S&N in Seoul: We liked it

South: We’re back, babydolls. Back from our Seoul adventure. We didn’t die, and we’re back at work! Yay…! Actually, we didn’t just get back now, cos that would mean we had a rather long holiday. We’ve just been a bit delayed.

So since North and I happened to hang out together in Seoul, we decided to do a joint post on our experience. Kind of like one of those story continuing games.

So we decided to hang up our Homosexuality Cloak in favour of celebrating the “hottie motherland” as North calls it. I’ve only been there once before, but Seoul was still as crazy, busy, and pungent as I remembered.

North: Yay! Finally North and South could meet in the hottie motherland! I had a flashback of being in Seoul and my eyes just jizzed… It was so strange to give up the cloak after being homosexual for a whole month. But that was the pact we made: be gay until Seoul and then decide what we will do next. Even though I was no longer gay, I found myself being very homosexual. Here was my chance to break all the rules. It just felt so wrong to do something so right. And who wouldn’t appreciate some fine Korean ass. On the first day together, South took me to a Korean chicken restaurant (warning: there’ll be a lot of eating mentioned in this piece), where we ate chicken and got very drunk while watching Korean asses from the terrace.

S:  Ah yes! N was a chicken-soju virgin. That was rectified rather quickly. I couldn’t let Korea pass by without my chingu having the chickenofthegods.

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Maybe I hyped it up too much. If you haven’t experienced Korean chicken (yangnyeom chicken) before, accompanied by some soju (rice alcohol), then you haven’t lived. I actually quite enjoyed watching N enjoying the chicken. I love taking people out for chicken. Is that creepy?

N: Definitely creepy. South was like, no, you eat. But that little perv probably liked watching me eat. Is it weird that I wasn’t creeped out at all? Maybe I like being watched. Does that make me a creepy pervert too? But that chicken was damn good. I always eat ze chicken. South was all like, “we need to pregame”. I didn’t know what the hell S was going on about. At that point, I was pretty much buzzed from the soju, and was drunkenly convinced by S to get my ears pierced. I’m not sure what came first: eating a waffle or the piercing.

S: The piercing came first, yes. Actually, N didn’t need that much convincing. I believe some people need that little push. She went past the piercing place faffing and going, “hoo hoo I want to get my ears pierced but…” and I just said, “Well, do it!” There you go. The piercing girl was pretty voes. In South African slang or whatever we speak, that means she was pretty ballsy and took no bullshit, despite her being half our size. She instructed me to sit next to North for support, and I did in fear of her accidently-on-purpose prodding me with the huge needle she was brandishing.

Is it bad I don’t remember what really happened after that and the waffle? Oh, maybe we went to Ho Bar(s)! Contrary to what you might think, the Ho Bar chain isn’t exactly where you go get dem ho’s or something. Although Korea’s got Ho’s in different area codes. No seriously, there are so many Ho Bars. And we might have gone to all of them in one area.

N:  Yes, I remember the chick that pierced my ears. She was really bossy: “You! Sit there!” all forceful. If I were an actual homosexual, I think I would’ve liked that. I think I did like that, along with S watching me eat. I think I was really drunk and horny, and if I had a few tequila shots I would have been a real Ho Bar ho. S and I literally jumped from one Ho Bar to the next, and they all played the same kak electronic techno music. How the fuck do you dance to that kak? But we did eventually settle at a nice Ho Bar… wait…

S: Ooh. The first reason we settled at this Ho bar was because they were playing some hip hop. We felt like Goldilocks after testing the three bear’s beds. The second reason was we were quite happy drunk by this time and maybe we didn’t feel like aimlessly wandering around much. And the third, due to my drunkenness was that I fell in love with our waiter.

N: Is it just me or are Koreans really touchy-feely or have I been in Japan for too long? I’m also all about people keeping their distance. But that waiter was all over S – “Can I take your order?” one hand was on her shoulder, and the other was on her hand. I’m sorry, that’s a sign in the Western dating world. And that means that you want me. Kekeke! but I figure it’s all part of service in Korea, where these guys are part waiter, part host. And what a nice host he was. We didn’t order from anyone else except him all night. And S drooled as she watched him wash dishes.

