Look! A dog on the ground!

Trip Start Feb 12, 2006
Trip End Mar 02, 2007

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Flag of Korea Rep.  ,
Tuesday, March 28, 2006

You know you've been in Korea too long when the call "Look! A dog on the ground!" actually makes you turn and look.
It would seem the Paris Hilton phenomenon has leeched into the country's consciousness like poison into the village well. All the young femmes get about dressed to the nines in clothes that could have been thrown together by a drunk drag queen gone mad on crack, and they all carry around miniature lap dogs that have been forced into matching coats, hats and fluffy boots in various shades of fluorescent pink. Not only that, but the poor little pooches have all been subjected to various 'beauty salons' where their ears get dyed to match their owner's mood/outfit/sadistic fantasies. I'm pretty sure the little critters have no clue what their legs are for because no matter how much they try to scramble towards freedom, it is a losing battle. I've never actually seen one of these beribboned doggies on the ground, let alone left to lick and preen au naturale. So on a busy Saturday evening in La Festa, Erin's unnaturally excited call aroused the same kind of adrenalin rush in me as Alexander Fleming must have felt upon discovering penicillin. While this episode might point out once again how obscenely strange my life has become, at least us whities are finding novel ways to entertain ourselves, given the only all English channel on TV is AFN - American Frontline Network - entirely devoted to blowing smoke up the arses of the US occupying forces, boosting their already overinflated sense of self-importance.
On the other side of the coin, it would seem the Korean population is finding us to be a novel form of entertainment.
Whilst taking an enjoyable stroll down Meat Street a portrait artist used his wily charms and stroked our sense of vanity enough for us to fork out 20,000 won (about $25) to draw our portraits. His portfolio was impressive enough, so we thought there would be no harm done.
It would seem that two blondies sitting completely still on the street in Ilsan is an absolute novelty. No sooner had we taken our seats than a crowd began to gather to point at us - the sideshow freaks and wave frantically at us saying "hello hello" over and over again, rolling round in sheer delight whenever we said hello back. One man dragged his young daughter over to us, holding her in head lock as she struggled to run away, saying "she want meet you, she want talk Engrish you," which would have been all well and good if it wasn't so obvious that it was in fact Daddy, who was so keen to talk. So throughout the fifteen minute ordeal we accumulated quite a crowd, enough to make even the most abrasive attention seeker blush under the power of their collective scrutiny.
After seeing all the Korean give a thumbs up and saying "perfect" I was pretty confident that the picture would be a fair likeness of me, only, hopefully a little more flattering. So with baited breath, I waited for the great unveiling.
While I forced a fabulous winning smile and cooed "oooh, very pretty, so nice" I was wondering what he saw in me that made him draw me like a maniacal 12 year old bent on drowning small kittens. Not only that, but Erin and myself, two extremely unambiguously Caucasian women somehow came out looking strangely Asianic - picture an evil twelve year old me with an oddly long forehead and black eyes drawn as a Manga cartoon and you'll start to get the right picture.
That one's going straight to the pool room.
After the grand unveiling we decided we needed a stiff drink, and thought it would be an even better idea to rope the twins in on the act. We headed to my watering hole - the Pirate Bar and proceeded to shot 3 jugs of yogurt soju in a short space of time. I was a giggling mess by the time we left to harass the Bali Style Nurebang, one of the swishest in the area. We managed to smuggle in about six or seven more bottles of soju which we shot from the bottle while hiding behind the couch. A great time was had - we all got well shit-faced and a little teary as we serenaded each other with Puff The Magic Dragon, everyone loved my rendition of Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport and we all got up and jumped around like rabid pandas to the tune of Dr. Jones. As one by one the others passed out, sprawled across the beautiful marble floor, I had a chance to sing all the songs the others complained about when they were conscious. As the sun rose over the horizon, and rose higher, and higher still, I used my last vestiges of energy to kick the other three into life. To the great relief of the nurebang staff we finally stumbled - literally stumbled - into the elevator, clanging with the sound of our ill-gotten empty soju bottles which we'd stuffed into various bags and pockets. We crawled the 50 metres home (I almost got lost at one stage) hissing at the sunlight "Hssss! It burns! It burns!" A la the Wicked Witch of the West - and eventually made it back to our respective apartments, where I was lulled to sleep by the sound of Erin complaining that she wanted Galbi for breakfast. We got up for brekkie at about 6pm and made our way to (where else?) Maccas, for a spot of cheesie-b. Understandably, we were horrified to discover there were no cheesie-b buns and therefore no cheesie-b's. So feeling rather disgruntled, we chowed down a chicken burger apiece and trawled thorough a twenty pack of nuggets. One the way back through La Festa we stopped to watch a hip hop dance extravaganza where a group a boys who would have been about 15 or 16 pulled some moves i didn't think were humanly possible. I wanted to sign up to be one of their groupies, but there weren't any registration forms. I tell you, if I was Korean school-girl, I'd have such a crush on those guys - especially the one in the green hat. As it was, being in a throng of aforementioned school girls it was inevitable that we'd be harassed into some mind-numbingly boring text book English conversations. "Hello. How do you do?" I'm fine thank you. How are you?" "I'm fine. Thank you for asking." Grr.
Erin couldn't have been stuffed taking the subway home, so she handed over her remaining won to a cab driver to take back to the other side of Seoul. I loped home, heavy with the weight of my hangover and soju regret.
Can I just say it one more time? It's hard to deal with six year olds when you have a splitting hangover.
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