A tribute to skateboarding where no skaters are allowed

A tribute to skateboarding where no skaters are allowed

Actually, I had a good vacation. It just always seems too short.

Again, we didn’t do that trip to Thailand I beg Eun Jeong to take every six months. But we did go somewhere, even though it was a day trip. Did some whitewater rafting in Gangwon-do, the next province to the east. It was a good time. Eun Jeong had never been rafting, and she’s an inexperienced swimmer. We chose a package on a river that was not as rough as others, even by Korean standards. It was her first time. I didn’t want to freak her out.

In the end, her only complaint (because there always has to be one) was that it was too short and not enough thrills.

I didn’t care. It was worth it to hear her screaming when we got in the water and when we hit our first drop. The best part, for me, was when we had a smooth section and all jumped off into the water. I finally got a chance to swim–and somewhere with a deep end.

Rag as much as you want to about the mild whitewater rafting in Korea. The water where we were was some of the cleanest river water I had ever seen. Next year, I want to get a pension near this river and spend my days swimming in it. I could retire next to a river like that.

It was also a wonderfully scorching day, and the water was frigid. I love Korea’s extremes.

I also got to see Brant that week. We hadn’t seen each other in a long, long time. His baby is turning a year old soon. We hung out a bit and smoked some Cuban cigars that a very generous listener to the SeoulPodcast sent. Ripped my feet up walking miles in brand new Hush Puppy sandals. It didn’t help that the bus route I took to Ilsan didn’t mirror itself on the return. So I wandered around among the pimps and prostitutes at Yongdeungpo after midnight, trying to figure out some way to get home with less than $5 in my wallet.

Speaking of the SeoulPodcast, it’s doing well. We’re taking a month break from it to recharge the batteries. It was good timing, too. I’m now swamped with other stuff. Particularly, I have been helping a TV crew from America hook up with locations, material and on-camera guides for a show they’re going to do in Korea next week. Stressing a bit about that, but it’s fun. I’m in my element. More on that later. I don’t like talking too much about this stuff until it’s finished and aired/published.

I have deadlines coming up this weekend too. The SEOUL Magazine column is due. I’ve already gotten a good bit of that done. The research has been sitting around for a while. I went to the Filipino market in Seoul last week for the rest of the article, and I loved it. Bought some longanisa sausages to take home. I fell in love with them. If you can ever get your hands on Filipino longanisas, do it… especially if someone else cooks them for you. They are deadly messy to a frying pan.

I also got a call to do a last minute three-page interview with a famous Korean food expert, which added to the stressbucket, but it got canceled this morning because she wasn’t available. Lessee… gotta do the Korea Herald article too… typing out loud again.

I saw The Dark Knight premiere in Korea last night with Michael Hurt, Jennifer Flinn, David Harris and a few other folks in one of Mike’s legendary movie events, where he buys a swath of tickets, and we make reservations with him and get our tickets from him at the door. He returns the leftovers for refunds before the movie starts.

We saw the film in IMAX. Quite the sensory overload. Really enjoyed it, but this ain’t no movie review site.

It ended after midnight, and I caught one of the last red express buses to Anyang, Indeogwon Station, the Ajosshi Playground. That’s also not a good place to hang after dark. Drunk guy jumped in front of me and started doing the clown foreigner routine. Grabbed my hand–rather, he was trying to crush it, asking me dumbass questions in a slurred voice. I had no time for it. I wanted to go home to my woman and my bed.

“Hey, nice to meet you, too. Gotta go. Hurry.”

I pulled my hand away, and he slapped the hell out of my shoulder. I gave him the Crazy Foreigner™ look, and he left me alone. Left a bit of a mark, though.

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