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Oh, lordy lord…

S: The drool on the table didn’t only belong to me, N. That sounds gross. Maybe Ho Bar is short for Host Bar. But yes, him washing dishes was way sexy. He was very thorough, as we could see from our prime vantage point. Host or not, I loved his touchiness, the fact that he had to come super close to talk because of the loud music, the way he touched my hand and said, “wait…” and how he’d stand casually with his hand resting on my chair. This all sounds incredibly cheesy, but let him be hosty…I didn’t care. I was drunk and in my head he was super into me and had happy pants thoughts every time we ordered from him. Let a girl dream. I remember drunkenly stumbling home saying to North, “tomorrow I’m going BACK and telling him I LOVE him!” North was encouraging, the way drunk friends are. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

N: It’s true. I too drooled on the table. I never thought I’d say it but I wanted to take him home so I could watch him wash my dishes. And I’d ask him to wash them slowly. Being the good chingu that I am, I stopped looking at what belonged to S. And ate some chips instead.

While lunching at a South African restaurant, I found my Park Chop. I’m twirling my hair and biting my lip as I type this. He was beautiful, a vision, the main chef of the establishment. I couldn’t take my eyes off him as he mashed those potatoes.

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When he asked us how the food was, I almost asked if I could take him home with me. Sigh. I feel like Kristen Stewart doing that creepy loud breathing, but I just can’t stop. A young SK guy that spoke English with an SA accent but who was born and raised in Seoul. And he had the cutest smile. Gush. Have we reached that age? You know… the settling down phase. We genuinely found these domestic guys… sexy. Yes, we hate washing dishes and love lamb chops very much. So they would be an asset in our lives. But it’s too early…. I’m still in my party years.

S: Remember that post about chocolate cake? Lamb chops are the new chocolate cake. I want to make a t-shirt. Sorry vegetarians, but yes, we were the hungry girls drooling over delicious, juicy, perfectly braaied (barbequed, to non Saffas) flavourful lamb chops. We might be guilty of objectifying poor unassuming guys, but really, we mean no harm. N took extra long paying at the till because her Lamb Chop came over to chat. She was spazzing out. Leaving was hard…we do miss good Saffa chow. And that night we decided to…guess what? You got it. Eat. Drink. And go clubbing.

N:  Yo, South, I’m really happy for you. I’m going to let you finish….but how the eff did we skip an entire day. Yes, I know that that chop making machine had an amazing smile that just reeled you in, but we didn’t talk about the best Korean BBQ we’ve ever had. That place was the bomb. We spent the night with our friends; one got so wasted on soju and posed for the best photobomb of all time. I still laugh at that pic whenever I scroll through my camera roll. After that we went to Ho Bar again. I know…but that place works for us. So after standing in the queue for twenty minutes one of the waiters walks up to our very white friend and says, “sorry, Koreans only”. My friend was livid. Being Saffas, South and I were like, whatever….but fuck. That just cock-blocked South. That was the “Just-wait” bar. There was a dishwasher that needed to be confessed to.

S: I didn’t mention this earlier cos it was a sore subject. There wasn’t just a mere wall separating me from my dishwasher…it was race. And a whole line of people ahead of us. Anyway, my heart will go on and on…you know? I crumpled up my love confessional speech I’d prepared (joking…) and we trudged off to some other bars, got more drunk…and ended up at some clubs. Our poor friends couldn’t make it beyond the first club and had an adventurous walk back to our hostel, but N and I chose to club hop.

Here are some facts about dancing/clubbing in Korea:

  • Koreans have a set dance. They move with the times and everyone dances in a similar fashion. Right now it seems to be a combo of the Harlem Shake and shuffle and maybe some air-humping.

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  • You WILL hear Gangnam Style/Gentleman at least twice. Just go with it.
  • Creepy people exist everywhere and you might find yourself recognizing the same weirdos standing near you as you move around the club. Usually people who look like you and feel you have a connection.
  • Dancing with a group of strangers is perfectly ok, especially if you’re a foreigner. It’s like socializing with no speaking except yelling parts of the song’s chorus at each other.
  • Club and bar bathrooms in Korea are absolutely gross. You have been warned.

