Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Seoul again

Hello again

I have four days left at work and just over a week left here. I thought I'd write one more update from Korea before i leave.

My good friend Sang Min works at a hotel in Seoul and he called me late one Monday night asking if i wanted a drink. When i met him he told me he was eating dinner with the flight crew of Emirates Airlines who'd checked into the hotel earlier that day asking if he knew anywhere good to eat and drink. What he didn't tell me was that they were eating barbecued pigs cheeks and the Emirates Airlines flight crew consisted of a loud Brazilian pilot and a idiot Canadian co-pilot who's only topics of conversation seemed to be about the availability of cheap drunk women. They didn't seem put out when i told them about the fact that it was rainy Monday night and cheap drunk women on rainy Monday nights weren't something i knew much about. They seemed even less surprised by my slight confusion when they showed me pictures of their respective wives and children. Just to add to the mix two Indian guys who were part of the cabin crew turned up as well and one of them told me that he doesn't "eat anything that once had a face" and the the loud Brazilian guy waved his arms around pointing to the other Indian man proudly telling everybody that his friend was a twenty six year old virgin. Eventually we finished eating pigs cheeks and they headed off to find their friend a sexual companion for the first time in his life.

Sang Min got married a couple of weeks later at a church in Incheon city west of Seoul which was a rainy day but a nice one too. Whenever i told any Korean friends that my mate was getting married one of the first thing they would talk about was food. Would there be a buffet? What kind of food would it be? Would it all be free? At the wedding itself it seemed that most people were less bothered about the bride and groom and more bothered about the quality of sushi and pasta on offer. It was like a buffet with a wedding on the side. But Koreans are obsessed with food. It's almost as if every meal or snack is a new experience to be treasured. People often greet you not with "Hello" or "How are you?" but "Did you eat lunch" as if the contents of you stomach and current condition of your bowels trumps any other physical or psychological problems you may have.

It's been fun living here and there are rarely dull moments in Seoul but I'll be happy to move on. It's a bit strange living in a city where almost all the buildings, vehicles and infrastructure is younger than me. It's developed itself so quickly that people can hardly keep up with the constant state of change that is Seoul and Korea at large but somehow they've managed to go from an economy comparable to Bangladesh to an economy similar to Spain in just 55 years. But I'll be even happier to leave my job which has been a ball ache for a while now. I feel mentally constipated. As if my brain is desperate for a crap and is running from the knees down to the nearest toilet knowing that a load of shit is about to escape from it. No more teaching English to students masquerading as monkeys and working with managers pretending have cognitive skills. Dump.

So, I'll be on a ferry to Japan on the 27th and not long after that i should be starting a two month hike around the island of Shikoku following an old Buddhist pilgrimage of visiting 88 temples on the Japanese path to enlightenment. I guess that'll be the part where i mentally wipe my arse.

Have fun. See you soon.

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