I don't know why that photo's so huge, but you don't really mind. Do you?
Somewhere between the Ho Bar touring, the street stall food and any number of cabs (2) last night, Kel and I managed to get down to the nitty gritty of our mutual obsessions with all things Korean.
This led to me admitting something that has slowly been dawning on me over the course of the last few weeks, namely that I am completely obsessed with becoming a Korean man.
Now, I know there are problems with this plan, mainly in the form of various aspects of anatomy (not to mention culture, language, etc., but that's not really the important part, and some of that is fixable, anyway....).
It started innocently enough with the fact that I am, being larger than a US size 8, entirely incapable of shopping in the women's section in Korea, even if I was so inclined. But why would I be, when the men are the true stars of the show here, as far as I'm concerned?
No, I haven't developed a sudden inclination toward purses, high heels and glitter. Ha ha ha, very funny. But fuck if I don't find a well-dressed man to be one of the few things in life that can make me pause and give thanks to God, the Universe, whatever. And the real problem is that I've never had the ability to separate that which I want to be from that which I want to fuck. If we're going to be totally honest. And why not?
I've always fancied myself somewhat of a gentleman, but in all reality, my outward appearance has run more along the lines of near-to-homeless. I've been inspired, in recent months, by the fact that I actually give a shit about my job for once, and part of that (as far as coworkers and higher-ups are concerned) is not wearing flannel and/or thermal shirts with holes in them, that were probably ten years old when I bought them, to begin with.
Ties are sexy, people. I want to be part of that sexy.
All in all, I predicted this would happen. Just a while before I left Texas for SK, I distinctly remember sitting on Stephanie's back porch, smoking a cigarette and discussing the future. I made the declaration then and there that I had a feeling the ROK would bring an abrupt end to my general not giving a fuck about how I present myself. In short, I knew it would make me just ever so slightly more vain.
Well. Vain at all, really.
Couple this with a sudden first-time cash flow that exceeds my rent (which is now non-existent, anyway) and suddenly, my bathroom is filling up with products. I've mocked that person my entire life. But let's face it -- I'm not getting any younger, and neither is my skin.
I just love the general coolness of it all, in the same way I've loved the generally coolness of the just-rolled-out-of-bed, had-a-glass-of-whiskey-and-a-cigarette-for-breakfast look in years gone by. I can't get enough of the parade of men dressed to the nines, sporting vests, ties, hats, and immaculately fiddled-with hair. The clean, crisp scent of expensive cologne, as men pass you on the street, lean over to serve you your drink, etc. etc. etc.
It's a chronic dysfunction of the expat community in the ROK to turn on their brethren of the West after a few months, and declare entire nations as full to the brim with disgusting slobs. I still get my slack on -- that's never going to change. And my hair always has been, always will be a complete and utter shock of disarray. But for the time being, I'm riding the wave. And if someday I manage to be even a fraction as suave as Lee Byun Hun, or any of thousands (millions?) of his countrymen, well. That'd be alright by me.