Sunday. As per usual, I was a bit hungover. I had planned to do interesting things over the course of the day, but I did no such things. I was at trivia at my local bar. It was 7:11 p.m. Again, as per usual, my team was up. My team usually wins, because I’m pretty much the best trivia player alive. States of Australia? Airport codes? One hit wonders? JFK? I’m the guy to call.
At that particular moment (7:11 pm Korean Standard time, last Sunday) I got a text. It was from a number without a name. It read: “im sorry. I can’t recive call cuz i sleep.” At first, I figured it was a wrong-number text, but then it occurred to me that the likelihood of a round-eye such as myself receiving a wrong-number text that was written in English was nearly mathematically impossible.
Flashback to the previous night. I spent a fair portion of the early evening drinking with my buddies Martin, Ryan, and Don at Martin’s apartment. Martin and Ryan were drinking a concoction that they called “the water bottle.” It consisted of two bottles of soju and a larger bottle of juice mixed into an empty two liter bottle of water. Fairly brilliantly, they had discovered that two bottles of soju and a large bottle of juice equals exactly two liters. I was drinking a mixture that I dubbed “homemade wine,” which was a mix of vodka and grape juice in a half liter water bottle. Yes, I am aware that it would be cooler in an empty wine bottle. Don was drinking a substance that he called “beer.” It was beer.
Martin and Ryan left to go to a cell phone store, where Martin had an iPhone on order. Acquiring an iPhone without Korean citizenship or a Korean spouse is next to impossible here. Martin had somehow done it. Don and I briefly retired to my apartment. Out of homemade wine, I helped myself to his beer.
Earlier in the evening/afternoon, there had been talk of an Itaewon trip. I doubted its viability based on Martin and Ryan’s level of drunkenness. However, not long after I had cracked into Don’s beer, I received word from Martin that they were, in fact, on their way to Itaewon. I wanted Indian food. Don wanted Itaewon potatoes. Off we went.
After food and some drinks, Ryan almost got into a fight with this dude outside Polly’s Kettle House. Ryan has a reputation as a hothead, but dude had it coming and definitely instigated. While Ryan and the dude were face to face, I talked with one of the dude’s friends. He was huge. He told me that I seemed cool, and it was a shame that he would likely soon have to fight me. I felt the same way. Probably more so, because he was huge.
The rumble never went down. We went to some other bars, and then took a taxi back to Nowon. We went to Noblock for a nightcap, then headed home. At home, Martin discovered that his brand new iPhone was gone. I called may bartender buddy at Noblock, and he said that it wasn’t there. Clearly, it must have been in the taxi that we took home from Noblock. Martin got a new number when he got the iPhone. He didn’t know it yet. I had a couple of recent incoming calls in my phone with no name attached, so I called one, hoping to reach the taxi driver or whoever may have found the phone. It seemed strange that it had a ring-back tone involved, but I kept calling it. I got roped in to going back to Noblock with Martin to look for his phone. I called the unknown number that it seemed he called me from earlier 15 or 20 times between 4 and 6 a.m.
Flash back to the previous day. In my run-up to my vacation, I’ve been on a sometimes asinine diet. I’m down 15 pounds or so in the last three weeks. It’s the lightest I’ve been since I was 24, and when I was 24 I lost weight on a diet based solely on abject poverty. I was feeling pretty good about myself.
After drinking with Martin and his girlfriend at his place, we went to the Train Hof. This was my first time at the Train Hof. The Train Hof is a bar where a mini-train takes you to your table. Before getting to the table, the train passes through a “scary tunnel,” which is actually a hallway. The scary tunnel is a bit like an even lower-budget version of a carnival dark ride or the Indiana Beach mine car ride. Super ghetto skeletons and vampires, some of which “jump” out at you. It was awesome. Several of our friends were at the Train Hof already. We joined them at the table. Everyone was already smashed. One buddy of mine made out with some random Korean guys, and then he motorboated a girl at our table. I didn’t know most of the girls at the table, but they all seemed a bit frisky. We moved on to Nowon’s preeminent crappy dance club - Volume.
My memory of Volume is a bit hazy. As I said, I was feeling fit and virile, and thus pretty much hit on every girl there. I woke up with a couple of new numbers in my phonebook. Sadly, by the time I woke up, I couldn’t place faces with the new names in my cell.
Back to Sunday, trivia, Metropolis, 7:11 p.m. Suddenly, the text message made sense. I got a girl’s number on Friday night and forgot to enter her name into my phone. On Saturday night, I called the number repeatedly at obscene hours, thinking it was Martin’s iPhone and that it would help us get it back. It was that unknown number that I called 20 times on Saturday night that texted me Sunday evening. I suppose things won’t work out with that girl. On the plus side, I don’t remember who she was, what she looked like, or what her name was. Still, like George Carlin said, I considered it a missed opportunity.
Epilogue: Martin somehow got in touch with the taxi company, or they got in touch with him, or something, and he got his iPhone back. It’s about time this blog have a post with a happy ending.
Also: I’m going on vacation Friday. I fly to Kuala Lumpur Friday, then Bali Saturday morning, then back to KL the following Friday, and home to Korea late Sunday night. I’ll try to post something next week to keep this “weekly” thing up, but no guarantees. I’m sure you’ll live.