Friday, May 20, 2011

Seoul Survivor, Part Four


I arrived back in town on Wednesday. I’ll spend this coming week recovering before I get back to Flashing Fiction and my usual nonsense.

So when I last left you all, I was talking about drunken hipsters, battlefields, and the long-legged beauties of Hanguk. Those of you who perhaps had a chuckle or two reading about my clubbing experience will be pleased to know that I hit the drum circle and Exit Bar once again. This time around, I shocked and awed many with my ridiculous movements, although the perspiration did not exactly win me many points with the opposite sex.

It did, however, win me points with a large and bearded American gentleman who decided to lock his lips on my shoulder and suck out some of my shirt sweat. Um.

Moving along.

On my final weekend, I was very active. Saturday, I saw my share of Hanok Village before walking to Jongmyo Park to visit temples and a horde of old people who had gathered to play Go and Mahjong en masse. Afterwards, I spent my last Sunday with Lord and Lady Herbivore, an Ecuadoran gentleman, and Commodore Getsmoney over by Noksapyeong Station. I made sure to walk to as many places as I could so that I could see as much of the city as possible before leaving town.

Monday was eventful as High Chancellor Manybitches took The Commodore and I to Noryangjin Fish Market with his parents. Seeing all of many forms of sea life caged and packed together was not nearly as unsettling as I thought it would be. No, my discomfort was reserved for the piles of shredded jellyfish, the catch of the day left bleeding to death on scales, the gutted octopi, and the smashed crab carcasses lining the ground. We had to select our own fish to be slashed up and delivered to us at one of the nearby restaurants. I personally will always remember watching the old woman we bartered with drag our selections away, shortly before beating the twitching mass of fins and tails to death behind her stand.

Food Chain: Deal With It.

Afterwards, The Commodore and I hit up the Coex Mall, the largest mall in all of Asia, and a labyrinth of stores, theatres, and food courts broken up by an aquarium-slash-zoo and, of all things, an airport terminal. Why? Don’t ask me; it has to go somewhere

Tuesday was bittersweet as it was my last day in Seoul. The picnic with The High Chancellor, The Commodore, and Duchess Sneakylegs under a bridge by Youido Park was nice and peaceful, and the walk I took around Dongdaemun’s relic exhibits was certainly eventful. Towards the end of the day, however, The Commodore and I realized that we had a Mission from God to complete:

Finishing Let’s Go Jungle! Lost in the Island of Spice.

Background time. Apparently some game company over in Japan wanted to go about making a rail shooter game that couples could play in an arcade, and discovered that non-gamers in the relationships always had trouble with gameplay mechanics like reloading or shooting everything on screen except for civilians, and set out to create a game that catered to that market. The result was Let’s Go Jungle, a strange mess of assault rifles with infinite ammo, swarms of giant insects, arachnids, and amphibians, and ridiculous acting. LGJ doesn’t pretend to be anything more than goofy fun, and it’s glorious.

However, the game has a peculiar little quick time event at the end where the couple squares off against a giant, mutated butterfly. Relieved of weapons, the couple is left with no choice but to hit the monster using a gem fired from a slingshot. Should they succeed, the day is saved; should they fail, the monster escapes and the couple... breaks up. No, I’m not joking. Well, needless to say, The Commodore and I discovered very quickly that we were not meant to be, and I went back to prepare for my flight.

The flight went as well as you would expect it to, I imagine. Turbulence still left me shaky and the stewardesses were just as massive teases as they were before. Film selection was as broad as when I left for Korea, so I sat through Les Aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec (muh), Blue Valentine (whoo), and a Korean film called Troubleshooter (huh). Oh yes and apparently I was riding with some Korean pop icon, a poor man who was swiftly mobbed by local girls when I arrived back in town.

So that was South Korea. I had fun, and by gods am I going to miss the place. I’ve fallen in love with Seoul and I want to return someday – perhaps sooner rather than later. The people were (mostly) friendly, the food was good, the areas were fun and the streets were vibrant and safe. Granted, I’m already planning my next few trips – little solo adventures across the Americas and Europe – but I want to work towards returning to Seoul once again.

You’ve stolen my heart, you little minx; don’t think you’re getting away that easily.

Regular updates by the week of the 30th. For now, it’s good to be back.

EDIT: May 20, 2012. Minor, minor edits.

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