Saturday, June 18, 2022

the meet-up with my buddy

So, tonight's meet-up with Tom had two wrinkles: (1) Tom didn't bring his son, and (2) Tom's favorite galmaegi-sal restaurant is now gone, so we had to move to another place.

That said, it was a decent-enough dinner (the pork we had was more mokshim than galmaegi, though), and we did our usual Baskin Robbins ritual afterward. Tom got vanilla (hah—white boy), and I got mint chocolate chip, which I hadn't had in a long time.

Conversation was about everything and nothing: family stuff, my post-stroke recovery, a smattering of dirty jokes, shit like that. After ice cream, Tom and I got curious and explored the old neighborhood we used to live in during the 90s, right across the street from Jonggak Station's Exit #2. Tom told me that my old yeogwan was gone, along with all the other buildings in that old alleyway, and sure enough, that entire area is now just a flat dirt lot waiting to be re-developed. Wow. And that's some prime real estate, right in the middle of Seoul's northern downtown (south of the river, there's the Gangnam district; north of the river, there's the older and more unpretentious Jongno district, where we ate dinner).

I told Tom I'd be walking home after we parted company, but I ended up taking a cab back to my place; the walk would have been 19K, which is a bit much for my usual Friday, and the forecast was for rain. I'll do a long walk Saturday evening when I have my rain jacket.

Tom's off to the Philippines in a week. His wife is leaving first tomorrow, I think, and Tom's joining her later on. While I find the Philippines beautiful based on everything that John Mac blogs, I have little desire to endure Southeast Asian heat and humidity. Korean summers are already bad enough. So I'll just wish Tom a good trip while I bask in my air conditioning and do my walks in the evenings when it's cooler.


John Mac said...

I've been a little surprised at how I've adapted to the heat. I think being immersed in it for most of the year (rainy season cools things off some) it just starts feeling normal. I still notice the heat on the extreme days, but a shady walk and a hilltop breeze make it manageable.

I forgot where Tom visits here.

Kevin Kim said...

Tom's wife hails from one of the southernmost islands—right about where the Muslims are, apparently. I can't remember the name of the place Tom mentioned.