Waking up around midnight on a Saturday in Anjeong-Ri, my four-story hotel room window remains open from when the cleaning lady came to do her duty earlier on in the day. Clean chilled air with a hinted scent of garlic and bar-b-que fill my room, alongside the sounds of nightlife from the neighboring cobblestone street.
Small-town Korea doesn’t stop for nostalgia, one would think they were downtown new york with the hoots and hollers of rowdy Americans on a weekend diversion from a hard week of doing nothing, and extremely loud local-national women. Up-to-date hip-hop music mixed in with some American country set a backdrop to the scene as I step out of bed peering out onto the Anjung Shopping mall, and Camp Humphreys. Koreans, believe in building up, instead of out; being landlocked between a neighboring country that doesn’t like them too much and the ocean (of course being a peninsula) prohibits that so, towering building and other hotels conglomerate the area. Most of them hosting their own nightclub activities which make the club-hopping Americans feel right at home.
Debating whether I should go out or stay in, choosing between, German, American, Korean movies or Korean porn to watch; I slowly get dressed in a Do It Big Motorsports t-shirt, and cut-up jeans knowing my decisions already been made. I grab my key out of the electronic on/off switch open the door and wait for all the electricity to turn off and head for the elevator, making sure not to leave my wallet, and skully.
I head downstairs and bow to Ms. Park and hand her my key. Walking outside the sounds of the small town scene amplify a bit. I immediately see a couple of men holding hands while walking down the street, and think “ew”. No matter how open-minded I can be, I still don’t care for all that, but of course i don’t act on it, its just my opinion.
Making a left on the cobble stone street the sounds elevate into a small roar and complicated song of mixed music, loud americans, and beckoning juicy girls and prostitutes. Such a wholesome place.
I pass by the block, where I peek my head in to say ‘what’s up’ to the owner and hopefully future president of the DIBM Korean chapter, and move along to the underground club of a local large hotel and Japanese resturant. I chose my hotel because it has NONE of this. If I wanted a club and a resturant, I’ll go to one, my hotel offers serenity, daily cleaning, a kitchen, and two free bottles of water everyday. I’m all set.
When i get inside I offer a casual salute to the man at the front desk like always and head downstairs. My pool table was empty so I rack the balls get a cue out and head to the bar. So far, I headnod Sydney on the turntables and see no one else I know. I order my bottle of water (which is only 2,000 W this time instead of 3,000) and I head back to the DJ booth to dap Syd. Asked him to play some Texas $%#& for me this time, and he said “that’s wsup”.
While making my way back to the pool table I see the same juicy girls (i call them clubgirlz) with different guys doing the same old thing. And I begin to ponder… ponder in that way that leads me to a pc to share with everyone. Looking at these frivolously spending Americans, what is going on in their head right now?
I finally reach the table with a complete journal going on in my head, hearing Syd put on “Boy I Got So Many” By Young Problems, I had to take a break from my thoughts to jam to my music.
After the song was over, I get back into it heavily with myself about whats going on in the minds of these young AND old “westerners” as we’re called, when theyre romancing these club girls. Hugging them, kissing on them, having them sit in their laps and talk, buying them drinks, having long conversations, holding hands… as if theyre actually with them. While theyre there the hang out with them and ONLY them. Reminds me of “The Best Man” when the stripper outside explained to Merch about how theyre there as entertainment and to ‘provide the fantasy’. Theyre REALLY good at it, but it really makes me wonder do these chaps really believe it? It seems as though they do. It seems as though they don’t know as soon as they leave that club (alone) those women are looking to behave in the same manner with me or anyone else.
Luckily, I buy 1 bottle of water… for me, and play pool and they know that now. I’ve had a couple of them try to play pool with me, and thats about it. They can tell i don’t wish to dance with them or buy them drinks. Sorry… even if I didn’t know what they were all about it’d be the same thing. I’m not a dumb young soldier… or a dumb old man for that matter. Plus i just wanna show my ass and play some pool.
Around 3:30 A.M. I’ll head back to my hotel, while being followed by the neighborhood hooker for the umteenth time this week. i’ll continue to ignore her and walk whilst she chants “I do everything” and some other gibberish that I don’t and dont care to understand. However I AM particularly waiting to hear one of them say “I love you long time”. I know i’m not in Vietnam, or Laos… but let’s be honest its all the same shit (sorry Rita baby) over here. Just different country.
I pass by the few resturants thatre still open serving some of my favorite dishes and thought I’d like to indulge in a nice big bowl of chicken fried rice and try to stomach some kmchee and seaweed, I’m on a diet and days of stopping by waffle house and taking in 3,400 calories at 4 in the morning is something i stopped doing, I don’t want to start picking up bad habits again. I’m on a diet dammit.
Back to the hotel, I pick up my key from the sleeping man in he front ( i never cought his name) Ms. Park must be sleep. I tell him “Sa hahm Ni Da” Thats how it sounds not necessarily how its spelled, and head back to my room.
Smokey clothes off, and I close my window and isolate myself from the dwindling sounds of the Small Town Korean night.