Friday, June 13, 2008

All I wanted was dinner

I had planned to have a short meeting with the Geek regarding one of my prized possessions here in Korea. Knowledge of the city and where you can find things. In this particular instance we were looking for things Indonesian and I knew exactly where to go. I contacted the Geek round lunchtime and inquired if he liked Indian food, finding an emphatic yes to be the answer.

While walking towards the prearranged meeting place for the dinner extravaganza I recieved a message from the Rastafarian. I met the Geek just as I was responding and asked if it would be alright for her to tag along for the shopping and the dinner; to which again he emphatically agreed. He's a good one, the Geek.

I trundled us into a taxi and directed the taxi to pick up the Rastafarian and then across town to the South East Asian district. Daegu is a funny place, not at all like Seoul. Seoul has a thousand things all stacked on top of itself without any real distinction. As a friend of mine once said "It feels like a forty mile extension of the airport." I admit to feeling that way about many international cities.

Daegu, on the other hand, sections itself off in many ways like an American city. You have towns and districts within the city that are separate from everything else. It somehow works and makes me exceedingly happy. Today we were off to the South East Asian side of town, a side I tend to avoid, but figured would be fun for a night.

I have issues, among them, the South East Asian and Pakastani crowd living in Daegu. I have good reasons for these issues and I won't go into them here but to say that they exist and I deal with them by avoiding a part of town I don't feel safe in. However armed with the power of two friends I figured I'd be alright.

We went to a little mart first were we procured our illicit Indonesian purchase and then got several other things. Curry Powder, Cumin, TVP, Cous Cous, all things that you can only find in this area. There are other things there as well, all the spices you could want from Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and parts of Pakistan. It's a great little place to know about if you are hankering for something other than red pepper paste in your food. I did not fail to notice the entrance into the mart of a Pakistani who took one look at me and sat down to stare. This is one of the reasons why I avoid the South East Asian district. Being that I'm not Korean I tend to stick out. I tried not to notice while doing the city girl thing of marking where he was and when he was moving while I walked about the stores checking out the various wares.

We crossed the street and hit another shop where I stumbled across some papad and some Chinese Five Spice which I haven't seen in years. At this point having spent far to much money on the fixings of food it was agreed by all we were hungry and it as time for that dinner I had promised. So we headed back into the street and down the way to the Pakistani restaurant of choice.

I asked after a menu but they didn't have one. As soon as we sat down the door flew open and in stumbled the guy who had been staring at me in the other mart. He looked at us and ran into the back. The chef. Lovely. We were told the restaurant could make us different kinds of curry, nan, and samosas so that is what we ordered.

The simple version is that we gorged ourselves and it was good. The best Middle Eastern I've had outside of Chicago. Fantastic food. We ate and it was good. They brought us food and food. We watched the bizarre Pakistani music video channel which played an unfortunate song in Pakistani that sounded exactly like "Put your cock in" which caused all of us to laugh in fierce giggles. The food was good the atmosphere content, the night bizarre.

We paid very little for our overindulgence and stumbled back onto the streets checking out various shops. We got kicked out of a sex shop as the proprieter was obviously running a brothel not a tour store and wanted nothing to do with us. We tried a second one but all we managed to find there was a bullet vibrator that used a phone cord to run the current from the battery box. I like antiques but that was pushing it even for me.

So we all headed back to the streets laughing and feeling city. We had to cross a street and walk up a block to catch a cab back to civilization. It was dark now and without meaning to be I was on full alert. I become very aware of my surroundings in this part of town after dark. Too much like the bad parts of Chicago. My brain screams "You should not be here." I agreed, we were leaving.

As we headed around to the cab I caught site of someone running down an open alley at us. I measured the distance and knew we would make it to the head of the cab stand before whoever it was caught up, so I didn't say anything and just kept walking. We turned the corner onto the street to get into the cab lineup when he caught up to us. I'm not sure if he was Korean or Pakistani, or something else. Didn't matter it was night, he was following and too close.

He touched my arm.

I opened the cab door and ushered the Geek in. The Rastafarian took the front seat.

"Hey."

I didn't want to turn, but I couldn't help turning, as I needed to turn to get into the cab and so for a second I was facing him. He leaned over the railing much to close. He face to close. I wanted to push him away as I was falling backwards into the cab and onto the Geek. He tongue was out when I turned, so close he could have licked my face. It was flabbergasting, disgusting...it made me feel all the feelings I have when going to the South East Asian side of town.

"You were just eye-raped." My company exclaims as I slam the door and give the cabbie directions over the shouts of "your beautiful" from the street.

I didn't know what to say.

The dinner was good. I'm still not sure if it was worth it.

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