Sunday, August 23, 2009

Battling Expectations

When my sabonim (master, in this case my taekwondo master) asked me what my plans were for the weekend on Thursday I initially replied something along the lines of:

Alex: Ummm, sleeping? Also, reading and eating.
Sabonim: Salsa Boy** not here, so you do nothing?
Alex: Well no...but I like to read!
Sabonim: Hurmph. Okay, She-jah! (Start!)
**Obviously he did not say Salsa Boy. But it's really weird to type dialogue from a Korean man and insert Salsa Boy. I feel like I need to reassure you that my teacher actually knows our names. Which unfortunately, is more than us foreigners can say for most of the other Korean students in the class.

I related the conversation to my Mom, admitting that it had a lot more to do with the fact that I have innate hermit tendencies when not pushed more than I'm not making plans without Salsa Boy. She agreed but I still wasn't satisfied. After all, two weekends in a row of being a hermit is a little absurd. I needed to get out of the house aside for lounging at Coffee Amico with fresh roasted beans and incredible coffee (do I sound properly addicted to you?) or braving E-Mart to get groceries. So I did what any proper hermit does and got online. What I ended up doing:

Friday: Taekwondo class, birthday party gathering at Danke (a bar in Beomgye) where I also had my calluses worked on by the nibbly fish at the Doctor Fish pool in the back. Begged out around 12:30/1am to go home...and read. I am lame. So sue me.

Saturday: Went to an exhibit on the last 100 years of comic art in Korea at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Like all exhibits in Korea there was a dirth of any signage or information available in English.

Dear Korea,
Even communist countries like China recognize that to be an 'international tourist destination' you have to appeal to your target populations. Put up some damn signs in English in your museums, or hell, even Chinese or Japanese and YOU WILL BE MUCH BETTER S

Go Fishing, Tobae, February 1887.Image via Wikipedia


Aside from that it was really interesting. One of the friends I went with knows quite a bit about comic art. His girlfriend and I mainly looked for the political cartoons and purely visual images that were entertaining without needing much Korean. Admittedly her Korean is far better than mine.

After the museum I met up with a couple of different friends who just returned from a few weeks in Canada and had fantastic daeji galbi, marinated meat bbq in Pyeongcheon. Then I went up to Hongdae, bar/clubbing central, to meet up with a friend from BOARDING SCHOOL who just arrived here. I haven't seen him in 5 years and it was incredible. We had both changed a lot, for the better I think, and it provided hours of good conversation. I even managed to split a cab home with 2 friends of a friend so I didn't get stuck crashing on a floor OR paying a ridiculous amount for a cab by myself. To be fair, by NY standards, it was nothing but I'm being spoiled in Korea and I don't want to pay 45,000 (errr 35 bucks or so?) by myself. The cab rates just went up, no more 30,000 rides home at 3am. Oh well, will just force me to be more social. I don't really mind crashing on floors but when given the choice between the floor and my comfy bed, it isn't exactly a hard decision.

So all in all it was a good weekend. Today I plan to be fiercely antisocial (mainly because my vocal chords hate me, stupid pollution) until SALSA BOY RETURNS FROM HIS TWO WEEK SOJOURN IN JAPAN. I like a good mix of antisocial and social. I am supposed to practice my taekwondo at some point today but I am STILL sore from practicing flying/jump kicks and punches on Friday and would kind of rather stay very still in bed. Oh laziness, you are amazing.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Years ago, right after high school, I spent a summer living with a family in Sweden. We went to see a movie that was in German, that had Swedish subtitles! When grandmother and I were in Italy, it seemed that every time we went to buy the tourist guide to where we were... they had it available in all languages except English. English was always sold out!

Adam is back in school and finally taking some classes in his major of film.