Saturday, September 25, 2010

Painting, Music, Magic

The crowd was huge. This year the festival had so many more people. I was hanging out with the Irish and the Apprentice. Added to our troop was also the One, who had most recently landed in Korea to join the Irish officially as his fiancé, and no longer as the invisible fiancé who the Irish may or may not have made up.

The One and I ditch the boys and walk stall to stall, both of us dressed for warm weather. Armed with bosoms at the ready we found ourselves the recipients of several free gifts, including lipstick, shot glasses, and body gems. The shot glasses ended up being the most fortuitous gift of the day as we were both packing different bottles of liquor to drink in our bags, since neither of us drink beer. I buy some cheap body paint and we find ourselves a corner where I can do our makeup. She gets large swirls in dramatic black and red. I go for mostly black with some red highlights for myself. We make up prettily on the windy day at the festival grounds.

BodyMagic is at the festival, judging. We had all run into him earlier, but as I sit and paint the One on our little stone bench  he comes over to appraise my work. “A little too heavy on the cheek; you want it to lift.” He has a point, but I’m still annoyed. We talk for a bit and make plans to meet later.

The One and I sip our drinks and crowd watch. A team of Korean girls comes running up and asks to take pictures with us. I’m amused and explain we are not models, but they don’t care. They think we look fantastic, so we pose with them. I pass them my camera and ask them to take a picture of us for me.

The One

The Saradevil

As the sun starts to go down and dinner hour approaches I suggest potential options. The One and I are sent off to get food and the boys go to find a place for us to sit and watch the stage as we wait for the show to finish so we can join the artists for the afterparty. We retrieve boxed chicken and go to find the boys.

What we find is the Irish and the Apprentice together on the lawn, having picked up a group of older ahjussis drinking Makgeolli.

“We figured it would be better to make friends.” Says the Irish, as we join the group.

The ahjussis' faces light up when they see the two girls who have come to join the party. They offer us their own chicken and we offer them beer. Soon we are offering them Hennesy from the One’s secret stash. I manage to keep my tequila squirreled away at this point. Soju is also in attendance and soon we are singing and dancing and drinking soju with the small group we pick up. The One is practicing her Korean, but it is not so good yet. She manages to convey, though, that I am the person responsible for painting her face to the ahjussi sitting closest to her.

“He wants you to paint his face,” she says to me.


“I told him you did my face and he wants you to paint his face.”



I break out the kit I had stashed away and paint a small red devil on his cheek. He wants more though; he demands swirls and patterns. I dip my tiny brush several times and manage to liven him up with red devil horns to match his devil cheek. Very Korean style. The ahjussi next to him grabs me before I can put my kit away and asks for the same. On the lawn I sit and paint the two sixty-year-old Korean men who are drinking fermented milk and clapping along merrily as women and men wearing only paint walk to and fro on the stage.

The sky is dark and stormy; we feel rain drops for only a bit. Some of the crowd packs up to the leave. The air is full of tension, maybe from the thunder that rumbles on occasion. Or maybe there is just the right amount of revelry, the right number of people, the right concentration of elements, to fill the grounds with a special kind of colored magic.

We drink and enjoy the show, passing glasses between ourselves and our new Korean friends, waiting for the call to retreat to the tents for the later party.

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