Monday, April 20, 2009
One Long Weekend
Man, I can tell you several things that this past weekend has made me grateful for. First, I have access to military establishments here in Korea and can go do some shopping there. This is important because those establishments carry things that I cannot buy here in Korea, but need here in Korea. For example, good deodorant. Which with the coming summer I have a feeling will become increasingly more essential.
Secondly, I still love spending time with people in the military. I have often found throughout the years of my life that you generally find two types of military personnel. Those that are ass holes and you want nothing to do with. See Navy Seals and Jarheads. Well, I must say I have known some great people who were Marines. I have also know some complete jerks. The second type, are people who you want to develop friendships with. They are people who have certain values and morals that you want to associate with. I find this group to be some of the finest people I have ever met. This probably also has something to do with the fact that I was brought up in an Air Force family. Yet, still these are people who would give you the shirt off their back without a second thought.
Thirdly, I am glad there is no U.S. military presence in Seosan. Unfortunately the nightlife changes significantly when there are U.S. military personnel nearby. Enter the Juicy Girls. For those of you who don't know what a Juicy Girl is, I'll explain it in brief. These are girls whose soul occupation is to sit at a bar and get guys to buy her drinks. Now what makes this even more annoying is that they have to ask you constantly to buy them a drink. CONSTANTLY. They ask one person, then another, then another. All for a exceptionally watered down and overpriced drink. This changes the culture at a bar so much to where if you are white, you feel like you constantly have a target on your back. Juicy Girls are also women who are stuck in a no win situation. They are practically owned by the bar, and most of them hate their job. In fact I view this as a form of indentured servitude. Thankfully this doesn't exist in Seosan.
Fourth, poker is still a great way to spend a night. Actually poker was the reason for my trip down to Waegwan. Why Waegwan you may ask, well because that is where Camp Carrol is. David's brother invited us to join a small poker tournament and to go down and spend some time with him. The poker tourney was not for beginning poker players, and I wish I could report that I had played better, but I didn't. I had cold cards all night. I didn't place in the tourney, but given the chance to go back down there and play again, I can place. Yet, still for about the cost of a meal and drinks, I can go and play cards for 7-8 hours and have a great time.
This weekend was a good weekend. It takes about 6 hours to get to Waegwan from Seosan. Waegwan is a small town about 30 minutes North of Daegu. We arrived in Waegwan around 10 on Friday night and proceeded to obtain our billet for the two evenings we would be staying in Waegwan. After a quick shower and a bite to eat we headed out to a couple of bars to have a good time. The evening ended at about 4 in the morning when we finally realized that we had to be up at 8 the next morning to head into Daegu. The morning arrived all to soon and the only thing that made the morning worth while was the absolutely horrible, yet wonderful, Burger King breakfast. Ohh yes, Burger King breakfast. This is the first Burger King I have had since I came to Korea. I've only eaten at McDonalds twice in Korea.
We sauntered into Daegu a little past 10 and proceed to take a cab to Woobang Land. Woobang Land is a small amusement park that is designed for kids. The reason we were headed there was for Woobang Tower. Every major city in Korea has a tower associated with it. There is one in Seoul, Busan, and Daegu for sure. The tower in Daegu however has something called the Sky Jump on it. This is a platform 78 floors from the base of the tower where you are allowed to walk out and fall to the ground. It is a controlled descent of course, but still tis rather terrifying to think about. Did I do it, no. There was a weight limit on this and I sadly was under the weight limit. However, the scale at the place was heavy by 7 Kilograms. I weighed myself last week in Seosan and I weighed 113 KG. I weighed myself in Daegu and I was 120 KG. You don't gain 15 pounds in one week. Sadly I had to watch both David and Mark take the plunge, all the while thankful that I couldn't go, and sad that I couldn't participate.
When Mark and David had finished their brushes with death, we proceeded to eat an exceptional lunch. I'm ashamed to admit it, but all three of us had Surf and Turf. Yeah, we had Steak and Lobster in Korea. It was expensive but ohh so worth it. After lunch we wandered around the tower and then Woobang Land. We stopped to ride one of the rides, and after lunch that was a stupid idea. Luckily the ride stopped before my stomach decided that the frantic back and forth motion really wasn't helping digestion and that my stomach should expedite the process of evacuating lunch through the quickest means possible. Luckily that didn't happen. We headed back to Waegwan around 4 in the afternoon. After a quick nap and another quick shower, it was off to play poker for the rest of the evening.
I didn't do great during the Tourney, but I proved to myself in the cash game that I could play with these people when my cards finally turned. I would have walked away almost doubling my buy in for the cash game, except for the fact that I played one hand that took a good chunk of my money. It was late, I was tired, and David just outplayed me on the hand. Ohh well. Alas our hero walked out of the poker hall with a smile on his face. On our way back to the Motel, David and I stopped at the Country Kitchen to pick up some food. Fried Chicken, BBQ Ribs, French Fries, and Orange Soda. Talk about some comfort food. The ribs were actually some of the best ribs I've had in a long time. The meat was tender and falling off the bone. The sauce was ok, but the job this place did cooking the ribs was off the charts. The food was so good that the following morning David and I went back there for breakfast.
The most important part of this weekend was not the shopping, nor the poker, nor staring death in the face. It was having a good time with good people, and also the fact that I picked up a football down there to play with here in Seosan. Ohh yeah, It's time to get some football going here in the middle of nowhere Korea.