I’m not talking about tomato paste either. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, so I guess it’s time to play some catch up. Not that much has been happening mind you, but what the hell, that’s never stopped me before.
Last Friday I had some good darts at the Dolce Vita tournament. Two firsts and a second. Was feelin’ a pretty good beer high when I left, then stopped at a soju tent on the way home. A soju drunk on top of the beer was not the smartest idea I’ve had in awhile. Anyhow, got to talking with a couple of the trannies from a nearby tranny bar who were sitting there, which is always kinda interesting. I’ve seen some good looking lady boys on the street, but these “girls” would never be mistaken for anything other than men in drag. Don’t actually remember what we talked about, but I must have bought a lot of soju because I spent W60,000 which was equal to my darts winnings. Ah well, cruised on home about 0500.
I woke up Saturday a little after one, which would have been ok except I had to meet Grant, Rick and Lonnie at the Itaewon subway station at two. Grant is getting married on 1 September and the plan was to head on down to Songtan for a bachelor party. Well, I rushed around and made it, then we subwayed to Nambu bus terminal for the ride down to Songtan, arriving about 4:00.
Surprisingly, after 2 and half years in Korea this was my first trip down there. For those who don’t know, Songtan is the village right outside Osan Air Base. Which means there are lots of bars, shops, and other entertainment that caters primarily to a military clientèle. Kinda like Itaewon on speed.
So, the first thing Grant says is let’s get our hotel rooms. I said, excuse me, no one said anything to me about spending the night. Call me old fashioned but when I do an overnighter I like to carry a change of clothes and a toothbrush. Rick and Lonnie said they hadn’t decided whether they were spending the night yet, so we kinda just let it slide. So we hit the dart supply shop and stocked up some dart paraphernalia. Then we decided to eat. I was thinking a good burger would hit the spot, but the other guys wanted Thai. Just what my stomach needed after a night of soju. I got some seafood noodles at spice level 2 (out of 5) and they went down ok.
Notwithstanding my hangover we decided it was time to drink some beer and play some darts. So, we did a bit of bar crawling and there were quite a few dart bars along the way. There is a dart tourney in Songtan every Saturday night and I was up for playing, but Rick and Lonnie had other ideas. So, we put away the darts and switched to the entertainment bars. I can’t recall the names of most of them, but I do know the first one we tried wouldn’t seat us because the other guys were carrying backpacks (yeah, they brought a change of clothes). So we wound up at a place called UN Club.
Ok, it was a juicy bar. And in between buying W10,000 juice drinks, the girls would do a pole dance on stage. Sexy outfits but no exposed breasts or anything like that. Now, those girls shore were friendly and being that it was a bachelor party and all we let them entertain us for awhile (in exchange for us buying them drinks of course. The girl sitting beside me was covered in tattoos which is kinda of a turn off, but since I was not looking for love in all the wrong places it didn’t matter much. An unnamed guy (hey there is honor among thieves) and the girl he was sitting with were really getting along in an up close and personal kinda way however. After a couple of hours we were ready to move on and being as how there weren’t many other suckers, I mean customers, around they were probably sincerely sorry to see us go. Once we got outside, Grant brought up the hotel room thing again. By now Rick and Lonnie had decided to stay and the unnamed one was wanting to get to “know” the girl from UN Club, so he got a room too. I had no intention of staying and knowing I had to find my way back on my own dampened my spirits a bit.
But being the good trooper that I am, I decided to hang awhile anyway. So, we stopped at Mickey D’s for the burger I was craving then moved on to some “go go” bars. These basically featured cute (mostly) young Filipinas dancing on stage in mini-skirts. Guess I’m getting old, but it just didn’t do much for me. One young dancer (couldn’t have been more than 19) wanted to sit with me after her dance, but I sent her away to Rick instead. Just wasn’t in the mood for that kind of company.
So about midnight the guys decided they were ready for a return visit to UN Club. Which is when I said my goodbyes. I was as drunk as I wanted to be and unlike them, I still had to make it home. So, I found my way back to the bus station, and of course it was closed. So, I hailed a cab and asked if he wanted to take me to Itaewon. The cabbie agreed and we were off. Of course, after midnight taxi fares are higher but I was surprised at just how fast the meter was rolling off the Won. I checked my wallet and found W73,000, so I crossed my fingers that I would have enough for the trip. As fate would have it, when we he pulled up to my door 40 minutes later the fare came to W71,000. So, I gave him the W73,000, said kamsamnida, and headed upstairs. Yeah, I could have gotten a room for less than the cab fare, but I was glad to be home.
And on Sunday I rested (hey, it worked for the Lord). Watched a good movie called “The Departed”.
Monday was dart league. We played one of the weaker teams in our division, T.A.P. from 3 Alley Pub. We took them down 14-5, which is even more impressive than it sounds because our best player Cuatro was not available due to the military exercise. I went 6-0 with a few marks which will hopefully move me up from my embarrassing 14th place ranking.
I also found out Monday that my star employee Corine has accepted a job in Washington, DC. She is leaving at the worst possible time, but I can’t fault her as it is a big promotion. So, I am happy for her but pretty bummed to be losing her. She has been like a big sister to me and I am going to really miss her friendship as well as her stellar job performance. Anyway, I’ll say more about her later, I am really not wanting to think about it much now. She is here until 15 October, but I won’t be able to get a replacement on board before she leaves. My only other US employee (the one who had twins) is leaving next Friday. So, I’m pretty much fucked work wise, but that’s life.
Tuesday was my 3rd week of Korean lessons from my tutor. I have to give her credit, she does a lot of preparation for me. Makes little games so I can practice what she has taught me. Although it makes me feel like I’m in kindergarten, which is probably about the right assessment of my current skill level. Still, I am reading better and she says my pronunciation is good. At this point I am just building vocabulary, I am a long way from conversation. I’m enjoying doing the reciprocal English lessons I’m providing, although I don’t work near as hard at it as she does. She says it is helping and she seems appreciative, so I’m glad for that. I need to have her and her husband over for dinner one of these days. I’ve met him a couple of times now. He is a Korean rapper, apparently of some local fame (at least he has a weekend radio show). His stage name is “Rapatizer”, but I’ve never heard him perform. He dresses kinda urban and has a big afro which is a little peculiar looking on a Korean guy. Tells me he is going to get some corn rows soon. Ok, then.
Last night I got asked to pinch hit for a missing player on the Dolce Vita pool league team. I haven’t even picked up a pool stick for months. So, I had low expectations going in and I managed to achieve them. Well, I won one game when my opponent scratched on the 8-ball. Still, I guess that was better than a forfeit.
And so that brings us up to the moment. Glad we had this chance to catsup.