Tuesday, September 28, 2004

chew and suck

Happy Chuseok! The glorious day has arrived, my relatives never called (I escaped them for the first Chuseok in three years), and I spent a goodly part of today on a walking tour. I started from my residence near Nakseongdae Station, lumber-waddled all the way to Seoul National University, then schlepped around the university's lovely perimeter road and gamboled all the way back to my place again. In all, a healthy, sweaty, hilly, three-hour walk, and a light workout to boot. I should do that more often.

My traveling companions today were dragonflies (thousands of them buzzing low over the grassy areas of SNU) for the first half of the perimeter road, and a lost little dog for the second half. The dog liked following me at some distance, but stopped short every time I turned in my tracks to beckon it over. It exhibited the canny caution of a stray, but it also seemed to know the extent of its territory: it didn't follow me off campus when I left.

As I was passing out of the main gate on my way back to my place, two cackling old ladies waylaid me and asked, in slow, exaggerated Korean, "Is this Seoul National University?" They were, as the Brits say, "taking the mickey." Hey, let's have some fun with the stupid foreigner!

"Yes, it is!" I boomed in response, and they cackled even more, convinced they'd had their joke on me, but ignorant of the fact that I'd just had mine on them.

I'm not about to let two hags spoil my fun. It's Chuseok, you old biddies-- THE HARVEST MOON FESTIVAL! If you're not careful, I'll fuckin' harvest your little walnut brains and eat 'em under the light of the full moon!

Calming down now... moving on to nicer thoughts... more civilized thoughts...

Tonight, my love... ah, tonight: we go in search of the mythical Alice Springs Chicken over at the local Outback Steakhouse. Tis the perfect night to enter a normally-crowded restaurant, for almost no one will be there. Yes, tonight, my sweet... we dine on the quivering flesh of freshly slaughtered poultry, slathered in silky cheese, robed carefully in pigflesh, and dunked with love in that exquisitely sweet dipping sauce-- the secret of Outback Steakhouse's otherwise-unfathomable popularity both here and in the States.

Australians will laugh, of course: there's nothing truly Australian about Outback Steakhouse except the fakey Aussie slang that peppers the menu.

Well, whether you're Australian or not, whether you've got a walnut-sized brain or not, I wish you and yours a disgustingly happy Chuseok. May it include much food and drink, some card-playing, and the death-by-TNT-enema of at least one cute animal before the moon goes down.

[NB: "Chew-suck" is the pronunciation for "Chuseok" suggested by the indomitable Shawn over at Korea Life Blog. I'm sure his Korean readership will appreciate the Freudian spin. Visit Wooj's blog and learn about Chuseok, American-style. Oh, by the way, Shawn-- will you be seeing "Shaun of the Dead" (viewing requires Quicktime) when it comes out in Korea? I've heard great things about this British flick.]


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