N: All bathrooms in Korea are gross, but the bar/club bathrooms are the pits. And that smell remains in your nose for weeks. Never leave your friends to order drinks and head to the loo. because when you get back, there will be a bottle of Jagermeister on the table. I have no idea what South and our friends were thinking. I can’t believe that I didn’t barf after that bottle. As I said before, we’ve all leveled up to super saiyans.

I happen to like Korean dancing. They looked all crazed. It reminds me a bit of Fatboy Slim’s video of “Push the Tempo”. Their dancing is all jerky. Kkkkk. So there was a lot of dancing, and then we had to head back to the hotel because our feet were wrecked. I limped all the way back.

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We probably looked like this.

Oooooooohhhh. And South showed me amazing don’t-get-a-hangover-the-next-day technique. It was this tiny bottle of unicorn elixir. The next day I felt like I hadn’t drank at all the previous night. Miracles do exist in tiny bottles.

S: And in tiny glasses too…shot glasses. Shot glasses you pour soju into. You see how all of this is good? The remainder of our trip was basically made up of more eating/drinking, and last minute shopping in too-bright sunlight the next day before heading our separate ways.

All in all, it was good to meet N again, share some jokes, get weird, stuff faces, and just let things go for a few days. Let’s just say when I came back, I had Holiday Brain for a while after that. I was still bopping along to bad house music in my head, still a bit hungover and could still smell those amazing lamb chops (although I still reckon Busan is better).

And that’s where I conclude my account of this delightful experience!

N: Seoul is really the wind beneath my wings. Not really, but I love perving on your men, Seoul. They are well-dressed, don’t look girly, and they’ve got…you know, swagger.

I really will miss the city life, the coffee shops, those corn dogs that were made of fries, the vendors selling toppoki. And I’ll especially miss being in the same city as B.A.P. Yes, they were in Japan just the other day but with my luck the tickets were sold out within seconds. It you are listening, B.A.P, we’d like to get tickets to see you live! It doesn’t have to be in Japan, anywhere in the world will work for me. Doraemon, can I borrow your dokodemo door, so I can go back to Seoul whenever I feel lonely?

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The Princess Diaries

Harro! So the Gayly Plan is still going on. The othergay we realised we weren’t really trying and will be stricter from now on. Somehow a picture of Zelo from the group B.A.P appeared in our chat this morning, but North said her phone was hacked.

Looking at North’s post about all these cartoon character-like people we have encountered, I was reminded of another character we have in our respective parts of Japan. No, it’s not another poor guy. It’s the Princess.

Caution: Bitchfest ahead. Shield your eeyyeess!!!

North and I both have one. In North’s words: She’s the kind of person that you’re friends with because there are only a few people around”. And we bitch and complain about them because they’re the most annoying people on the planet at times, probably here to test our patience.

So, what exactly is the Princess stereotype?

Firstly, the Princess has needs, and while everyone has needs (see previous posts), these needs are constantly expressed, sort of like a four-year-old would. Such as “I need a rice ball” “I need to sleep” “I need more clothes” “I need makeup” “I need to lose weight” and so on.

She looks at herself in the mirror, ALL THE TIME.
Fun fact: In South Korea, there is a culture of checking your reflection in any reflective surface whenever the opportunity arises. In windows, doors, lifts, the backs of spoons, cell phone screens and subway cars. For non-Koreans, this is hilarious to see. People whip out their compacts/smart phones on public transport or in waiting lines to touch up their faces. Even guys stare shamelessly at their reflections in subway doors and fix their hair. Somehow, this trend has caught onto our Princesses and they feel the need to gaze upon their visages numerous times a day. Once we nearly missed a train because Princess was adjusting someshit on her face, serious.

