From Zero to Hero

I’ve had a pretty awesome weekend. Time here flies by super fast. Thursdays are short days and Fridays are always just conversation and games, so once you get past Wednesday it feels like the weekend is just an hour or two away.

Friday night I left Buldang early and went to help Mr. Lee revise some books at the office in Oseong. I was doing that until about 7:30 PM. I got to the soccer stadium an hour late, and I missed the whole first half. Cheonan was beating Yongin City FC 1-0 when I arrived. Cheonan scored again to make it 2-0, and things were looking good. Contrary to what a lot of people think, soccer is actually a sport where shit can change really quickly. Yongin City FC scored to make it 2-1 and start a come back. Several minutes later, they got a PK, but the keeper saved it pretty miraculously. With ten minutes left in the game, Cheonan City FC scored again to seal the deal at 3-1. Got to see my first Cheonan City FC win, and they come out of a three game nightmare pretty well. They’re now tied for seventh place in the league, but they’re only three points behind the top team, so one more win and they’d be tied for first.

After the game I went over to the cheering section and asked one of the guys in a jersey where he bought in (in Korean), and he just said that he got it online. Most of the Koreans there were younger guys, some high school. High schoolers tend to treat me as entertainment. They may say hi or the like, but you can tell they’re being sarcastic. Still, no reason to get your panties in a bunch. I just say hi back real friendly like and go on my way.

I managed somehow to run into Dave as I was leaving the game and we went and checked out some bars. I had just a sniff more soju than I should’ve and woke up 11:30 AM Saturday morning with a massive headache. It’s honestly only the second hangover I’ve had, and not for lack of trying. The weird thing is that I didn’t feel like I drank that much. Soju is sneaky.

Around 2 PM Dave and I left to go to Bucheon by subway. Pretty much a three hour trip. In a rush, I forgot my contact case and my Zune, so it was a boring ass ride and I had to sleep with my contacts in. When we got to Bucheon, we called his friend up and we met him. The guy’s name is Justin, another Buckeye, and he’s super chill. We immediately went to the bar, and I got a turkey sandwich for dinner, which was the first thing I ate all day, and ended up being the only thing.

The bar was called Rhythm and Booze, and it’s a really cool spot. The beer pong tournament had only eight teams signed up, so it wasn’t big. I guess the one they had back in March had like 18 teams so the winners took home like $300, but we only got $150 when we won. Dave and I teamed up, and we ran train all up in a bitch. We were ranked last because we’d never competed there before, which meant we had to play the best teams there. It was double-elimination tournament, so you could lose once, and go to the loser’s bracket. Win that and you’d still go to the championship, but we didn’t need to give a loss away. Only one game was close out of the four we played, and one game ended up a fantastic death cup. I made the first cup, and Dave shot, bounced off the table, hit the guy in the chest, then fell into the cup. After we won the tournament I bought the guy a shot because I felt bad for him. The crowd was pretty much strictly Westerners.

The only Koreans there were the bartenders, at least for a long time. I thought a couple of Koreans came in, but they were speaking perfect English with no accents, so I went up to them and asked where they were from. Detroit and New York. A couple Korean girls came in that are apparently dating some of the white guys that were there, but all-in-all, it was a pretty white crowd. It felt just like a bar in Columbus (there was even some hip-hop artist from Cinci performing there [he was shit]), which I had mixed feelings about. It was great, I had a lot of fun and met a lot of really cool people, but I don’t want to let myself fall into only hanging out with foreigners, just because I think it’d affect my Korean. If I came over here and spent all my time around other foreigners and didn’t learn any Korean I’d feel like I wasted my time. If you’re just going to hang out with foreigners you may as well just have stayed in the States.

I had managed to stay pretty sober during the tournament, but after winning I was in a celebrating mood, and my condition quickly declined. I’m told eventually I just shut down and started passing out at the bar so we went back to Justin’s place and crashed. Woke up around 10:30 AM feeling pretty fine. I still had $36 in my wallet when I woke up, too. Considering I walked in there with $45, that’s pretty awesome. I got hammered on nine bucks. We got lunch at some Italian place (it was okay, not great) and then went back to Justin’s place to kick it and shoot the shit. I was probably still really punchy from drinking so much and sleeping so little, but it was all pretty hysterical stuff.

Came home by the subway, another three hours again. It took a little longer than needed because at one point the train took a little detour and we had to backtrack. I think I kind of creeped some Korean chick out. Her, Dave and I were the only ones in the car, and without my Zune or a book or something, I was bored as hell. And if you’re the only other goddamn person on the train, I’m probably going to spend a lot of time looking at you just out of boredom. She just so also happened to be wearing a really short skirt, and I think she thought I was eye-fucking her. When we backtracked, I noticed she was getting on the wrong train that was going right back to the dead end station, and I almost said something to her, but decided I didn’t need to make her feel weirder and figured she’d figure it out on her own. I really need to find a way to get back and forth to Bucheon that isn’t expensive or take three hours. There’s a possibility of me going back on Tuesday night for a Cinco de Mayo party, facilitated by the fact that May 5th is Children’s Day, a national holiday, so I don’t have to work.

This week the kids start new books, which is great. A month of these stories is way too much. The kids and I are all bored with them.


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