Sunday, July 25, 2010

a night in Seoul

Quite a night last night. Went for some coffee first and had some Patbingsu which I’d never had before. It was very good. It's a popular Korean dessert which is very nice during the summer as it is nice and cold and refreshing. It includes corn flakes, ice cream, 떡 (rice cake), fresh fruit, and quite often, ice shavings. Here's a pic of what we had. One mixes all the ingredients together and it's really really good, cold and refreshing during the wearying Seoul summer.

Just down the road from this coffee place was Chois' Tacos where we got some burritos. I dunno if I'd say it was the best burrito I've had in Korea-Tomatillo Grill is incredible, my couple of experiences at Dos Tacos have been wonderful, and the three times I've been to Taco Family in Itaewon have all been excellent, but it was a fantastic burrito. I think given the multiple times I've been to Taco Family and the quality of the food there, make it my highest-ranked burrito place. The only knock I'd give to Dos Tacos (and again, this is really nitpicking) was that the burrito I had there once was just a bit on the small side. Tomatillo Grill was just excellent. But Chois' Tacos, wow. All fresh ingredients, well-made, didn't fall apart. Just unbelievably good.

So then we went to a fine 술집 (bar) quite popular with westerners and 교보 (folks of Korean descent who have citizenship in another country) and ordered some fine Hite and played games and generally had a laugh. We played one game where this spring-loaded clown head was on top of a body into which one had to put some keys. The head would only come off if one put in the right key. If one lost, one had to drink. I lost four times and so, had to drink a beer in one shot four times. That was alright-in fact, as punishments go, it's one of the more pleasant ones. However, one guy, who I'll call M, couldn't handle his drinky. He ended up face down next to the porcelain god. He had been telling his new friend (who I'll call J) how much he loved him, would take a bullet for him, how he understood him for quite some time. Anyway, so J and I, after M had been in there a few minutes, go and check up on him (meantime I was kickin' ASS in darts, lol). M is a big guy, as tall as me but a bit slimmer. So he's in the cubicle, face down, totally gone. We give him some time, and we're standing around him, both of us, in this small cubicle. At one point I started telling J, in my best M imitation, just how much I loved him. Honestly, what is one to do to kill time while waiting for a passed out guy to hopefully come to? After about 15 minutes, we encourage him to get up, we try and pick him up (it's the only stall in the men's john and a guy has arrived and has to GO). Perhaps our attempt to pick M up catalyzed his digestive tract.....and he puked.

We hoped that might be the tonic he needed to get up, but no. So we leave the guy there for a few more minutes. It's next to impossible to pick him up because he's so big and with two of us in the stall, we can barely get the room we need to pick him up but yet he's big enough that two of us are really needed. We come back a few minutes later and try again. This time he's cursing at us and just when we nearly have him up (I grabbed him under the arms and just about have him up), he slaps J in the face. At that point, it just seems this is a losing battle. I put him down. So then, J's ex-girlfriend comes into the stall and using her feminine wiles, tries to be a bit more persuasive in separating him from the floor. However it becomes increasingly obvious that there's gonna be no moving him for now. M is quite content kissing the cold white floor, for now. So after waiting another 15 minutes, we don't know what to do and we go. Honestly, what are we supposed to do? We couldn't budge him, we didn't make him unable to handle his drinky. We found out that the staff roused him and put him in a cab later.

Anyway, so the mood of the group had soured a bit after this episode. We were annoyed we couldn't move M and there was the issue of the break-up of J and his girl (who I'll call H), which happened that night, and as we spilled out onto the barriers at the side of the road, the uneasiness was quite clear, at least to me. I tried to encourage everyone else to head off to another drinking establishment or hof or something coz J had told me he wanted to go. It was obvious it was going to happen sooner or later. J and H had to talk and they were in another place mentally from the rest of us, so it shoulda been wise to head out and find another place in Seoul that serves some grown-up beverages....but folks stood around, wanting to help the nice girl, and dissolve some of the tension that had built-up and make everything OK on this gorgeous clear Sunday morning. However, all the well-wishing in the world wouldn't make everything OK. J and H had to deal with whatever they had to deal with and it was helping no one for us to hang around. Anyway, finally the group was able to make its break and let J and H talk things out. We headed to a hof where we had some 오징어학오, 지긴학오, 소주 (chicken, squid, and soju). A good time was finally had by all although some of the group were fading by about 3 or 3:30 o'clock. Some of us lasted all through the night though, heavily fortified by soju. We stepped into Seoul's breaking light around 5 o'clock, somewhat drowsy, but vowing to do it all again, in spite of the negative parts of the night. It was a wonderful night in Seoul, a painful night, an enjoyable night, it was a night in Seoul.

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