Last night I went to Hong Da. It's the club scene in Seoul. That means you've got about 30 different b-boy and dance clubs nestled together like half-melt marshmallows. I didn't partake in any of the gangster stickiness. I was in a walking mood. Most of you probably know this about me. In case you didn't, I'm the Forrest Gump of walking. I've walked from Hollywood Boulevard to Beverly Hills. I swear. Seoul is no different. I cruised all over Hong Da. It was a hip scene. Everyone was fronting their posh mini skirts and high heels. I would catch a few ex-pats every once in a while.
"Where you from?" I'd ask.
"________ state," they'd say.
Then we'd go into where each of us were teaching. Some were on there way out. Others had just arrived. Everyone was definitely unique. The funniest were these two guys from Detroit. One was in traditional goth gear, while the other looked like he stepped out of an Ambercrombie catalogue.
"What have you got in your pocket?" I asked Ambercrombie.
"Pringles," he smiled. Want one?"
"What are they doing in your pocket?"
"I'm hungry," he said, and popped a Pringle in his mouth. "It's also easy access."
"You sure you don't want one?"
"No, thanks," I smiled. "I'm not hungry."
I told them to be safe and kept walking. I headed down past a waffle stand towards a group of Korean men shouting at a gorgeous Siberian Husky-St Bernaise mix attached to a fish stand. The dog had to be the biggest animal I had ever seen.
"Oh my God!" I said aloud.
"Big!" one of the men agreed. "Biiig!"
"Nay," I nodded in Korean. "Big."
I gave the dog a big hug, and then walked on. A Korean pop song was in my head. I don't know which. It had a pretty melody. I tried putting words to it. Then I gave up. I was more interested in getting a warm hat. My ears were killing me. The hat stand guy didn't help matters. He just kept putting hats on my head and laughing.
"Not warm enough," I said.
"Oh!" he laughed. "Good!"
I finally got this little black showy one with ear flaps. It wasn't warm, but it would do. Then I headed up another street. The Rolling Stones were playing through a speaker outside of a club. I figured this was my place. I yanked off my hat, and strolled in with my best Mick imitation. A couple of gals inside the club caught this right away and ran up to me. They started going on about something or other. I had no idea what they were saying. I just smiled and kept the Mick impersonation up. Every once in a while, I'd go into a counter Elvis twist, just to shake things up.
"Blah gity kan chong ting Elvis," one of the girls smiled.
"Nay," I said, and grabbed her arms. "Elvis."
We shimmied for a good while. I even got a couple tango steps in before the DJ had 50 Cent drop like a lead brick. That was my cue to walk again. I said goodbye to my friendly tango partner, and headed back out into the cold. I was feeling chipper, so I skipped down a few blocks before I caught sight of a six floor glass building. It was a viewable Norabong (Singing Room). There were folks inside dancing and doing Karaoke in separate rooms. I watched one cute couple singing arm and arm for a good 5 minutes. They had it going full blast. I could tell. Their mouths were wide and their hips moving right along. I tried to see if I could guess the song. I couldn't. I can't read lips. I was impressed that I thought I could though. That's how kind I am to myself. I am even so kind to know when it's too cold to walk. I hailed a cab the next block.
"Annyang," the cabbie pitched.
"Annyang," I replied, and handed him my address written in Korean on a business card.
"Foreigner?" he asked.
"Yeah," I replied. "You speak English?"
"Bling blang shing shang," he smiled.
I laughed. "Suyu yuk?"
"Suyu," he agreed.
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