Sunday, 5 September 2010

Last Nite

I will never leave cupboard doors open again. It's been a bad habit for years but after a good bash on the head and spending lord knows how long laying on the bathroom floor, I think the lesson might stick now.

But that was just the end of the last epic Saturday of Year One. The day started incredibly early – 10:30am! - with a catch-up class at the YMCA. After a couple of missed lessons, we had some extra practice to do, but for once we made it on time. As it was the last lesson of the semester, only half the time was for study. The rest of the class time was spent learning how to make 송편(song-pyeon: sweet rice dumplings traditionally eaten at Chuseok). It's pretty much like playing with play-doh, with all the mess and fun that implies. Apparently if you can make beautiful song-pyeon, you will have beautiful children, so we're all a little worried about our teacher's first-born. Even though it wasn't strictly class time, the three of us actually kept speaking Korean pretty much the whole time. It really brought home how far we've come from those first few weeks when remembering how to say 'thank you' was a struggle.

Next up was a trip to the hairdressers to get my burgeoning mullet under control. I've been going to the same girl for almost the whole year, and while she barely speaks English (“Me English little,” as she puts it) we've managed to communicate pretty well, and this time I finally had the nerve to speak Korean to her. It was great to actually be able to talk to her without making her nervous about her English (which, like almost every Korean girl I've met, is considerably better than she thinks). And I do love how she makes me look like a member of a K-pop boyband.

After a few more errands, and a quick stop home to freshen up (walking around all day in this heat doesn't exactly leave you feeling clean), we headed back into town for dinner at our favorite Korean traditional restaurant. Neither Lacey nor I had really remembered to organize anything about our last weekend, but we managed to round up a few of Daegu's finest for a feast. With appetites satisfied, we moved on to Organ Bar, where we parked up in a corner for the next few hours. The air-con was broken, which is less than ideal in a basement bar, but the superb music and good chat more than made up for that. After an hour or so, a group of around 50 brand new EPIK teachers trooped on in, completely drowning out our tunes and generally taking over the whole bar. Our table quickly turned into a group of grumpy old-timers staring at and judging the newbies. It was just like freshers' week all over again. Look at them all trying so hard to impress each other! And ordering imported beer! And tipping the bar staff! We judged and we felt superior and we remembered what it was like to be bowled over by Korea and, when they left, we bid them a cheery farewell.

When we were finally ready to leave Organ, the two girls at the bar stopped us to say that the Sigur Ros song I'd requested was coming up next and we HAD to wait for it. It being a 10 minute track, we had ample time to chat with them. I asked the owner if he remembered when my parents came in, and passed on their thanks for the music being so perfect that night. He not only remembered, but the girls knew about it too – and they all thought it was awesome that my parents had danced in their bar. Excited though I am about Busan, that bar is one I will miss.

After a quick stop at another bar to catch up with some other folk, six of us wrapped up the night at a norae bang. We went to my favorite one, the one we almost always go to. They give you so much extra time that its nearly impossible to stay until the 'hour' finally runs down. Within two songs I'd jumped up on the sofa and adopted the rock-stance necessary to the singing of power ballads. The streetlight people were there, Lisa Loeb made a surprise appearance, and frankly I don't think Bonnie Tyler ever sounded so good.

So, pretty much a perfect day. And one with a lesson: close the damn cupboard door!

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