I joined the land of the living a tad before 11am yesterday morning. Sore and dehydrated from yet another Sunday soccer victory, I limped around my apartment performing the get up routine in a groggy haze before settling down at the computer.
The lone email in my account asks:are you working tonight?can i meet you tonight?
Good news but surprising. Et-chan lives in Fukuoka, Japan. You don't just drop by Seoul when you live in Fukuoka.
I had other plans but I decide to cancel them. I respond to the email which- in a fancy Japanese sort of way- is sent directly to her computer phone. She calls me shortly after. I give her directions from Seoul Station to The Twosome Place coffee shop in Sinchon. She ends up waiting, wandering and shopping in Sinchon for hours until I can meet her around 9.45pm after my J O B.
She must leave from Busan by 1pm the next day so there is not much time and we get right to it. We take a bus to Hongdae and I get on the phone with Mark. Mark unfortunately informs me that Aysha, his garrulous girlfriend of commendable quality, is not planning on leaving the abode this evening. Consequentially, mark will also not be going out.
But, anyway, we'll throw up a picture of my Irish buddy for posterity.
Here he is in Thailand pointing at a restaurant sign. The name of the shop “Oishi” sounds similar enough to “Orish” his nickname. Mark is “Orish” because he is Irish and teased for acting like as an Ogre during certain late night sessions of his country’s national pastime.
Here is a picture of me and the Orish taken a while back in Iteawon at the restaurant under Jesters clubhouse.
But, mark did not join us that evening so we were on our own. I did my best to give Etsuko an introduction to Hongdae, the artsy, hipish university district a couple blocks from my apartment. We began the night by ordering far too much to eat at the Soju Tent. We did not have any soju in the tent as Et-chan is not a big drinker- she had to pace herself for the evening's tour.
Upon completion of the meal we headed down to Bar 다. Where the following pictures were taken.
Then we were off, rushing through the light fall weather to Brickx Bar down the street, through wafting drifts of dokboki and then around the corner where I bump into the manager from the old HodgePodge Club that Damian, Cassie and I frequented back, back in the day. He has stayed the same even though the bar's name has changed twice since those days.
Brickx is just boss. Nearly no one is there so we have the place to ourselves. We lounge like archaic Persians on piles of pillows under swaths of draped, translucent fabric. We smoke the strawberry Shisha and have a drink or so. One of the workers happens to speak Japanese and we invite him over. A melee of three languages ensues, laughs and toasts all around.
Then Liquid Lounge:
She called me today from Busan as she was about to board the ferry. It was all such a blur. Surprises, of course, fall somewhere between good and bad. This one was good.
Safe travels, Etsuko.