Monday, October 19, 2009

Hocktober Fest

Last night was a very nice night for sleeping. Yes, because of the soothing sounds of the falling rain, but more so because the rainstorm successfully kept the disgusting Korean men indoors. Now that the hot and humid weather is gone, we can leave our window open for some fresh air while we sleep. But with that fresh air comes the noises of the city. Most annoying of these noises is the constant sound of Korean men who clear their throats as loudly and disgustingly as possible and then spit. Although this topic will more than certainly seal the deal as far as my mom not coming to visit me (she hates spitters), the subject still seems blogworthy.

We live near a very nice park which is inhabited by people at all hours of the night and day (imo, Seoul is second only to Vegas when it comes to cities that truly don't sleep). When the window is open, I typically get woken up by noises a few times every night, but nothing is as disturbing as the loogy hockers. It truly is an epidemic in Korea. For a country that seems so germophobic (i.e. masks on their faces, hand sanitizer every ten feet, quarantining people who travel) they certainly don't share the western world's negative viewpoint towards spitting.

Every Korean seems guilty of spitting. I've even seen well dressed women spitting in the subway. But the main culprits are definitely Korean men. They do it everywhere and as loudly as they feel necessary. It's repulsive. My morning walk to the train station is often spent dodging the loogies from the previous night. Sometimes I make the same noise out my window because it is so gross, but I doubt my mocking them from a third story window is going to change the disgusting countrywide habit. Anyway, I digress.

Kelly and I went to a bar in Itaewon (Sam Ryan's) to watch the taped Badger game yesterday. They lost :( but we had a good breakfast and met some nice people. The Canadian woman who works part-time at my school was there with some friends... random.

We both went to restaurants today with our respective co-workers. It is always interesting to hear what inappropriate question or comment they will make next. But the food was great. I had traditional Korean. Lots of different dishes and some very good fish (although I'm still not good at removing little bones with chopsticks, not sure how they do it!). It is also not easy for me to sit on a one square foot pillow on the ground for over an hour. I don't know how these old ajummas do it! I could barely walk out when we all said our goodbyes. Kelly and her co-workers went to a shabu-shabu restaurant, which is one of her favs! I think of Bill Murray in "Lost in Translation" when he says, "what kind of restaurant makes you cook your own food?" But I do really like it too.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Attack of the Killer Church People

Kelly and I were walking home late one night when a man and woman said hello (in Korean) and blocked us from walking any further. I figured they were church recruiters and/or trying to sell something and I was prepared to walk around them, but they had already cornered Kelly and began speaking to her before we could both escape.

Using the man's cell phone as a flashlight, they made Kelly read from some book about baptizing and other religious ramblings. After about 15 minutes of Kelly being forced to read, they tried to get us to follow them to a church. I kindly said, "We have already been baptized. It's 10:30pm and we are going to bed." It took about ten times of us repeating this before we finally escaped their clutches.

We ran to our building and as our elevator door closed, we saw the same two people looking through the glass entry door of our building. Just like in zombie movies, we knew that they were temporarily blocked by the locked door, but would eventually make it inside. In my quick thinking I pushed a different floor number, knowing that they would be able to see what floor the elevator stopped on through the glass door. We got off the elevator two floors above our floor and ran down the stairs as quickly as possible. We locked our door, left the lights off, and as quietly as possible, went to sleep.

A few days later, just as our fears were begining to subside, there was a knock at our apartment door. "It was 11:00 at night, who could that be?" It was the church people!!! Kelly kept the door open a crack, and tried unsuccessfully to explain that we were not interested. I don't know exactly how they found our apartment number (there are many westerners in our building) but they found us. Now they come all the time, knocking like crazy until we finally open the door. They don't know English and my incessant repeating of "aniyo, aniyo" (no, no) has done little to deflate their confidence. They are determined to convert us to whatever cult they are a part of.

If Kelly or I are brutally murdered, please suspect these people first.