First of all, an apology to Rachel Nomberg, who was a classmate of Natalee Holloway’s at Mountain Brook High School in Birmingham, Ala.  Secondly, Rach, you almost knew TWO people who disappeared in foreign countries.  Too far?

Alright, but for real, back into the swing of things.  So here I am, midway through the weekend.  I guess I should tell you about my adventures last weekend before I forget them.  With the entire weekend off (hollllllla), I was set on having a fantastic 48 hours.  My weekend started last Friday evening, when I grabbed a quick bite to eat with Karen down the street.  The restaurant’s dining area was no bigger than my freshman year dorm room, with enough seats for perhaps a dozen people.  We shared a sort of rice porridge, which came in a big bowl with chopped beef and mushrooms.  Absolutely delicious and filling and–best of all–the entire bowl was only seven bucks, and it came with a sweet tea.

After dinner, we walked into Suyu to pick up a birthday cake for our friend Bill.  After choosing a cute one with sugar airplanes and stars on top, we headed over to Penelope for the third Friday night in a row.  As soon as Bill got there, he threw down his coat and bolted out of the restaurant.  Why?  To go to a local store and buy “conditioner.”  Not the conditioner we use on our hair, but some sort of drink that is supposed to, if you take it before you start drinking, prevent a hangover the next day.  Not gonna bury the lede here–it didn’t work, according to a text from Bill the next night.  Anyway, here are a few shots stolen from Facebook…

Bill was in this position for well over a minute.  We have it on video.

Bill was in this position for well over a minute. We have it on video.

Finally, the blowing of candles

Finally, the blowing of candles

This was just a cute shot

This was just a cute shot

So around 11 p.m., I left Penelope and met up with a friend who was living in Suyu.  We went back to his place and had some beer and listened to music, then around midnight, decided we were hungry.  Well, Matt decided he was hungry.  I was still full from the birthday cake.  We went to a local restaurant I hadn’t been to yet.  The place was sort of like Korean barbecue, but not.  The meat is cooked over a flame at the table, and you’re given garlic and onions and sauces and spices and all that good stuff.  But instead of wrapping the meat in a lettuce leaf, we used pickled radish.  Sounds a little weird, but it was delicious.  A few bottles of soju later and somehow, it was 3 a.m.  It was around that time that I got up to use the restroom.  While I was waiting, the woman in the stall started speaking Korean to me.  When she came out and realized I wasn’t her friend, she asked me where I was from.  I told her New York, and she said she used to live in Queens and shook my hand (BEFORE WASHING HER HAAAAANDS EW EW EW).  I did my business and returned to the table to tell Matt what had just happened.  Just as I was starting my story, the waiter came over with a bottle of soju and told us it was from the woman I met in the bathroom.  We decided that we’d both had enough soju, but apparently that wasn’t acceptable to this woman.  When Matt went over to give it back to her, she made him sit down at the table.  Not one to miss out of fun stuff, I walked over and she made me sit down as well.  She and her sister spent the next half hour making the two of us take soju shots with them.  At one point, the one I met in the bathroom gave us her card.  Here it is, albeit backwards (I used Photobooth to take the picture, so it’s a mirror-image shot):

Even though it's flipped, you can still see that it says "fox."  We both burst out laughing when we saw this, and Matt tried to explain to the woman that in English, "fox" means "sexy lady."  I don't think she understood what he was saying.

Even though it's flipped, you can still see that it says "fox." We both burst out laughing when we saw this, and Matt tried to explain to the woman that in English, "fox" means "sexy lady." I don't think she understood what he was saying.

And yes, the card IS gold.  Well, gold-colored.  So after the card exchange, my bathroom mate (who looked about 27 but claimed to be 43) told me that I had to come with her when we were done at the restaurant.  She didn’t say why, just that I had to come with her to her store for an hour.  Then her sister started stroking my hair (which I’ll admit, thanks to my new Korean straightener, is sleeker and shinier than ever) and arm and telling me I was beautiful (duh) and sexy (duh again) and had a small face (um, what?).  It was then and there that I decided they were trying to kidnap me to sell me into some sort of Asian prostitution ring.  After a little while of this, Matt and I decided it would be a good time to leave and get away from these crazy women.  We went up to pay, but just as I took my wallet out, one of the woman grabbed my arm and pulled me out the door, leaving Matt with the bill.  When he came outside, we started briskly walking away from the women, who shouted after us until we were too far away to hear them.  We finally hit the main intersection, but there were no cabs at the corner.  Behind us, we heard a increasingly loud “clip clop, clip clop.”  The women had run a block and a half down the sidewalk to catch up with us!  After a few more minutes of them trying to take me and Matt using his broken Korean to explain that I wasn’t leaving with them, they peaced out for good.  As soon as they were gone–really gone–I hopped into a cab and headed back to SEV, completely in shock and trying to process what had just happened.

Anyway, that was the story of my ridiculous night, and I wanted to get it all down before I forgot about it.  Lesson learned from the night?  Don’t trust any woman who initiates a handshake before washing her hands in a public restroom.

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