I’ve had a good week.
This is the last week of February, which means that schools are graduating and getting ready for the new year, which starts after Korean Independence Movement Day, or March 1st Day (rough translation).
Things are changing quickly for the better on my end. I think this will be my year. They’re happening very quickly, and my busier lifestyle upset Eun Jeong for a while. Yet she has since come to an understanding and is encouraging everything.
Nonetheless, she was still angry with me (and I her) during my birthday bash at Hooters. I give her credit for showing up, but she felt very uncomfortable and left early. It didn’t kill our good time. The posse included such ZenKimchi regulars as
Colin and his girlfriend Seong-gu
…and Colin’s friend Jeff.
The party started at 2:30, which meant we were able to get a table. We owned that table for around seven hours. We had a good time, but Seong-gu continually asked what was so special about the place.
I myself had to go through the birthday humiliation. Listen to Brant’s comment at the end. (All video and Hooters pics taken on Injoo’s camera)
Brant had to return home early. Chris P.
and his new friend Sean arrived
…and it was time for another round of food and drinks. I particularly enjoyed the Texas Steak Burger because it smelled and tasted like my paternal grandmother’s home cooking. It’s funny. I couldn’t stand her cooking when I was growing up, but now I miss it more than ever.
I think it was around 9:30 when we finally paid up and left Hooters.
I kinda wanted to go to someplace like central Apgujeong (Rodeo Street) and wander Bourbon Street style. Others wanted to go to Hongdae, the notorious college hangout neighborhood.
Now, Chris P., Sean, and I are old fogies. We don’t have much experience with the Hongdae scene. I had only been there twice before–once with Christina and Glen to support a DJ friend of theirs, the second time during last year’s K-Scene party.
We took the subway there (while Chris stuck coins in the door) and walked a good ways until we got to a favorite spot of Colin’s and Seong-gu’s — Tin Pan Alley. I had been there during the K-Scene party, and I still didn’t like it. Sure, the drinks were cheap, but the music was too loud with no dancing, and the people looked tired and worn. Depressing dirty bar.
We went out to look for something different. One pretentious trendy looking bar had no tables available. We old farts really wanted to go to a little dance club where they played cheesy K-pop and cute young women danced to rehearsed choreographed routines.
Instead, we headed to US 66. I thought it was a country bar, which at my inebriated state at the time, wouldn’t have been bad. Yet it was another disappointing place like Tin Pan Alley. They had one thing going for them — a set of dart boards.
The Old Fogey group (including myself) played darts for a while. Colin and Seong-gu returned to Tin Pan Alley. Injoo did the usual Injoo thing. He flitted from table to table, talking to any stranger he came across.
I got tired of playing darts. After a while, it becomes repetitive.
Throw a dart.
Throw another dart.
Throw the last dart.
Pry all three from the wall, ceiling, and floor.
I sat down at a table with Injoo, where he was talking to two Korean girls and an American from Hawaii, who bragged that he worked in importing and exporting on the internet. One of the girls asked me what I did. I told her I was an English teacher.
She replied, “Baeksu.”
I knew that baeksu meant “slacker.”
Was she calling me a slacker? Maybe she was calling herself a slacker. Nonetheless, I found the conversation was not going to go in any interesting direction, and Hawaiian Internet Import Export Guy’s overtures to the girls was so strong that his erection was supporting the table. I returned to my table.
Chris and Sean finally gave up on darts too. We decided to head home or get something to eat. We walked outside, where Chris asked where Colin was. I looked across the street, and he was sitting on the ground at the entrance to Tin Pan Alley with Seong-gu taking care of him. Jeff was roasted and yelling that he was going to spend the whole night in Tin Pan Alley.
Colin, with herculean effort, regained his composure enough to bid us a good night. Seong-gu gave me a big hug. I decided against getting more food. Chris found a taxi to drive us back to Anyang for a decent price, and we left.
I talked to others about our experience, and they tend to agree with me. Hongdae sucks if you’re over 25 years old. It’s dull. Downtown Anyang has more stuff to do. So in the future, I think Chris and I will just hang out in Anyang.
For my actual birthday, Eun Jeong wanted to make up for being, well, for being how she was during the previous party. She took me out for dinner at a new Chinese bistro, Blue Moon in China.
It was a luxurious romantic dinner. The restaurant itself is owned by the husband of some famous actress. He greeted us at the door in flawless English, sat us down, and took our drink orders.
By the way, for Lent, I am giving up drinking beer. Well, actually, I’m giving up drinking beer at home. Hey, it’s a start.
The food was amazing, and the atmosphere pleasant. I’ll detail it with food porn pictures in the Food Journal.
Eun Jeong gave me gifts of two stylish shirts and a pair of gold and black earrings. Too cool.
Things are going well for us now. Well, I hope they are. An update on the Unnamed Hagwon case… The judge has ruled in the case that Unnamed Hagwon owes me 8,000,000 won (~$8,000). We were expecting, at most, 6,000,000 won. So this is good news. Unnamed Hagwon Owner has until March 2nd to appeal the ruling.
We haven’t heard anything from her yet.