Princess acts cutesy to attract guys.
We live the capital of cute. The word “kawaii” is engrained in you from day one of being here, and it’s a huge part of Japanese popular culture. Everything is kawaii…someone’s hair, someone’s purse, a dog, a duck, Hello Kitty toilet paper. This morning a coworker was looking at the blank notice board saying “kawaii!” I thought it was just sleep deprivation on his part, but turned out someone stuck a creepy looking bear-shaped pin on it.

Anyway, I tend to veer off-course. Being called kawaii is pretty much the best thing a Japanese person can say to you. Princess knows this and plays up this cutesy girl image, much to the delight of fans everywhere. This includes high-pitched giggling, looking dumbfounded and acting like a child at times.
Kawaii

She also uses LOL a lot. I was going to make my hatred of LOL a whole new post, but who wants to read that. I’ll complain here and kill two birds with one stone. I think LOL is the most ridiculous acronym ever invented. I hate overuse of it, especially as a punctuation mark. My Princess uses it in place of full stops, question marks, exclamation marks, spaces, and emoticons. As an old-fashioned haha person, something about lol seems so stoic and expressionless, you know? Every time an “lol” pops up on my screen, I get nauseous. Once I actually counted the number of lolz used in a conversation and was amazed to find she used it in every single sentence!
Examples of overlol usage:
– What are you doing lol
– I’m cleaning my house lolz
– Omg lol some guy just called me
– Lolll (seemingly to emphasise the “loud” part)
And a new one:
– Have you made any plans lol??

It would be different if someone was actually laughing when typing the lol. Which, let’s be honest, is kind of spastic and weird. Replace all those with actual laughter, and see how that comes across. Right?

The princess needs things to be explained slowly. She is also genuinely confused when, on the rare occasion, she’s rejected or her flirtatious advances are not returned. This would mean the male in question is either gay or has a severe mental problem.

Lastly, the Princess must be complimented at least every day. Compliments are the compost that enables our little Princess flower to flourish and grow! North told me the other day that her princess pretends to mishear and asks for the compliment to be repeated. I had to laugh at that. Out loud.

The word Princess has also become a verb to us.

“Princessing” (v.) 1. Talking continuously about oneself in a conversation and probably forgetting the other person exists. There is no pause for input, or asking about the other at all. It’s just the act of kakking on someone (figuratively), offloading, until they’re satisfied. Any comments made by the other person are regarded as sarcastic, bitchy, or confusing (sometimes they are sarcastic…we are guilty of that).

Or, more simply, North’s definition is:

“Princessing” (v.) 2. To prattle on and on about how awesome your love life is ensuring that the person on the other side feels like shit.

These conversations are so boring and tedious and are basically about how many guys she’s shagged or how some guy dropped his groceries when they saw her, or how she bought fake eyelashes (accompanied by a self-taken photo) which doesn’t interest us in the slightest.

Yes, it sounds like we have an inferiority complex. And maybe we do. Dumbledore, what to do? Or maybe we should ask Dumbledore’s brother, whatshisname. He might have had the same problem.

What Would Dumbledore Do?

My chingu and I constantly talk about our love lives, or lack thereof, in Japan. As two single girls, there’s only so long we can go without some “rabu rabu”, especially in a country that’s so culturally defined.

To put you in the loop: in general, foreigners in Japan are usually given a certain amount of attention. No matter how your physical appearance is regarded in the western world, (I’m not sure what South Africa is considered – Western or Southern?) here you will get stared at and/or complimented on your looks frequently. We’re unique and “sugoi” and exotic here. And while it feeds the ego nicely, making you feel like a special little rose full of hope, it rarely goes beyond that for some sad few of us. Compliments in Japan are something I have never taken too personally anyway, because we’re a novelty. And while some of my fellow foreigners are constantly like “OMG you guys my students keep saying how beautiful I am teehee!” I just think dude…get over it.

As mentioned before, we live in the Japanese countryside, and very different parts at that. I’m on an island, which is pretty far from mainland Japan. Because of this, there aren’t usually many young (and by young, I mean people in their twenties) people around. My island is pretty much where people retire, farm, and fish. Their kids school here and leave for a life on the mainland, returning only for vacation time. The ones who remain here get married straight after school and have kids and then take over the family fishing business.

