Monday, August 26, 2013

26 August 2013… The horizon is near.

I am now down to just 10 days left in South Korea and with so much to say, I doubt it would fit in a Facebook status so I decided to blog it. This past weekend has been absolutely amazing. It started on Friday night with our ‘Party to the Power of Four’ which was an epic party to celebrate both Kelly and Bonnie’s upcoming birthdays and a farewell to myself and Jasmine (and Ch Eng, Sam, Mathilda, Matt and everyone else who is about to leave).

We started the night off at one of our favourite bars, Osan Lounge in Songtan. I have amazing memories there; good times with friends and that’s where I first met my boyfriend.  It was quiet at first as no one is ever punctual but after the people started to arrive, the good times started rolling. The turn-out was absolutely fantastic. I am so grateful for all those who made it and lent their awesome to the collective awesome to make it the most awesome night ever! Yes… it really was that awesome. My boyfriend taught Sayida and I how to play darts which involved Sayida flinging the darts at the board with such force that I was sure she was going to break someone’s face/the darts/the dart board or the wall itself. I went for a subtler ‘throw-it-gently-and-hope-for-the-best’ approach. My approach must have worked because I won that game. We both had fun either way. Mmm… speaking of throwing stuff, I also threw caution to the wind and enjoyed some Baby Frog/Strawberry Aid slush. Aaaah, the sugar and booze-laden delight. I also had the opportunity to meet new people, including some of my boyfriend’s friends. One of whom decided it would be a great idea to introduce me to my own boyfriend. It was hilarious because just as he was asking Barrey if he knew me, my boyfriend was putting his arms around me in a giant hug.  Good to know that people who don’t know we are together think we would be good together. After a few drinks, games of pool and darts, we then gathered the masses and headed over to another one of our favourite bars and the place where morals go to die, Jammers. On the way there I had a few shots of Taiwanese ‘something’ so details may get blurry after this point.

As soon as we got to Jammers, I was unfortunate enough to have a confrontation with someone I never want to see or talk to again. Thankfully after (very loud angry) words were exchanged, he left and my awesome night continued. In typical fashion, soju-kettles were found on every table and shots flowed freely (as did the tears as people got ready to call it a night and leave). We all partied the night away side by side; military, teachers and even parents. Jas amazed us with her crazy dance moves. There was beer pong, games of pool (my boyfriend beat me even though he tried very hard to lose) and plenty of dancing. We sang along to ‘Mmm Bop’ and danced to the Macarena. We took dodgy pictures that should never see the light of day but will still end up on someone’s Facebook. We are a really amazing group and I hope that the future foreigner community of the greater Pyeongtaek area will also enjoy that sense of family and friendship that I have experienced in this past year. By the end of the night (actually some time the next morning) with speech slurred, wallets near empty and good judgement far behind us, we stumbled to McDonalds for our customary after party feast. After we had glutted ourselves on MSG and fries galore, we all headed off in our own directions. Some stayed to party a little longer but the Anjung crew headed back home for the after party which involved country music, drinks, dancing, laughter and more good times in the park. I think I only stumbled into bed around 6 am on Saturday morning. I wish I could I say I got some decent sleep but alas, Saturday happened.

Ideally I would have gotten to sleep until noon but I ended up having to get out of bed several times to sort stuff out like the birthday cake and mattresses. Eventually I gave up any hope of going back to bed and decided to make a nice big breakfast; sausage, scrambled eggs, curried baked beans and toast with chai latte. Just as I sat down to eat, a whole bunch of friends landed at my door so I whipped up some extra food then we all chilled and played a few games of Apples to Apples. Its our new addiction compliments of my boyfriend. Kelly, you had better keep it going when I’m gone. We can have a reunion game in a few years. That thought makes me smile. I really hope we are still all a part of each other’s lives years from now. Anyway, after that we all went home to shower and get ready then we headed to Pyeongtaek where we met up at Ashley’s for all you can eat cheesecake (and some other food too but mainly the cheesecake).  After 2 hours of marathon eating, we rubbed our distended bellies and groaned in stuffed delight then headed back to Anjung. Miraculously, Sayida decided to stay and we convinced Priya to come to Anjung too. I am not too sure what everyone else got up to that night but I crawled my exhausted butt into bed and finally got that much needed sleep.

I awoke refreshed and invigorated on Sunday morning after that beautiful, mostly uninterrupted slumber. I made breakfast for the girls and then we got ready. Shortly thereafter, everyone was back at my apartment but this time to celebrate Kelly’s actual birthday with white chocolate raspberry swirl cheesecake and iced coffee (Thanks Lisa and Mai). Thereafter we all headed off to a jimjilbang ( When I first came to Korea and in the 11 months thereafter, I vehemently refused to enter a jimjilbang. Just the idea of being the brown, tattooed, overweight, naked girl being stared at freaked the hell out of me. I could feel the eyes on me just thinking about it. Alas, it was Kelly’s birthday and she really wanted to go. How could I say no to her on her birthday so I grudgingly agreed on condition that I could wear my bathing suit. As it turns out, bathing suits are not allowed. So there I was, having already paid my entrance and soggy from my shower with my only options being leave or get naked. I decided to be brave. It was a bit awkward at first. I’m not a person who will ever fully be comfortable with my nakedness. Perhaps it was my lack of glasses or the fact that there were 3 other naked brown tattooed girls but after I while I stopped being so damn self-conscious. The adjummas weren’t staring (any more than usual) and maybe it was all in my head after all. I even signed up for the works which for about $40 (above the entry fee) included a full body scrub, oil rub and hair wash. It was definitely worth every cent but I haven’t yet decided whether I feel violated and need therapy or whether I enjoyed it. This was all done by a semi-naked adjumma who vigorously scrubbed me from head to toe at least 4 times and in places that have never seen the light of day. This is painful… very painful but if you can endure it; you will feel silky smooth, soft and brand new. After that, she covered me in soothing hot towels and then proceeded to beat me up (not so soothing). At this point I was silently mouthing to my friends ‘HELP ME’ but it got better. After that was an utterly delightful oil rub (which also included being rubbed down in some kind of milk), having something slathered on my face and getting my hair washed and conditioned. I do feel lovely. My skin looks amazing and my hair is super soft but I doubt it is an experience that I would repeat anytime too soon. The nakedness is okay but that scrubbing was pretty painful.

After that I went back to my apartment to clean, see Priya and Sayida off and then we all headed to a galbi restaurant in Poseung for dinner. Dinner was absolutely delicious. I don’t know how my body handled all the good eating I’ve been doing this weekend. It will probably reflect on the scales but I’ll worry about that later. For now, I’d rather cherish good food and good times with my friends and love. I’d rather take the calories and the memories over a skinny body. Afterwards it was back to my place for more Apples to Apples (which has now become a drinking game) until everyone was exhausted and buggered off to get some sleep.

And with that came the conclusion of my amazing weekend. On a side note, my boyfriend came through for me. He’s not going to end our relationship when I leave. We have decided to try long distance. It won’t be easy but it’s a fighting chance so I’ll take it. He’s worth the effort. I am officially exhausted and ready to head home. I hope you have enjoyed reading all of this. Adios!

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