I had a nice time playing tennis this week. Kent, our resident professional, was able to point out that my backhand grip was a bit too open and therefore sucked.
"It really sucks, mate," he said. "If you don't correct it, you'll die."
"Die?" I asked.
"Yes," he said. "I will pulverize you in every game of tennis you play."
"Okay," I said.
I changed my backhand grip after Kent's cordial suggestion. Now I am becoming more of a consistent and deadly player. In fact, after Kent told me how he was trained as a youngster, I suddenly felt more capable of destruction in a competitive tennis fashion.
"Yeah," he told me. "My teacher would show up with one ball to practice. At first, I would rip a winner. Then he would get all pissed and say, 'Now look what you did. I have to go pick that up.' So that's how he trained me - with one ball. After a month or so, he started showing up with two balls. I'd have to keep both of them in play. It was pretty hard, especially when he started making me run around my backhand to hit a forehand or vice-versa."
"It's a good way to learn."
"I feel more capable of being patient and destroying competitors."
"That is what I am here to teach."
Kent and I played a couple of old guys. I made fun of them before we played. I called them "nilly willy's" and then tried to spit in their drinks. Luckily, Kent stopped me before I made too much of a fool of myself.
"That's not the way to pulverize competitors," he told me. "You need to show them your evil- death-grip-backhand."
"Okay," I said.
I pulled out my death-grip. It wasn't even a competition. I pulverized them. Kent is a good teacher. He is making me a devilishly, wise tennis professional.
"That's the only way," Kent said
"Yes!" I agreed.
Aside from playing satan tennis, I went to Hwa Gye Sah for a little meditation. On the way, I was surprised at just how many advertisements are in this country. It's like someone threw-up a marketing folder over every building in Korea. I can't even exaggerate this image with some cute, demonic quip. It's just that (see visual) bad.
While I was at the temple, I saw this quote. I thought about translating it into a better sentence.
I saw these little Buddhas in the bushes. I thought I was Alice for a second. I looked around for the rabbit. All I found was a beehive.
Loren was the one who pointed it out.
"Watch out for the bees!" he said.
"You see the Buddha?"
"That's weird. You saw bees. I saw the Buddha."
"Can I take your picture?"
I took Loren's picture. He stood very still. I thought he looked like an alien or a statue. I couldn't make up my mind. That's when he started doing the robot for a bit. I like it when Loren goes bonkers like that. It's good for our morale. We got to do things like that to keep us honest.
"I'm going to get a bracelet," he said.
"Okay," I said. "I'm going to pee."
"I'll see you down at the front of the temple."
I took a picture down at the front of the temple. It's very beautiful. The cars suck though. If I were the president of the galaxy and had control of Hwa Gye Sah, I would blow up the cars with pumpkins, zucchini, and other things that could be converted into biodiesel fuels.
As we walked to the subway, I saw a love motel. This is where people do the deed in Korea. There are always these weird car-wash-drapes that hang in front of the driveway entrance to prevent people from seeing car license plates.
I have been to a love motel. They're actually nicer than regular hotels. They usually have 40 inch flatscreen televisions, a jacuzzi, and a big, fluffy bed. You're not really supposed to stay there overnight. Most are just in and out for as long as the deed takes.
I have only stayed overnight.
This is not a comment on my lovemaking skills. It's just a fact.
Loren and I took a subway to two different locations. As we rode in the same direction for a few stops, we witnessed the permissable violence that parents often impose on their children in Korea, as a grandfather smacked his five year old grandson in the forehead. It was quite shocking to behold, especially when the grandson started hitting the grandfather in return. For about three minutes, they exchanged blows. It was difficult to talk about anything as that was happening.
"So, uh..." Loren said. "Um..."
"Yeah," I said.
"I would like to see how this would look on the blog."
"You mean take a picture?"
"No, talk about it verbally."