Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Chongno pizza, dim sum, and pretty women

Was it just me, or did it seem like all the good-looking ladies were out in force tonight? From my perspective, it certainly seemed so.

My recording session at AdSound went quite well, and I got my W80,000 (approx. $70). I love studio work; this was my second time doing it. It took about 90 minutes this time around, because I had to record script elements into cell phones. Four phones were set up to record my voice; I had to click each phone on, record, then move on to the next phone to repeat the process. First I read a list of 200 names, then I read off a list of phone numbers. AdSound is helping to develop voice recognition software, but apparently it's for a limited audience: they're asking only for native US and Canadian English speakers. I guess an Irish brogue or a Scots burr or an Aussie twang can only mean you're screwed.

The manager was friendly and invited me back for more recording work; alas, I had to tell him about my travel plans, but AdSound will be keeping the Hominid in mind whenever they need the dulcet vocal stylings of South Korea's largest off-white boy.

I had to go to Chongno to visit one of the little LG Telecom offices and cancel my phone service. I opted for a delayed cancellation, effective the 5th (the day after I leave Seoul), so that I can take my phone with me to the airport and make some final calls before stepping on the plane. After the LG errand, I went out and saw a food cart selling, of all things, dim sum. This was new to me, so I ordered some. W2,500 doesn't get you very much; my little wooden tray held only six itty-bitty pieces of fried food: a shrimp ball, a spring roll, a samosa, a mandoo, and some other testicle-shaped fried thing. They all tasted about the same, and the dipping sauces were reminiscent of Chinese eats back home. No steamed food in sight. Some dim sum.

Six bites of fried food isn't enough to feed a large hominid on the prowl (can you guess my weight in British stone?). I stopped over at another food cart that was selling tiny pizzas; they heat them, fold them in half, wrap them partially in tin foil, and give 'em to you hot. This cart was run by a husband and wife; both young and optimistic-looking; I can only hope they avoid the sullen-faced destiny that awaits most of these vendors. The pizza wasn't bad, and the husband was very chatty.

But again-- a small pizza is not enough.

So I went home and cooked a fairly standard meal, using up the last ingredients in my fridge (I don't want to come back to two-month old mold, not after having spent a very humid summer combatting rampant fungal lifeforms). My laundry had mostly dried, but I had to take it inside and iron it to get the rest of the dampness out. Everything is packed and ready; I'm travelling much lighter than when I last went to the States. And since I'm using an e-ticket this time, even more convenience awaits once I'm at Inchon International.

And that's it. It's a little after 2AM; I plan to be up at 6AM, out of the joint by 7AM, and grabbing a 7:30AM limousine bus from the downtown Lotte Hotel to the airport. It's a luxurious one-hour ride for W12,000. Cheaper buses are available (at Ch'eongnyangni, for example); they cost W7,000 or so, but the ride isn't nearly as cushy. I always pamper myself when I go to the airport. The flight to Tokyo-Narita departs at 11AM.

Once I touch down in DC, there'll be family to meet, friends to call, and ambience to breathe in, so blogging may be light for a while. I wish all you Koreabloggers who're presently in Korea continued good times as you rock and roll (or "ROK and Roll," as the Infidel phrases it). I wish Brian the Vulture a safe arrival in SK, and salute all the other Asiabloggers and other bloggers on my blogroll (including Ronin, even though he's no longer there). Expats gotta represent.

More soon. Will be in touch.

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