Friday, June 24, 2011

It's time for some complaining

I got some complainin’ to do. I’m sure you're shocked.

On people (and my recent trip)

I just did a trip with a big group of people, ranging between 9 and 11 individuals. Beforehand, I didn’t know our group would be so large. I hate traveling with large groups. Nine people move about with the efficiency of an oil tanker. Worse, it turned out the reason for the trip was that it was some girl’s birthday. Kill me. This is why I travel alone. Know what happens when traveling with a group of 9? You end up spending a whole lot of time waiting around in dingy hotel lobbies and on commercial street corners instead of, say, the bar or the beach. Somebody will think that it’s a good idea to get a temporary tattoo, so the whole group will spend an hour on a street while this goes on.

Here’s one anecdote that sums up much of the weekend. After the temp tat fiasco, most of the group wanted to go get coffee at Starbucks or somewhere. Nevermind the ridiculousness of buying coffee rather than beer at 3 pm on a beach Saturday. I was done waiting, I wanted to go to the beach, and one other person went with me. 45 minutes later, we finally got a call from the group. Did they call to see where we were on the beach so they could meet us? Of course not, that would involve sense. No, instead, they set up shop a 15 minute walk from where we were, then called us and told us to join them. Who fucking does that?

Another story. At dinner that night (on Saturday night, right next to the beach, on vacation), at least half the group ordered Coke with dinner. Coke! These weren’t religious people or 9 year olds, these were adults having dinner on a Saturday night. Coke!

On the weather:
The rainy season has once again begun. It’s gonna rain every day for a month now, most likely. Korea has strange pride in it’s “four distinct seasons,” but it actually has six:

November-April - Winter. Don’t kid yourself, there’s no “fall” or “spring” involved here. Late October-December is kind of a proto-winter, when it is cold and life sucks. January-March is like the goddamn tundra. Late March-Early May is still pretty cold, far colder than it seems like it should be given the time of year.

May - Cold Spring. It’s warmer, there’s more flowers, but it’s often too cold for scantily clad girls, thus it fails. This is also “yellow dust” season, when yellow dust blows in from China. The yellow dust itself doesn’t bother me, in fact if nobody told me it was there I wouldn’t notice it. However, every minute of every day, some hypochondriac Korean or young foreigner will complain about it within earshot of me. And yes, I realize the irony of complaining about listening to people complain while writing a list of grievances.

Early June - Warm Spring. It’s awesome, but really short. I’m glad I made it to the beach twice this warm spring.

Late June-Early August - Rain. Rains every day. Sucks.

August-Early September - Summer. Brutally hot every day. Should I go to the beach? Of course not, as there will be 80 million Koreans, all of them doing two activities:
1) not tanning, as everyone will be under umbrellas, and every Korean girl will be fully clothed.
2) not swimming, as the whole swimming area will be mobbed with yellow inner tubes.

Late September-Early October - Fall. Also awesome, it’s sunny and 72 degrees every day. Of course, sometime before Halloween, the temperature will drop below freezing and another 6 months of winter will ensue. Students will write papers about how winter is their favorite season because they can “make a snow man and ride a ski.” All of the students live in apartments, so they never make snowmen, and only the richest kids ski more than one weekend a year.

I have no idea why people have endured this weather for 5,000 years. No wonder so many Koreans have moved to Cebu and California.

On the bastardization of the word “burger”:

This isn’t necessarily directed at Korea. I’ve run into this situation in other countries too. The most recent circumstance just happens to be here.

At a bar and grille last weekend, I ordered a “bacon ranch burger.” I was a bit hungover, so I didn’t read the description under the title. In my mind, why would I? It was a burger. It would have bacon and ranch on it. What the hell else did I need to know? Well, it turned out to be a chicken sandwich. Hey, I love chicken sandwiches,and in general I eat far more chicken patties (usually grilled) than beef, but in my particular state of mind, I was fully expecting cow.

Listen, menu makers of the non-American world - burger means moo. It doesn’t mean any kind of random meat on a bun. A bun does not a burger make. By this logic, anything from a sloppy joe to a Filet-O-Fish is a burger. America may not be perfect, not by a long shot, but when it comes to the term “burger,” we know what the fuck we’re talking about.

On Sunday weddings:

I have to go to a wedding this Sunday. Sunday? Sunday! Who fucking has a wedding on a Sunday? It wouldn’t be so bad, if not for the fact that....
It’s at 12:30 p.m.!

I’ve been to two Korean weddings before. I would have gone to more, but after my first, I started a policy of only going to Korean weddings that I absolutely had to go to.

The standard Korean wedding is held in a factory called a wedding hall. The service takes 30 minutes or so, which is cool, but then the reception takes about 15. A bad buffet is served, everyone pays a bunch of money, and everyone is gone within an hour of when the wedding starts. This means the whole shebang will likely be over by 1:30, which is before I even get up on a typical Sunday.

Between the wedding and a charity fundraiser I’m going to on Friday, this weekend will force me into spending a large sum of money that a) I don’t have, and b) won’t benefit me in any way. Sometimes, I really think I should cancel my Facebook account and move into a flop house with the following furnishings:




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