Sunday, May 31, 2009

Last couple of days in Korea

Last couple of days in Korea:

So we got back to Seoul and went to the university; can’t remember the bloody name at the moment, they kind of all sound alike to me. We met some university students and it was very interesting to meet them. I believe on that day we went to a market, where Jake and I finally got the cords we needed for our computers and his camera file unload deal. I also found a really cool model shop where I bought an M-48 for our time in Kazakhstan. That day was Jake’s birthday, so I grabbed him a Stryker kit. That day we saw a tae kwan do demonstration that was very well done. I could never do that and for some reason I don’t want to study a martial art, but I respect these little buggers.

That afternoon (after the Mall) we saw the Samsung “D’light” (or whatever they call it) show house. Basically it just shows off all of Samsung’s cool gear which ain’t so bad. Some of it seems kind of pointless, but it is all rather cool, nonetheless. That night we went to a buffet that apparently is super, super expensive and world class. I’m very proud that I only had two normal size plates and stopped at that. I also picked up a pair of sunglasses that night-30,000 won, but custom made so I think that’s a fair trade and I like ‘em loads.

I think I’ve decided that I am not meant for a relationship. They’re just too complicated, difficult, and require too much work and trust. I’m pretty bad on all those counts anyway, but I’m especially lacking on the trust. I don’t honestly believe that anyone likes me (or could), let alone loves me. I think that I’m better on my own. Girls don’t like me and I find it difficult to find common ground or talk to them in any other way than joking. I’m a pretty shallow person anyway, so looks mean a lot to me and for a person ugly as I, that’s unfair. So logically, I shouldn’t expect anymore than I’d give them.

The next day we met a different group of students. We saw another university and met some new students and we got a tie from this university. Because of that difficulty with my friend, I was a bit sleepy, and during the lecture it was very hard to stay awake. We went to another folk village; one which is apparently more well known than the last one we went to. It was all pretty neat; we met some interesting students when we went to “Everland” amusement park, which is the Korean version of Disneyland. Jake and I hung out with two girls; one named Yu-Ri and the other Swan. I had talked with Swan quite a bit on the bus earlier because she had been to Kansas before and had a very different perspective than other international students who usually just complain about Pittsburg and Kansas. She could be described as a “free-spirit” or crazy. Both fit.

The next day we saw the Independence Hall of Korea, which was very neat, but a huge stoker of Korean nationalism. Asian nationalism is a bit worrysome I think, because while the west seems to be drifting into this idealized “Why can’t we all just get along” world, Asia seems hell bent on reviving the 19th century. We next saw the Kia plant, which was neat and a bit more “rough and tumble” than the Daewoo shipyards, but the workers didn’t seem very focused or motivated. A lot of them were lounging around when we came by, playing cards or listening to mp3 players. That afternoon we went into Itaewon, which was pretty cool, since it basically was the international quarter of Seoul (or it seems to be). The thing that sucked about that was we had to eat at Pizza hut again. Jake and I opted to try and hold out until we could go to dinner, but we didn’t get a chance to go to dinner until late that night because we visited the Seoul Tower.

It was completely worth making dinner late, because Seoul is beautiful at night. It is bright and gorgeous. However, I think my favorite part was looking towards Pyongyang North Korea and since there is a mountain in the way, no light comes from that direction it gives it a very sinister and foreboding look and the next day I was going to go to the DMZ…

That night, one of the students (named Heidi) agreed to take us to a Korean bar/restaurant where we could get some of that food we had tried in Jinju...and some of the liquor we had dinner. And a few drinks...

And they flowed pretty freely. Jake and I had a wonderful time, finishing off this stuff. We started with a bottle of the maek gul ri. Milky colored, but it didn't remind me of the stuff I drank at Jinju. We next went for a big old bowl of dongdong ju. Even more milky white looking and even served the same way as our Jinju drink, it too is different. But there's a lot of it...and Jake and I were already feeling it by the time we got started on it. I wasn't sure we'd be able to finish it-Jake says he'd never been drunk before, and I was one time.

Add in the fact that we both have to walk home by ourselves in one of the largest cities in the world where we do not speak the language at all...I was a bit worried.

But as Bobby Horton would say: "Wine, will the best resolutions destroy" or in this case "Dongdongju" will and as the bowl emptied...

We got braver...and tossed on a bottle of Soju for good measure. Feeling quite drunk, we finally paid our bill and got on the way home. It was a tough little task, keeping on track, but we did it and we had a blast. But we had to get up for our DMZ trip the next day...

Looks like I won’t have a chance to finish this tonight. Not sure when my next one will be. Hopefully soon since there’s a lot to talk about and times are difficult now.

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