Monday, May 06, 2013

love hotels everywhere

Almost an hour ago, I came back from a stroll up the local main street. I had been in search of a decent sit-down restaurant and, thinking that it was 8:30 in the evening—reasoning like a Seoulite, in other words—I was sure I would find a bright and happy resto somewhere close by. Ha ha—think again, Kevin! Yeosu probably has one or more restaurant districts, but my neighborhood isn't one of them.

What my neighborhood does have a lot of, though, is love hotels.

Twin Sparks Motel. Bench Motel. Dream Motel. Carlton Motel. Sweet Motel. All with vaguely pervy, peripherally provocative, suggestively naughty names, and all within 300 yards of my own Roboo Motel. I'm spending the night in Fuck Central.

To fuck, you apparently need a toolkit. A look inside the little zip-top packet the concierge gave me when I checked in reveals toothbrushes, a disposable razor, a packet with a feminine hygienic wipe inside, a small packet of "berry essence" apply-and-wash lotion, and two condoms. I guess the second condom is there in case you miss your shot the first time.

Tom called me not long after I had arrived in Yeosu; he drew my attention to the nightstand by the bed, and to the stacked boxes of tissues (to wipe your warm, gooey love syrup off your lady, no doubt) on which was written, over and over, the number of a local da-bang, or tea room. "They don't serve just tea there," leered Tom. So we talked about the rates for local whores. "I gotta score me one," I joked. "Go for it!" said Tom earnestly, always happy to aid in my moral decay. Tom wished me luck with tomorrow's interview, and we hung up.

Dinner was a bust. I gave up my patrol, walked back toward my love hotel, and strolled into the local Mini Stop, sort of a Korean 7-Eleven, where I bought some junk food to take back to my room. That's all tumble-drying in my stomach now. Out my window, I see the neon signs advertising Bench, Carlton, et al., as well as the red neon crosses that I normally associate with the Seoul skyline: signs that Jesus is always watching. Waiting. Plotting. What an interesting mix of establishments that is—love hotels and churches, all intertwined. I'm in the eye of the moral storm, I guess. I'm at the churning confluence of two rivers—the river of righteousness and the river of semen.

I'm Where It All Happens, baby!


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