. Both were accepted as a sign of friendship and they returned to their game.
A few days later, in another part of Daegu...believe it or not...sober, wiser, and a bit red faced I was recognized and we introduced ourselves to each other, properly. With camera and notebook in is the trio...the three freshmen at the university. All three are single and are really enjoying their youth...and were happy to be a part of this blog.

Now, where was I? Ah yes, to write the prose I am supposed to submit...perhaps this weekend...but there is the Soiree, Daegu Art 2009 - The Third International Art Fair...and Naked in Daegu...perhaps a few events I am missing.
I'll get it worries...four pages of notes to sift through....and then on to the next.

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