Monday, June 30, 2008

Hunt For The Red Chair

Today was the first day I didn't hang out with anybody. I woke up, went on the Internet, showered, went out to Myeongdong and took some video footage of the place with my camera. I ate at Pizza Hut, which doesn't resemble the American version in any way at all. The place is clean, the service is good, the food is better, there are flowers and glass panels, etc. After that, I bought a Rolling Stones dvd for three dollars, and was shocked to find old Ozu, Kurosawa, Mizoguchi and Naruse movies at the same little underground shop in Myeongdong. I figured that there are no English subtitles for those, though. I also walked around Namdaemoon Market for an hour looking for a chair, sweating to death. I asked many people about where to buy the chair. I kept saying "어디에서 의자를 살 수 있어요?", but I think my pronunciation of "의자" was bad, so I had to follow it up with "자리" and "chair" each time. I bought a wall scroll that says "사랑" and the woman from whom I bought it was very nice and wrote down directions for me on how to get the chair. We had a nice mini-conversation. I finally found a small, wide green chair with a short back to it, for forty something dollars, and a larger, thinner, taller, red chair for seventy something dollars. I asked the people there which one was more comfortable. Of course, they told me to buy the more expensive one. First, I said "보여 주세요", so that I could see what the damned things looked like unfolded. I walked back to my hostel, sweating to death, with a forty pound red chair with metal sticking out. After that, I cooled off in my room, talked to people on MSN, and then went out for a late dinner. I got three doses of chicken kebab, and stood there for twenty minutes talking to the nice Iraqi man who runs the place. He cleaned an eyelash off my cheek with a tissue! I tried to ask him about the situation in Iraq and if it's getting any better, but I don't think he got my question. I asked him why he's in Korea and he said it's because his brother is here, running the kebab stand. I saw the brother praying (he's a Muslim) the other day. I asked the guy tonight who the little girl I saw the other day was, and he said she's his brother's daughter. I told him I'm twenty-five, and he said he's twenty-nine but not married. He looks fifty hahaha. He said he doesn't find the women here attractive, but Korean people are very nice. I asked him if he likes blondes. I told him he should come to New York some time soon, but he said he can't, because he's Iraqi. I told him I've only been to different states in the U.S. and Korea, but I'd like to go to Italy. He didn't know what Italy was, so I said "Italia" and made a hand gesture, which he understood. I said that his brother's daughter must be picking up Korean very fast, and then he said that she goes to a "hak-gyoo" haha. He said Korean is a very hard language to learn and pronounce, and mentioned the word, "빵". I finally headed home and picked up my laundry from 민. People who work here are very nice and do your laundry for you for only three dollars. Here are some pictures from today!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Kaeng, Shina, and 주은

Today, I woke up around 9 in the morning, went out and filmed the ten minute walk from my youth hostel to 남대문 시장. I get some chicken kebab from the Iraqi guy. Inside his little place, some Muslim guy was praying. After that, I drank some 매실 주스 because the kebab is spicy, and walked through the market. I bought a Baby Milo shirt, a shirt with a Buddhist 공안, and a Rolling Stones tour shirt, for about 23 dollars. Then I went to the computer in the lobby to talk to people, since my Internet was out all day. 진선 said she couldn't hang out until next week. I told 신아 this on AIM, and we decided to meet again at 5 PM today, along with 경은/갱 and her friend 주은. We went to a coffee place, talked about 소연, Jeff, America, Korea, and I said some dirty, funny things, as usual. After that, we walked around looking for somewhere to eat. We stopped at a few places in this famous neighborhood where actors and actresses go, but all the food sucked. We wound up at a Chinese food place that had small portions of food and was very dark. I joked around with Kaeng and told her she's a gangster, because Kaeng sounds like 갱, which reminds us of 깡패. I gave her some money for marijuana, in a joking fashion, and helped her pick out earrings. She punched my back to help me out. I still need a chair, desperately. Shina wrote out directions for me to get home. It involved transferring. I was able to do it okay. I said goodbye to 주은, the 중학생 (경은), and walked to the subway station right in back of us with Shina. I filmed her from the opposite side of the subway, and she gave me the middle finger 하하. Tomorrow, I plan on hanging out with Sumi.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

After Four Months, I Got to Meet Shina 동생!

