Two Best Friends, Cyndi Lauper, Gorgeous Canuck, and Friendly Cab Driver
Here are my two best friends cavorting together in the busy streets of Sinchon.
Here is my new friend, Andrew, standing heads and tails above the rest. He wasn't as excited about the stuffed animals as we were, but he was god at winning them. We played the kick-the-ball-as-hard-as-you-can game, and he managed to break the record score with a dinky kick from his six-five-frame. It was quite amazing.
"You just broke the record!" SY told him.
"I didn't see it. What happened?" Jim asked.
"Andrew just beat the all time record."
"He's a God."
"I didn't do anything," A disagreed.
"Shut up with your stupid Aussie modesty. He can speak Mandorin too."
"You speak Mandorin? You're fluent?"
"Well, I am not fluent, but I can say a few words."
"Oh, you can't say dyslexia, but other than that you're okay," Kaivon guffawed. "You're frackin fluent biotch!"
"Well, Kaivon is fairly good as well."
"I suck," Kaivon laughed. "Really. This guy is the master."
"Master and God," I said. "Then we bow to you."
"Oh, come on," A laughed.
"How long have you studied?" Jim asked.
"2 years," SY answered for him.
"Yeah," A agreed. "About 3 years all together."
"Well, that's great," I said.
"Yes," Jim agreed.
"Didn't you learn any when you were in China?" A asked.
"No," Jim said. "I was near the foreigner's dormitory..."
Conversation petered off into a discussion of journeys to this very moment. K was very curious as to how I ended up in Seoul, because the last time he saw me was at my wedding in 2003.
"How did you end up here?" he asked. "What's the story?"
I told them how I've had 36 jobs in my lifetime. How I left Boulder after things didn't work out with Nicole, that I worked as a producer in Hollywood, and ended up in Seoul upon Jim's advice for "an easy life."
"You've had a very interesting life," A smiled. "I envy you."
"Why?" I laughed. "You are an Aussie who went to the University of Chicago for your Master's in business, you live in Hong Kong, travel the world, and speak Mandorin. I would say that's pretty frackin interesting."
Everyone cracked up.
"Touche," Andrew smiled.
"I would say we're all pretty interesting."
"Yes," Kaivon smiled. "True that, my fine, Persian friend."
"Yes," I laughed. "Boo-ya-ka-sha!"
Here is a pic of the owner and manager for BEATLES, a bar in SUYU. The owner has over 30,000 records in his collection. He even had Cyndi Lauper and let me play "Time After Time" yet again.
I wanted to take Andrew there, because Kaivon had told me he was a huge Beatles fan, but apparently that wasn't the case.
"I like the Beatles," Andrew told me. "But I am more of a Pink Floyd fan."
"Oh, really," I said a bit confused. "Kaivon told me you liked the Beatles."
"You said that?" Andrew asked him.
"Yeah," I laughed. "Last night, you said Andrew is the BIGGEST Beatles fan."
"Oh," Kaivon laughed. "That sounds like me."
We all laughed.
"Well," I smiled. "We can listen to Pink Floyd. What song do you want to hear?"
"What album is that from?"
"An early one."
"With Syd Barrett?"
"Okay," I smiled. "Interstellar Overdrive" coming up.
We didn't stay at BEATLES too long. Just enough for a drink before the next stop of the night pulled us away with a text message from a gorgeous Kiwi and a shout from Jim to get things moving, "Finish your damn beers! Let's go!"
"I got beer here," Kaivon frowned. "I guess I'm the last one."
"Leave it," I said. "There will be more."
We left Beatles for Hong Da and all things hip hop in a taxi meant for four, as SY sat on Jim's lap, and I piled in the back with the giants. It wasn't very comfortable, but it was good to sit with giants.
"It's good to sit with you," I told K.
"Yeah," Kaivon gestured towards the busy streets, "Who would have thought we would be hanging together in Seoul?"
"Yes," I agreed. "Or that I could hang out with two of my best friends."
"You're lucky," Andrew said.
"Yes," I agreed. "I am."
All cabs in Seoul have televisions linked to a GPS. Kaivon and his business associates found this very disconcerting as the cab driver paid more attention to the ball game, but I took it in stride and practiced my Korean.
"Baseball?" I asked.
"Nay," the driver responded in Korean.
"This is my friend," I told him. "Ch'in-gu," I said. "I haven't seen him in 15 years (6 in a sober mind)."
"Fif-ty?" he asked.
"15," I corrected him. "Ship-o."
"He says he is bald and fat now," I smiled. "No moree," I said and pointed at K's head.
"Bald," the driver laughed and pointed at his toupe. "Me no moree. Fake moree."
"Nay," he laughed. "Number one hair!"
"That's a good hairpiece," I said aloud, and then translated into Korean with my trusty phrase book. "Ji-hun moree."
"Nay," he agreed. "Good hair."
During the rest of the drive, I taught him "on," "under," "on top of," "next to," and "across," by moving my hand "on" and "over" things, while gesturing for him do the same. I think he really appreciated it, although Kaivon and the rest of the gang might have gotten a bit more nervous, as he looked back and forth between the road, a baseball game, and my hand signs.
"This is a little dangerous," Kaivon quipped.
"No," I said. "This is Korea."
I got home at 7 in the morning again tonight. I can't say I like doing that, but I can't say I don't either. It's fun to dance with a gorgeous Canuck and learn how to do the FLIGHT ATTENDANT, or lose a $200 dollar phone and buy another in the same day, or meet business folks from Hong Kong and show them how to grind it up at a hip hop club in Hong Da.
I ejoyed the final stretch of the cab ride home with my head on the shoulders of a beautiful Kiwi. We watched the Full Moon descend into sunlight, and came to a perfect synchornicity, as she pulled words from my mouth with an accent like marbles hitting jewels and chewing tobacco.
"Goorgeous," she said aloud. "Absolutely gorgeous."
"Yes," I agreed. "It is."