Where Did My Weekend Go?

Man, weekends go by much too fast. I hate Sundays. I spend all day lamenting the fact that I have to go to work. It’s not because I dislike my job or anything. I just never want to go. Once I’m actually there and start working, it’s fine. But knowing I have to go always puts me in a bad mood.

Friday night I went to Dolce for the Mardi Gras/birthday party. I think I got there around 9:30 PM, and there were already like 40 people there. I didn’t expect that. I had a conversation with someone about something I’ve noticed more and more recently. Around my six month mark, I felt like I knew pretty much everyone in Cheonan. Even if I didn’t know their names or ever talk to them, I at least recognized everyone in a bar. More and more recently, I feel like I walk into a bar in Cheonan and I don’t know anybody.

I know that pretty much every six months a good amount of people leave Korea to go home, but around my sixth month, the only people I knew that left were people I had just met, so I didn’t feel like I was losing many friends because I didn’t know them well. Anyway, when I go to a bar, I don’t really go to meet people. I just go to get drunk. And talk to people I know. So, not knowing many people at a bar, it gets kind of boring because I’m not generally comfortable just striking up a conversation with a stranger.

So, bottom line, I didn’t stay at Dolce very long.

Saturday, I slept in until 1:30 PM. I haven’t done that in awhile. One drawback of my apartment is that it’s on a major road, so even early in the morning it’s a bit loud with all the cars and buses going by. Anyway, a bit after I woke up, a friend texted me to see what I was doing. I hadn’t seen her in awhile and she wanted to meet up in Hongdae. If it wasn’t so hard making plans with her, I might have declined, but usually our schedules don’t match up, so it is kind of hard to find time to hang out, so I went even though I wasn’t really up for Hongdae.

She wanted to meet at 11 PM, but a combination of being bored as fuck in Cheonan and expecting to see a band in the park made me get to Hongdae around 9 PM. I don’t think I’ve mentioned them before, but pretty much every weekend there’s a fantastic band that plays in the park in Hongdae. They’re called Soundbox. I try to get to Hongdae early just to see them. They’re easily the best part of Hongdae in my opinion. They’re a 10 member jam band. They’ve got people that sing, beatbox, tapdance, play bongos, and they recently added a comedian/MC type guy that also blows fireballs.

They do a mix of Korean and American covers. Everything from current K-pop hits to classics like “Stand By Me”, “Just the Two of Us” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”. Last night, their finale was maybe the best cover of Elvis’ “Hound Dog” I’ve ever heard. I actually got a pretty good spot, right up front, even though there’s always a big crowd of like 200 people there to watch, and one of the guys noticed me while he was talking to the crowd. He seemed excited a foreigner was watching and asked me where I was from, so I told him in Korean. That drew a pretty big “Oooooh” from the crowd. Haha. They even brought some random old dude out of the crowd and he played a song on guitar and sang. He was really good. They’ve got a great energy and they involve the crowd in their shows really well.

My friend came a bit after 11 PM and we sat at a hof for awhile drinking and chatting. I knew she wanted to go to a club. I think most people know I’m not really a dancer, but you can’t really go to a club one-on-one with a girl and not dance. That’s just not how the world works. Anticipating this, I broke my rule and drank some soju at the hof. I swore off soju in Hongdae after a rather… messy night, but we just had three bottles between us, so it was enough to take the edge off without getting too ridiculous.

Anyway, the club I wanted to go to, I was too drunk to find, so we just walked into a random place. It was really more of a bar than a club, but whatever. You work with what you’re given. So, we danced for awhile, then she started including some Korean guys that were sitting at a table near where we were dancing. One was like a pretty shy-type guy and she really wanted him to loosen up and dance. So we danced for awhile with these random dudes. Some of them tried to like, dance on me, which I was not too enthused about, but whatever.

After we got tired, we just sat and bullshitted for awhile. They asked me if I wanted to date my friend, and my response was that she already had a boyfriend. But apparently here in Korea that’s not a problem. The guy’s response was basically “Ah, don’t mind that. She’s not married yet!” I guess any girl outside of wedlock is fair game in Korea. Classy. What can you say to that though? Nothing, pretty much. Just smile and nod.

We left the bar somewhere around 5:30 AM. I didn’t think we were in there that long, but we must have been in there around four hours. It honestly didn’t seem that long. How time flies when you’re having fun, I guess. It was a little hard getting a cab that late. The later you stay out, the harder it is to find a cab that won’t turn you down if it’s not a big enough fare. Then, when I finally did, when I told the guy where to go, he misspelled it in the GPS tracker, so I corrected him. “Oh, you speak Korean very well.” Haha.

Anyway, not much on the slate today. Watch a movie, go to the language group, rest and recover, steel myself for the work week.

Here’s a video of Soundbox. It’s 24 minutes long, but definitely skip through it and check it out.


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