Yesterday, I woke up around 8 o'clock, stayed on MSN until about 12:30 or 1 in the afternoon, while talking to Mike and Clara (very funny conversation, with Mike being ridiculous, as usual), showered, realized I had no clean boxers left, so I had to go to 남대문 시장 and buy them. It was very embarrassing because I had nothing on under my shorts ㅋㅋ. It was raining a bit, so I took an umbrella. After spending 24 dollars on 6 pairs of boxers that wound up being too tight on me, much like every item in this country is on me (하하), I went to a chicken kebab stand and got some chicken kebab. The man there, a Middle Eastern-looking guy, asked me where I am from. I told him I'm from New York. He said he was from Iraq. I didn't understand what he said at first, but then I said, "Oh, really? Iraq! Oh, that's interesting!", and I smiled. I told him not to put tomato on the kebab, and not to make it too spicy. It was spicy 하하. 그래서 알로에 주스를 샀어. After that, I looked for a bank, but was unable to find one. I found an ATM machine, and wound up with like 1,000 bucks 하하하. I'm being totally serious! I even took a picture of it, which you can see here! As I was walking back to my hostel, I was still hungry, so I bought a 미니 피자, which had cheese, pepperoni, ham and corn on it. It was absolutely disgusting and I couldn't eat it. When I got back to my room, I put on my new boxers, and relaxed. I talked to Nick, Mike and 신아 동생, who was at work. She told me to meet her at 5 o'clock at 충무로, near where she works. I managed to do fine taking the subway. I recognized Shina instantly, because she looks like she does in her pictures. She was on her phone throughout our date, talking with Kaeng, her sister, and her dad. She didn't want her sister to know she was hanging out with a foreign guy 하하하. First, we tried to see if there were any movies playing. I wanted to see the new Adam Sandler one, but it's not playing here, I think. I suggested going to the DVD 방, but she jokingly said "no way, 변태!" 하하. We went to a 한옥 and took many pictures, and I made a few okay Korean sentences. She pushed me to try to speak in Korean, which is very good for me. Near a pond with fish, some little kids yelled "외국인!" 하하하. Shina and I took pictures together, and I took a picture with the "mayor" of the 한옥. Then, we went to Tom & Tom's and had some good drinks and talked for a long time about me, her, Jeff, my brother, Mike, Noeul, America, Korean, 이 명박, etc. I got to talk to Kaeng on the phone for a minute or two, but couldn't hear her very well 하하. Finally, it was time to eat something. We went to a very nice-looking Italian restaurant, but the food wasn't very good. Shina laughed at how I couldn't eat the lasagna with my fork and spoon. Maybe I really am Korean and need chopsticks 하하하. We talked more about Jeff, and she said that maybe I should come along on their date. I suggested bringing 경은/Kaeng instead, and having her hit on Jeff and wearing lots of make-up and a 치마. Shina had to hurry home because she couldn't lie to her sister any longer and it was getting late 하하. We walked around in the rain with my umbrella and finally found where to go. We said goodbye, with hugs and also "yo yo homey" hand and back slaps. I prefer getting hugs from girls 하하하. I got back to 회현 station just fine, bought a drink, went back to my room, and sat in pain on my bed. I really, really need to buy a chair 하하. Shina is very nice and pretty, and a lot of fun! I hope Jeff is not an asshole. She deserves a good boyfriend, like me 하하. Today, I'm going to call 진선 and see if she can hang out. If she can't, I think 신아 wants to meet again. By the way, last night, I used the Kinoki foot pads, and they didn't do a single thing 하하.