Rockin in the free world
(Pics are coming)
A core nucleus of peeps have definitely formed over the last 9 weeks. The usual suspects include a combination of the following: Korean John, Gaucari, Tamara (my camera buddy) Keith, Hillary, Alicia and myself. (Side note: I have numerous pet names for John, including Johnny boy, the manchild, Korean Barbarian, and most recently Johnny Blaze...in case anyone wanted to know) Recently the inner circle has been comprised of G, T, A and I, as we not only work together but play together as well. For example, we have roughly 6 hours a day of English instruction, five days a week. Our playtime consists of frequenting Kareoke rooms, various dance clubs of hedonism, and dive bars with pool, darts, mekju, and Bon Jovi tunes. We honestly see so much of each other its absurd.
Will everyone get tired of eachother? is there a friend saturation point? I think there is but this situation is special. Quiet simply, we're all we got. These friendships take on a higher importance seriously bordering on family cohesion. From G & T's taco night feeding frenzies (where they make vegetarian tacos from scratch that we inhale) to having my random wounds and battle damage cleaned and dressed by momma T (when I get a little too wild and require medical attention) to random things like re-aligning each others spines. The desire for freshness and seeing new faces is growing but I don't know if I can wean myself off these magnificent human beings.
Staying true to my addiction to these friends o'mine, we set out together for Seoul on Friday night (6/9). Due to our late finishing time at the bog of eternal stench aka the school where I teach (referencing the movie "labyrinth" at any time is extremely fun) we didn't get on a train until about 10pm. It was 11:30pm before we were getting situated at our first night spot of the evening/early morning in an area of Seoul called Hongdae. I knew the night was heading in a good direction immediately as I was thoroughly entertained from just walking around Hongdae. Everyone knows the freaks come out at night, but due to the fact this night was also hosting the first game of the 2006 world cup tournament, there were droves of human spectacles out and about.
We found our dance club of choice after none too long of a search, and in preparation, some of the more refined ladies of the group pulled disappearing tricks with cans of HITE beer and broke city ordinances of public urination. The first few minutes inside this club were a little intimidating. We were literally the only non-Koreans there, making up a population of 7 foreigners to roughly 500-600 Koreans. At first glance of the main dance floor I was somehow able to avoid sustaining a massive coronary that any fire code inspector would have suffered having looked at the same room. It was absolutely packed to the brim with kids. After about 30 seconds my urge to do all that is amazingly fun kicked in like clockwork and I was pushing through the crowd (which parted like water) to get to the highest focal point of the dance floor. My friends and I found our perch and we got our respective grooves on. Rockin out atop this stage, surveying all the people beneath us on the floor, dancing interpretively to some amazing dj named Doong Doong Hay, all got me one step closer to truly realizing what it means to be a rock star. I am sure I looked like Elton John or Boy George to the Koreans below but I honestly felt like I was Zach De la Rocha or MCA in the middle of a concert. Such an amazing vibe at this club.
Not too much later, the next barrel of monkeys was happened upon by Hillary. She had found a smaller room playing tunes that I can only describe as "hard core" but "get together" at the same time. So we're all cuttin it up in this room, Gaucari is dancing like the one black dude in all of Dave Chapel's skits doing the robot, and before I know it, a faucet/sprinkler in the ceiling (fit in size for the hand of Zeus himself) turns on and everyone is immediately drenched to the bone with H20. I felt like a convict getting sterilized for the first time with a fire hose. It was absolutely fn ridiculous, and completely mind blowing. At one point I got so riled up from dancing in this giant public shower that I lost balance and went flying into a stage (that definitely took a little outta me, hence the need for Momma Ts medical attention). I felt like Chris Farley in his prime. Momentary losses of body control combined with sudden impacts is becoming more and more my style, and never, ever, not going to be funny. (maybe it will stop being funny with an onset of internal bleeding). The night ended around 5 am when we got to Johns parents apartment. In a room full of people dressed in pajamas fit for a Richard Simmons aerobic video, sleep found me quickly and painlessly. Yet another weekend toppling the shear epicness of the last in dramatic Korean fashion. My mind is full of memories of these times that shine like trillion cut diamonds.