Saturday, July 15, 2006

pride, Nature's spies, and drunks

It turned out that I was too proud to allow myself to sink back down to the easier route, so I did my normal three-staircase walk last night. The humidity was nasty, as expected, but there was a bit of wind, and the rain started up-- fitfully-- as I was approaching the final leg of the hike. Thank God for that. Last night's walk didn't result in my best time: 1 hour, 3 minutes. I usually make it in an hour or slightly less. In my defense, I'll note that I'm occasionally stymied by traffic lights.

I think Mother Nature has taken to spying on me, too. I kept encountering cats and earthworms, two of her most sinister agents, during my walk. As on previous hikes, the earthworms were huge bastards; I was tempted to take a few home for dissection purposes. The cats were typical fraidy-cats, but I could see the telltale bulges of hi-tech recording devices under their skin. One cat hadn't done a very good job of hiding a spy camera up its ass; I saw the glint of a lens in its asshole as the cat ran off, filming the entire time.

The walk back down the mountain featured what may have been a drunken (or psychotic) altercation at the main intersection of a neighborhood in Huam-dong. There were cars stopped right in the middle of the intersection; I imagine there'd been an accident, though it was hard to tell. A group of men and women were shoving and pulling at each other. One woman's banshee-like screeches dominated the proceedings, and the police rolled up a few moments after I'd walked past the scene. Lots of bystanders there there, doing nothing. This was around 1:15am, and it was the second fight I'd seen at that intersection.

As last night was Friday night, there were drunk people in abundance during the Huam-dong section of my walk. They stumbled, they mumbled, they leaned on each other for support. A merry scene. Public drunkenness is perfectly allowable in Korea; my own theory is that, when you're drunk, anything is excusable from the East Asian point of view. After spending all day tied down by strict rules of social conduct, reinforced by a language whose hierarchical waters must be carefully navigated to avoid ruffling feathers through accidental disrespect, a Korean just wants to party down. In America, people drink to forget the perceived shittiness of their lives (or to prepare to fuck someone ugly); in Korea, people drink to make up for lost opportunities: that coworker's tits, which you longed to stare at during the day, are gawkable at night when you're soused.

No Namsan walk is quite like any other, a point brought home to me early last year, when I first began walking out of anger related to female trouble. The seasons change; the people you pass every day aren't always the same folks; even the earthworms and cats are different-- or seem to be-- each time. And as always, life in Seoul is never boring. Thank you, Street Banshee.


1 comment:

melancholy donut said...

"I saw the glint of a lens in its asshole as the cat ran off, filming the entire time." you are so weird.