You have failed and now you must Daegu!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Massive update. Get a cup of cocoa and sit down.

I left for Seoul to meet my cousin immeadiately after class. The train ride was fairly uneventful, but it was my first time traveling alone in this country. I arrived in Seoul just after midnight and I got in the mile long cab line. The first cabbie I tried to take had a problem with foreigners(the first racist cabbie I get is in Seoul??? WTF?) and refused to take me to the hotel. The second cabbie was smarter and not racist. After calling Su-Jin and handing him the phone he agreed to take me to the Hotel M.

I met Paul around 1am on Friday morning. We headed to "Miller Time" for beer and a massive plate of appetizers. We caught up on family stuff and basically figured out how each of us was doing. Then I joined Paul and his two friends(Don, the man breaking the record, and Brent, a friend that came along for the challenge) in the hotel room to get some rest. Don and Brent are buzzsaws. Until I fell asleep, I thought I was in a saw mill. The bed was also as hard as a rock, but the bathrooms were excellent.

Don, Brent and Paul had to go register for the race at the "Seoul Hotel" and I had to meet Su-Jin at the hotel. Afterwards, we went to the Yongsan district of Seoul. I wanted to buy bootleg DVD's and movies. They had a bootleg of "300" for roughly $3. It was too good to pass up. It's a great film, but I still want to see it in the theatre.

Su-Jin and I took Paul out for Korean BBQ. He tried everything and had some soju. Paul claims he likes soju. Whatever.

I could tell that Don was starting to get tense about breaking the record. I think its important to mention that none of these guys are "athletes." Brent, Paul and Don are really just a regular guys. They don't have the "Eye of the Tiger" and all of them are more comfortable on a bar stool than in a gym. I was kind of surprised when I first met everyone. I thought there would be at least one chisled physique, but I was the only one without a(noticable) gut.

Saturday was designated as "chill day." The guys wanted to rest before the marathon. We went to the art district of Seoul for tea and souvenirs. Then, the guys went back to the hotel to relax and I went with Su-Jin to her old neighborhood. It reminded me a lot of Chicago's northside, just with smaller streets and buildings. She took me for "Duk Galbi." It's a pork patty in grease with wads of cooked dough. It absolutely destroyed my guts. I'm still in pain. My mouth liked it, but my stomach did not.

Sunday was the day of the race. Very tense. I woke up just in time to watch the start of the finish of the race. A Korean guy rallied to beat the Kenyans. Yeah! Hometown! Su-Jin and I showed up at the race just after 1 o'clock and we arrived just in time to see Paul, Don and Brent enter the stadium and then finish the race.

After the race, everyone got their Finisher's Medals and we headed to Burger King to replace some lost calories. Su-Jin and I headed to Daegu. Paul and Brent spent the night in Seoul to celebrate with Don.

I caught up with Paul and Brent around 2pm on Monday. They were craving Pizza Hut, so they got lunch while I showered and prepared for class.

They spent all day downtown before heading to my school around 8. Mr. Kim fed them and gave them details on the operation while I finished my day. Then, we headed out for proper Daegu BBQ and beers. A good time was had by most. There was a bit of a crisis later in the evening, so I had to head home around 2am to assist with that.

Paul and Brent chose to stay at a "Love Hotel." When Koreans want quick sex and they need a place to go, they go to a "Love Hotel." It has all the amenities of a hotel, plus a few, um, extras to put couples in the mood. It was actually a pretty nice place. Other than the hooker trading cards at the entrance, it wasn't that sleazy.

I went out with Paul and Brent for lunch the next day. Then they observed one of my classes. They got to see how I fight monsters. After that, they headed back downtown for another round of shopping before picking up their bags and heading to Seoul on the KTX. Overall, I think Paul and his friends really liked Korea.

A final funny story. With my guts in knots, teaching was difficult. Made more difficult by the Mike DeWoskin level gas that I was plagued with. I gassed one of my classes. I walked past their desk and it was like a punch in the face. "Oh! Teacher! Bad smell!" Ugh! Terrible!" At least it was in English. I had no response. I couldn't even blame it on another kid. I just said something like, "Kim chee. It hurts my stomach. Bad stomach." I was afraid to move for the last ten minutes of class. Another gas attack and I would earn myself an unflattering nickname.


Anonymous kidlee47 said...

Your Dad is renowned and sometimes feared.

7:26 PM  

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