A Tragicomedy

This weekend I made it to the night scene in downtown Daegu for the first time. The section that we went to is the most popular spot for bars, clubs and norabangs. The streets were littered with young people conversing, drinking, walking, all pursuing a good time. Taking in everything with fresh eyes made the experience exciting and the time evaporated like a shallow puddle  under a blistering sun.

Almost all of my coworkers went to Seoul for the Global Gathering concert. I stayed behind because as I am getting settled here in Korea I am without extra won to spare on a weekend trip to the capital, and I don’t get paid until the end of the month. I wanted very much to make the two hour  KTX train ride to Seoul, especially since my boy  from NY, Nicuation was going and we could have united forces. It is about a 4 hour car ride to Seoul from Daegu but apparently the KTX travels at a very high pace. Two coworkers, Taco and Meat Sauce, also stayed behind so we went out together. Meat Sauce has been in Daegu since January so he acted as a guide  for the new arrivals (Taco arrived about a week before me).  After too much soju and whiskey Meat Sauce’s sense of direction was deeply compromised, but we still managed to hit up some good spots and on Friday we met up with some Korean teachers at our school. One of the girls had an amazing singing voice. I was impressed.

Before I came to South Korea all of my research signaled that Daegu is home to the most beautiful women. After being here for a week I admittedly was somewhat skeptical of this. My neighborhood is a working class part of town with many seniors selling produce and prepared dishes  and school children running around. For this first week it felt as if I  have more of a chance of seeing two extremely drunk middle aged men fist fighting in the street (which I witnessed) than seeing a breathtaking girl. The disturbing thing about this is  numerous people walked by these two men and did  not so much as blink. I was across the street viewing from a table, set outside of a convenience store. One of the inebriated guys pulled the shirt off the other and ran down the street with it as if it were his nations flag. The other fella trotted behind him wanting the shirt but not wanting to continue the quarrel. I felt guilty watching.

I have seen some good-looking women but to be frank it was not living up to the hype. This all changed when I went downtown this weekend. There I found an abundance of yeputa (pretty) girls at every turn. On Saturday, after hitting up a few bars that are popular among the foreign populace (The Commune, Thursday’s, & Organ) we checked out a Korean dance club. Virtually everyone there was on the dance floor bobbing to the music that sounded very techno. Interestingly I did not see any men and women dancing with each other, rather everyone kind’ve did their own thing. I’m not sure if this is typical in Korea or what. When I approached a few ladies to dance they seemed more startled then anything else and after some unsuccessful attempts I realized this was a futile method. Unfortunately I don’t speak Korean beyond greetings and ordering food. My conversational skills are on par with a two year old baby that really likes beef. In short, I did not truly “experience” a Korean girl this weekend. Regardless, I had a great time and danced for a large part of the night. I met some nice Korean guys who were quick to call me handsome and explained to me a little about Korean women.”You hav to choo vewry careful” stated one guy in a thick accent. We also made friends with some Italian guys who loved to dance and who wore permanent smiles.

We left the Korean club at around 5 am with two Korean guys and their female friend. How did this trio end up joining us? Meat Sauce began talking to a guy named  Kwan and this is how their encounter went, or how I remember it.

Meat Sauce: (Put’s arm around Kwan)

Kwan: (Jumps) Hey I’m not gay.

Meat Sauce: Trust me Kwan I am not gay either, my friend. I love women very much. Last night I had sex with two women. I want to find Korean girl to bring back to my apartment, my man.

Kwan: Do you know American girl?

Meat Sauce: Yes, yes Kwan. I know many white American girls that you can one hundred percent have lots of sex with.

Kwan and his friend explained that they watch plenty of American porn and that they have fantasized about being with an American.

Kwan: I know girl for you, but she little fat.

Meat Sauce: That’s perfect, my man. Kwan,  I do not discriminate. Being with a Korean is like trying to stick a watermelon in a thimble.

I went to the dance floor and came back to the lounge and their female friend was sitting next to Meat Sauce. Her friends  said she wants to drink so we went to a restaurant type establishment. There we ordered red wine and hor d’oeurves. It was a typical Korean restaurant in that you sat on the floor cushion with a low table, but it was more intimate because all the tables were separated by a very thin, see through curtain. We enjoyed a few bottles and got to know each other. The two guys kept saying their friend was fat for Korean standards and she agreed. Meat Sauce was extremely quick to put these thoughts to rest. She was not thin, but not fat by any means. She had a round face and short, straight hair that mushroomed around her ears. After about an hour, a pissed-off  guy  claiming to be  her boyfriend came by and grabbed Kim Chong Yong.  The three Koreans hurried out of the place with the agitated boyfriend. I’m not sure if it was a ploy for a couple free drinks or if it was really her boyfriend but the disappointment on Meat Sauce’s face was reminiscent of a kid finding out Santa is not real.

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