Anyway, for a twenty-something year old foreigner with minimal Japanese language ability in the inaka, dating prospects are pretty bleak. Every foreigner has been asked the question “do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend?” numerous times. This is the timeline of my “do you have a boyfriend?” conversations.

1. When I first got here

Japanese person: Do you have a boyfriend?

Me: No, haha.

JP: Oh really? Why?

Me: I don’t really want one…

JP: Waa- sugee!

Me: haha hoohoo! [Feels like an empowered female!]

2. Middle of the year

JP: Do you have a boyfriend?

Me: No

JP: Why?

Me: I donno

3. Now, Scenario #1

JP: Is [gay guy I hang out with] your boyfriend?

Me: NO!!

JP: [hehe, they’re so cute, pretending they aren’t in wuv]

4. Now, Scenario #2

JP: Do you have a boyfriend?

Me: No.

JP: Why?

Me: Cos no one likes me, okay?? GOSH [Resumes putting beer cans in shopping trolley].

I’m not going to make this a blog post about how unfair it is that foreign males have an easier time dating here than girls, blah blah. I’ve Googled this topic until my computer overheated, and there are loads of articles on this subject. It’s hard to talk about without sounding bitter, and it’s pretty controversial, so I’m skipping ahead to Conversations with my Chingu (soon to be a paperback – check the Spiritual section of your local bookstore. Haha, jk).

So, we’re constantly talking about how lonely we are and how we’d like someone to have a decent relationship with (or whatever) and not just drunkenly saying “you are so beautiful!” and passing out. After realizing that this is extremely frustrating, and looking to the wise Dumbledore for guidance, we’ve come up with our Gayly Plan.

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Dumbledore knows.

My chingu’s patience was cracking and she admitted that she was pissed off with guys in general. “I’m giving up!” she said. “Over it!” So we agreed to support each other. Sisterhood and all FTW.

You know how some closeted gay people are forced to pretend they’re straight to fit into society in order to survive? Our plan is pretty much the opposite. We wanted to be gay. Although our version of “gay” might be a little warped, and I’m sincerely sorry if I do offend gay people in this post.

*(Side note: I’m pretty much a supporter of gay rights; I actually have more gay friends than straight friends and I know this doesn’t really justify anything… but they’re pretty much amused by this whole thing).

The Gayly Plan is basically an acceptance of our current situation by exploring other options. So far the plan consists of changing the little things that we are in a habit of doing which reinforces how deprived we are. Things like not looking at pictures of handsome k-pop stars (this is HARD, yo!). Refraining from staring at a cute guy as if he were a chocolate cake and we’ve been starving for a week. This is all very creepy.

However, we seem to be lacking the actual dating other girls part. It’s day two of our Gayly Plan and things aren’t looking very good. If getting a boyfriend in Japan is so difficult, what makes us think we’re going to get girlfriends in our towns? What the hell, man! We’ve already relapsed by “accidentally” finding pictures of our favourite Korean rappers.

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This just popped up on our Google image search. Really…

On a serious note, we’ve realized how bloody awful it must be for some gay people to constantly have to pretend they’re straight, or feign interest in the opposite sex. Living a lie is ridiculous and goes against the natural order of things. Respect.

Oh…hello there.

Oh…hello there.

I imagine myself swivelling around dramatically in a chair when saying that. Keep it classy.

So this blog was born out of utter boredom, inspired by the strange (yet exciting! I promise..*nervous laugh*) conversations I have with my friend on the other side of Japan. Yes, we live in Japan, and have been here for nearly two years. It seems a little odd to start a blog almost two years in, but the time felt right now. Kind of like the feeling Oprah must have had when she quit her show. Didn’t she say something like that? She felt it in her bones? Anyway, I digress.

So I live somewhere in the south of Japan, and my friend somewhere in the North…ooh so mysterious! We are both South African (Mzanzi represent!!!). What this has to do with anything, I’m not sure…it may explain my British spelling. So I’ll talk about Japan if I want to, or just bitch about stuff, maybe post an inspirational quote.

Or! Autocorrect fail of the day.

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Erm, I meant…borrow. Or Brow.