Random Times: 1st 24 hours (part I)
So I have nothing profound like the powers of kimchi to expound upon, so I am just going to tell some stories. This weekend was a total blur of social events, ground transportation, and mental endurance. It was all boat loads of fun, it just came with a price of serious exhaustion. But hey, am I 23 or 43? Yeah, thats what I thought, so I am going to stop cryin. An instant and constant
source of stimulation began immediately after work on Friday night. After exiting my school I got right into a car to go play basketball at 8:30pm with a squad of foreigners and my main man John, the Korean Barbarian. We absolutely ran our Korean challengers ragged (they had the skill levels of 10 year olds). Although not very much of a challenge, it was good exercise and did wonders for our confidence. After about an hour or so, I decided I really wanted to go back for the fun that was going to be had at Indian Camp (local bar where we all meet).
The meeting at Indian Camp was one of the merrier meetings that I can remember. Everybody was just feeding off of everyone else, perfect group cohesion. A wild night at Indian Camp automatically leads to a wilder night at a Noray Bong, and for brief yet potent details on that, see the previous blog entry. My Friday night ended late in a short but powerfully romantic embrace that made me forget that I was away from home.
Fast forward about 7 hours, and I am roused out of a deep slumber in my "Joe cave" as I know my mom would call it, by a phone call. A Korean friend and fellow co-worker named Jane is giving me quick directions to get ready and look decent to attend an authentic Korean wedding.
What an amazing opportunity. Only minutes after arriving at this large wedding facility, (which apparently accommodates multiple weddings at once) me and my partner in crime Alicia were abruptly shoved behind the bride and groom who we never actually met, for a barrage of photos which I am sad to report that I never received a copy of. Those pics are guaranteed gems though for sure.
We unfortunately missed the actual procession. I had a feeling the word "missed" could easily be replaced with "not allowed." Although it was discouraging not being able to see and be apart of the procession, it was probably for the best as I was really in no capacity to sit in a crowded and rigid atmosphere after my night of running amuck. We were instead ushered right into the reception area where the most gargantuan buffet I have ever laid eyes upon was waiting for us. The very sight of this feast could cause Kristy Alley to relapse into her previous cookie monster binging state. (my attempt at being funny) As this buffet was enormous, with well over 30 different chaffing dishes, it came strait out of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Raw and intact squid cut into sections, raw octopus, heaping plates of grasshoppers....and those were some of the few things that I could actually recognize. They did have ice cream though, yum yum or mashita in Korean.
Of course I had to sample everything, myself being the dashing and adventurous type. As my man Ron Burgundy improperly quoted, "when in Rome." There was definitely more than one time where I felt a pretty strong urge to empty the contents of my mouth into a napkin. I am sure everyone wanted to hear that, but life in Korea can be graphic. After stomaching as much food as I could at this Sizzler from planet Gorlak, we left to wait on the bride and groom to change out of their western style wedding attire and into their traditional Korean dress. I would liken their outfits to full suits of medieval armor, only in red and blue
ornately embroidered silk. They looked pretty substantial. What followed was a very interesting, curious and beautiful exchange of rituals that mainly included the groom pouring multiple cups of tea from a golden kettle for the bride. They were surrounded by their families in this tiny room and were the complete center of attention. Observing this go down prompted an intense feeling of wonderment and amazement. Although Korea is only like the third or fourth legitimately foreign country that I have experienced, I am already completely taken aback at the insane diversity of human culture. Lets just say that this white boy that has known a pretty homogeneous way of American life in north Seattle, is easily entertained at the moment.