Friday, August 16, 2013

Old Random Journal Entry about Korea: A Day in Seoul, September 26th, 1996

While I swim in the seas of too much paperwork as I prepare for my first day of work here in the Kingdom, here's an old journal entry from 1996 about a day off in Seoul, Korea. Share my past boredom with me.

The "Hollywood" mentioned was a nightclub popular with English teachers and some of the (comparatively very small number) of women who went there to work as models or hostesses. They got a few Army guys, and the incident in question led to them banning Army guys from the place.

Spoilers for the 1996 film ESCAPE FROM L.A. included. Read at your own risk.

Thursday, September 26th, 1996 6:00pm

Day off, and not an especially interesting one, excepting my walk to Myong-Dong to see "Escape from L.A." A bit silly, maybe, but nice to see Snake Plissken back in action and the end, when he shuts down the world's electricity with an electromagnetic pulse weapon, is priceless.

Other than that I just wandered around. Everything interesting is closed, and everything else is crowded. Some guy with a ponytail approached me -- a Korean or some kind of Asian -- and asked if I knew where to buy lubricant for a condom. Some kind of crude gay come-on? I grunted "I dunno" and walked off.

2:30 am

I went to the Hollywood, and in addition to a handful of skinny button-nosed models, there was a dandy punch up, involving some big Army guys -- actually more of a wrestling match, shove fest, and shout-a-thon, but some chairs got knocked over and a lot of glass got broken.

It grew pretty large at one point -- two seperate main bouts, one set male, one set female, with a lot of other people wrestling, shoving, trying to break it up, and urging the fighters on. A guy took his shirt off; somebody threw a pool ball at the wall. An older guy was yelling, "They wanna fight the old man, they'll see who's a bad ass!" Some guys who came to break up the fight ended up joining in.

I watched placidly until it all wrapped up. As I walked out, I saw a green glow-stick lying in the broken glass. I picked it up, twirled it a few times, and laid it on a table.

There was a lot more fighting than fucking going on in Seoul for those days. I hope it's better now.


Anonymous said...

What a small world; I was living there at the time - working on the new Inchon airport project. I refer to that depressing period of my life as "my year with the dog-people". I hated every minute of my time there. Nothing like an hour-long commute packed like sardines in train that reeks of Kimchi breath. Remember the pink puddles of Kimchi-puke compliments of late-night drinking parties of happy salarymen?

English Teacher X said...

Yeah, and it would freeze in the winter; little glaciers of puke.

Anonymous said...

I hated my time there as well. Although, its hard to put a finger on why living there is so depressing. It's cold, but so are many other places. The food isn't that bad, comparably. It paid well, comparably. The students were smart and the girls cute. However, it did suck. I can't figure it out but to conclude that it was a likely combination of a lot of little annoyances. Maybe it was just sterile. That's probably it.

Shannon Baker said...

It sounds like an interesting series. I will check it out

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