Getting used to it.

Willie hung out with Mike in Brooklyn tonight. My heart broke a thousand times to think of it, and not to have been there. Thank god we're all at least American, so there's some hope of paths intersecting in the future.

Meanwhile, Smalltown rang me on the way home from the bar tonight. Said he got out there, stepped foot in, took a look around, turned and walked back out. He's decided to join me on the sobriety wagon for a while. Our last little adventure hasn't been setting well in his stomach, either.

It's so weird how fast things change here. Talking to him as he made his way home, I mentioned how last I was out before that night, three months ago, it was a completely different scene. One small pack of other foreigners who we were friendly with, and a few other randoms here and there. Last week, when I stepped into a bar that had been completely dead for months when I last left it, it was overflowing at the brim with foreigners -- more than I've ever seen in one place in our city before. I sniffed the air, as we surveyed the scene: "New arrivals. This time next year, this place will either be back to dead or filled with entirely new faces...."

Revolving doors and stuff. Reminds me of one of my married veteran friends giving me older brother type advice one night on the bus ride home, sensing about me that I might become an old timer like him eventually: "Seems every other week I'm deleting another name from my phone. That's just how shit works here. You'll get used to it eventually."


MikejGrey said...


Have you seen this? This might explain a few things about the country. or not.

Either way. I can't tell you how excited I am for leaving New York. I've got half a mind to come visit you wherever you are this summer.

Anonymous said...

Damn. That last bit sounds depressing. Logically, we befriend our peers. When someone is no longer our peers... well, the relationship is undone. But logic is seldom much in the way of consolation.

Comes with the territory, I suppose. Seasonal turn-out for the local watering holes could be advantageous to the dedicated bar fly. Good to know.

Perhaps this has been mentioned before, but how far from Seoul proper are you? Curious.

-- .38

Laura said...

I agree with Anon, pretty depressing.

It's nice that Smalltown has decided to join you in sobriety. I think sometimes being sober can clear our heads a little. Good luck to him. :)

saharial said...

the revolving door works here too, I'm alays saying goodbye to Korean friends who go home. I cry every time because i really hate goodbyes :(
(just for a benchmark of tear factor - i cry at happy endings as much as sad ones *rolls eyes*)

I'm no Picasso said...

Mike. Yes I have. How to talk to foreigners in a fast food restaurant in Itaewon, where they all go at night to refuel and connect with the mothership. I want to punch her in the fucking face. In fact, I'll be looking for her on the streets from now on.

Too bad she forgot to explain that approaching a complete stranger to ask ten questions about their habits and personal life and if you can sit at their table is just as fucking weird and rude in our culture as in theirs. That part would've been more helpful, I think.

Spesh -- Seoul proper is kind of a hard thing to define. It takes me about an hour by bus to get to Hongdae, and anywhere from an hour and a half to two and a half hours to get to Seoul Station, depending on traffic. Gagnam might as well be on another planet, on a Saturday afternoon.

There are two major hubs out here in Incheon and I'm thirty minutes by train from one, and about 45 minutes by train from the other.

Laura -- He won't last a week. But hopefully he'll at least cut out the heavy drinking for a while, because he has a tendency to go fucking mental.

Saharial -- It's weird, because my Korean students in New York never, ever left. Haha. They were deadset on doing what they had to do to stay for as long as possible.

MikejGrey said...

I can't leave a comment on your other blog.