Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Saturday Night Overun by Brits

"Everyone bailed on me. That's it; I'm going home and baking." I got the text from Quatermain around 6:00 p.m. on Saturday night. Originally I had organized an amazing dinner and party, but attendance dropped and I finally ended up canceling. Instead of cooking, I spent Saturday afternoon watching the newest Die Hard movie (seriously) and was contemplating spending Saturday evening alone—I had spent Friday night blogging and drinking martinis at the Antique Bar, so the alone time would be most welcome.

"Screw it; let's get dinner together."

"Do you know a place?"

"I always know a place." I enjoyed introducing Quatermain to my favorite restaurants in Daegu, and I was quite sure he enjoyed getting introduced to them. We planned to meet after I made a quick trip home to feed thel dog before the dog called Animal Services, and then met amidst the chilly cold downtown Daegu air.

I walked him over to my favorite new Italian place for dinner.

It was completely full (again), but the waitressunlike last time, when she kicked me out into the coldfound a table for us and let us sit down.

"The menu looks promising."

"More than promising."

"I like Italian. And I like people who know what they're talking about."

"I want mussels. And possibly calamari."

"I love calamari!"

Of course, after making the best-laid plans, we found out that due to our rather late dinner hour (and my complete inability to make a reservation for a place I didn't expect to be fully booked) I was not going to be able to get either mussels or calamari.

In the end we ended up with pescatori and moussaka, which were both most awesome.

"Let's have dessert." This was from me. (The Carb Monster had taken over my life a bit lately.)

"I don't know...oh fuck they have panna cotta."

"Their panna cotta is really good. I can't eat it because it would kill me, but it's good."

"Oh sweet, yes, they have affogato. I love affogato!"

"So let's get that," I encouraged.

"Do you like brownies?"

"I don't know; eating two desserts seems like a lot."

"But they are so reasonably priced."

"That's right; screw it, let's do it." We ended up with all three, which was worth it for the look on Quartermain's face as he put the panna cotta in the mouth.

"Are you gonna need a minute?"

He was nothing but smiles.

Afterward, after what was a short discussion, we hit Antique Bar and had martinis with cigars. We smoked and discussed how to end the evening. We finally decided that the best way to finish up would be a short trip to the Lonely Hearts, where it would be quiet and we would have a chance to sit, talk to Hyun, and listen to music. What we did not expect was walking in to find the bar overflowing with people. Hundreds and hundreds of new people. Where the hell did all these new people come from? Although the bar was packed, we were able to find a table in the back (in a corner of some note), and sat down for a little more smoking and drinking.

Quatermain excused himself to the loo and I settled in with my drink, watching the people. (It seemed like a thing to do.) As I was sitting, I suddenly found a very tall, very lanky boy standing in front of me. He was taller than even Quatermain—who matched my boy at around six-foot-something.

"Hi; I'm Joe, how are you?" He had a friendly, genial smile, and looked entirely vapid and honest, like he was no more than twelve years old. If it weren't for the height, he would have seemed far too young to drink. Quatermain joined us during our conversation and chatted him up for a second. As Joe walked away, Quatermain just looked at me.

"Well, he was a right tall fucker now, wasn't he?"

"He has in height what he likes in everything else."

"Too right. What are all these people doing here?"

"No idea. He's hagwon, not EPIK though."

The Lonely Hearts was alive with young twentysomethings, all of whom were clearly out of college for the first time; all of whom looked like poster boys and girls for the happy, teach-English-in-Korea life. It amused me to think about it. It also felt like half of them were from some part of England. I began to wonder if it was just me or if the Lonely Hearts had transformed into a dime pub in London.

"It's like we suddenly walked into a seedy London pub on a Saturday night," said Quatermain.

I smiled.

We continued to sit and sip and drink in the back corner as we were talking and watching the people. A band was announced, a couple set: girl with guitar and boy with bongos. All in all the music wasn't that badexcept for her inability to play anything but chords and the fact that she couldn't sing in key. We listened for a while, but as they took a break, we decided it was time to leave London and head back to Korea. We were greeted by chilly cold, brightly lit Daegu, and the promise of short cab rides home.

The dog was happy to see me, but demanded third dinner. I crawled sleepily into bed and ignored his pleas.

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