Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Economy Minus

So, I’ve had a couple good adventures the last couple of weeks. The Saturday before last, I:
  • woke up to a text from a buddy telling me a girl that I thought was a lost cause dug me
  • stumbled upon and attended a K1 kickboxing event
  • somehow lost my camera at that same event, or in a taxi, while sober - that's #4
  • got news from the same buddy that he’d miss the evening’s bar plans, as would the girl
  • went to a party at an all-you-can-eat-and-booze-for-3-hours joint, ending sobriety
  • stole additional booze from the restaurant, drank it on the street with buddies in transit
  • met co-workers at a bar across town, including a girl I’ve liked forever
  • finally got her number shortly before she left for home
  • drunkenly went with Don to a local bar - the venerable No Block
  • met two girls at the bar, but Don was passed out and couldn’t wingman.
  • left No Block with the hot girl I’d been talking too the last couple hours
  • made out with said hot girl in front of her (and her parents’) apartment
  • got home at around 7 a.m.
Then, last weekend, I went to Busan with Don, and as Busan trips generally entail, the weekend involved boozing, gambling, clubbing, fireworks, sushi, and Mexican food. Busan doesn’t disappoint. We even had a couple forays on to Texas Street - the seediest street in all of Korea, populated by dockworkers, Russian mafioso, and whores (complete with a giant banner over the street proclaiming “Welcome US Navy”). Korea is a country pretty much totally devoid of guns, but the word on the street is you can get anything you want on Texas Street within 20 minutes if you know who to ask. We were there, of course, for beer, a rare brand unavailable in most of Korea.

The funny thing about these two events weekends was that after them, Don was in hock to me for about 700 dollars. Really. Although, not exactly, which is my really reason for writing tonight. See, Don owed me (he paid me back) 700,000 won. One year ago, one dollar was worth 900 won, so at that time, 700,000 won was about $777. As recently as March 1, it was 940 won to the dollar, and on July 28 it was about even, $1 = 1,000 won, so that 700k truly was 700 bucks. Today, it’s a ridiculous (and decade or so low) 1393 won to the dollar, so that 700k is worth $500! So, ever “dollary” (1,000 won) that I have has dropped to under 72 cents in a couple days over two months. And that’s the dollar, the whipping boy of the currency market.

So, for those of you who may be considering visiting, come out! You’ll be ridiculously rich. There’s never been a better time to visit Korea. For people like, uh, me, who are looking to leave the country in a couple months (for the U.S. job market! Everything’s okay there, right?) it’s a bit less awesome. Better enjoy these ridiculous drunken adventures and the relative life of luxury that I’ve grown accustomed to now, since I presume life will be considerably worse when I’m crashing on people’s couches and begging one of my bosses from one of my many illustrious $7.50 an hour gigs for my old job back. Or I should stay put and ride it out. Or, everyone’s favorite Plan B: Mexico.

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