Saturday, July 26, 2008

Swimming Pool & Western Bars

The avalanche of odd experiences continues. On Friday, Jacki picked me up and took me and the kids to the swimming pool in Jangseungpo. It's not too far away and is apparently less crowded than the pools that are associated with the two shipyards. The pool is really nice, with a huge locker room full of very nice wooden lockers. Unfortunately, the locker room was also full of small children. Teeming with them, actually, in various stages of undress. The locker room definitely took some getting used to, as Korean women are much less modest in the locker room than they are on the beach. There were naked women in the shower, in the hot tub, and in the sauna, but also walking around, dressing their kids, drying their hair, putting on make-up, talking on cell phones, etc. I was much more bashful than I felt I should be, and when we got out of the pool, the woman in charge of cleaning the locker room angrily gestured at me that I could not wear my dripping wet suit out of the shower room and into the locker room. So I stripped down too and joined the melee.

My swim was pretty good, although I haven't been swimming in a while and I definitely need to get into shape. The pool was a comfortable temperature (which means almost certainly too warm for Keegan), and I only had to share a lane with one other person. Poor Jacki, however, had to share the kiddie pool with approximately the entire child-age population of Geoje Island, all screaming at the top of their lungs. I'm sure she was glad when I finished swimming!

In the evening, Keegan and I went over to the Foreigner's Club for happy hour. There we met Tom and Cliff, a Maine native and a Brit, respectively. They are both older and have both been here for about three months. I really liked both of them, and it was fun to talk to other people who haven't been here for very long. We ended up having dinner with them at the foreigner's club. I had a really delicious omelet - basically just a thin layer of egg around veggie fried rice. After dinner, we agreed to meet Matt and Jacki out for drinks, and we went to a bar to wait for them to put the kids to bed and greet the babysitter. The bar was almost empty when we entered, except for a small group of Koreans, the bartender, and two "bar girls," who were dressed very, very provocatively in short spandex skirts and bikini tops. Keegan and I played pool and darts while we waited for Matt and Jacki and marveled at the attire of the bar girls and other bar patrons.

When Matt and Jacki got there, we moved on to a bar called "Ali Babar." Chuckle, chuckle. Keegan is going to call it the 2x4 bar because the entire bar is covered with 2x4's, sticking out of the ceiling in rows, sticking out of the walls like evenly-spaced scales. Finally we went to a fairly new place called "The Lounge," which was, like everything else these days, weird. The bar was staffed by eight or ten girls dressed in very short, very low-cut sequined dresses with neon light-up nametags. They seemed to be there not just to ferry drinks, but also to flirt with the single men in the bar. I had a hard time not staring at them when they interacted with the male patrons. The Lounge had a dance floor (empty), video golf (played with real golf clubs - you hit the ball at a big movie screen), three or four pool tables, and a foosball table. We enjoyed the chance to get to know Matt and Jacki a little better, and they told us about their planned trip to the Olympics next month, which sounds really exciting!

Today was a quieter day - we slept late and then did some shopping in the afternoon. We got some plants for the apartment, and they really make the place look more homey and more lived-in. They were expensive, though, so I have lots of motivation to make sure we don't kill them! Tomorrow is our first hash run with the Koje Hash House Harriers. I've never done a hash before, so it will be another new experience!


KIM! said...

sounds like you are really having a good time and having all kinds of great experiences (whether you are or not they sound very positive). Keep smiling.

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