Friday, September 25, 2009

Party in the Park

We were sitting on a hill a bit away from the Korean Pantera when the call came in from the Artitst.

“Alright, boys, let’s boogie.” We all jump up and grab our various different kinds of gear and head over to meet the Artist, who talks with us as he puts out the lights and finishes closing down the booth.

“So, where are we going?”

“Back there,” points the Artist and we follow him even further up the hill, toward the back of the booths and the tables that are at the back of the park. We can already see the Russian and Ukraine artists have made themselves at home, and so we all sort of roll up as a gang and make the general round of introductions. We meet the organizer of the event first, Mr. Kim in a sea of Mr. Kim’s. We shake hands and the Artist introduces me, the Irish, and the Trainee. We (being good lifers in Korea) all respond with appropriate hand shaking, bowing, and Korean greetings, which serve the purpose of making us all instantly acceptable to the Koreans hosting the event.

We all take various seats at various places. The Trainee manages to position himself rather near the cute female reporter (who I think was on everyone’s to-do list) and one of the other organizers. I was next to the Irish and opposite the Artist and the Israeli artist, and close to the Russians and the Ukrainian artist. The Japanese artists were at the other end of the table, and the rapid-fire conversation and drinking begins. The Artist is a soju man at this point, I pull out the bottle of Tequila. Like speaking Korean to Koreans, tequila also has the effect of making one very quickly popular, and in short order several shots are distributed around the group. We all proceed to get extremely drunk. At this point I’ve had enough tequila to know that it is time to start cutting my blood with a little water, which has the alternate effect of making me the person most likely to visit the bathroom a hundred times; which is noted upon and joked about by all the boys.

“Where are you going?” asks the Artist.

“The lady’s room.” I return.

“They won’t let you in.”

“Piss off.” Smiles all around.

Cameras come out so that our drunken silliness can be preserved. We learn that the Irish can’t figure out how to use a camera, that I have intense camera envy of the Artist's equipment, that the Trainee speaks all right German, and the Ukrainian speaks excellent Korean. The Russians speak mostly Russian, or occasionally some English to me. I offer the Japanese artists some tequila in classic Korean fashion and sit around long enough to demonstrate that I know how to say my name and where I am from in Japanese before sitting down to prevent further embarrassment.

The night is humid and moist, dark and starry. There is a beautiful vibe, that sort of quasi-sexual, pseudo-intelligent, meaningful, meaninglessness of large amounts of alcohol, art, and a day spent in the sun watching or working with lovely examples of naked humanity. I want to float away on it, I want to wrap myself around it and just fall into it. I wonder if I am passing out in a tequila daze. I wonder where we are going. The conversations have become myriad and drifting and I have trouble following one though to the end anymore. It’s a sensory overload of the best kind.

“I’ve forgotten how to speak English, you know,” says the Ukrainian. “I teach all my classes in Korean, and I don’t speak English at all sometimes.”

“Adventure,” drifts toward me on the wind.

“How long have you…”

“Why…”

“Where…”

“And then we will…”

I’m lost absorbing words and idle thoughts and amusements.

“So, are you ready to go?” someone asks, and I realize it is time for round three, if I think I’m capable of surviving it.

“Okay, where are we going?” I ask.

“We are going to the bus,” says the Artist; and explains from there to the hotel and from there to a nightclub.

“Is it all right if we come?” I ask again. I don’t want to impose, but at this point The Misters Kim are happy to have us continue to party with the group, and before you know it we are all walking together with various stuff in the direction of a bus that will go somewhere.

“It takes about forty five minutes,” explains the Artist. He sits behind me, and I’m in the front next to the Irish. The trainee is across from us and behind the Israeli artist, and the Russians, Ukrainian and Korean are in the back. We are all spread out and talking.

“You need a haircut,” says the Artist to the Irish.

I’m amused as I’m fairly sure I had sent the Irish a text message at some point earlier during the week that said “Get a haircut, hippy!” On the bus we talk about art and music, and the festival, comic books, and I think the impending zombie apocalypse. We suddenly hear from the other side of the bus something about Gaza strip and I send the Irish to smack down the Trainee from launching into a political discussion.

“No politics,” says the Irish.

“Was that politics?” asks the Trainee.

“Yes. Yes, it was.”

Fortunately at this point we have neared the hotel and disembark to make arrangements. The artists want a chance to go up to their rooms and change, tidy up, or shower, so it is left to the Koreans to wait with the add on waygooks as entertainment. Being the add-on waygooks we are happy to comply. Food and beer is ordered while the groups sits out on the deck of one of the the highest most overpriced bars in Daegu.

“Don’t worry about the cost. We are buying,” says one of the Kim’s.

It is agreed that this is a good thing. Talk and banter continues until we all manage to again finally be in the same place. And so, while people quickly finish beers it is announced that it is time for the nightclub.

Thus the adventures continue.

No comments: