03 May 2007

seoul hookahs

rainbow is happy, but not gay.

i think tonight qualifies as my first night out on the town. our crew of 7 was split between korean adoptees and half-breeds with one non-adopted kyopo (korean american) to break the tie. after coffee and a halting english conversation with a local earlier that evening, i was thankful for the ease of communication among these expats. the average age (myself excluded) was about 23, so topics were more relevant to the immediately post-college set, but everyone was very kind and i especially enjoyed chris, the clever/funny/homo half-korean los angeleno. the environs were comfortable- a hookah bar called "rainbow" located somewhere behind gangnam yuk exit 6. the place combined "middle eastern" decor (where hookahs originated) with rastafarian flags and even randomer stuff. im not sure what inspired this awkward connection. marijuana?

since the subways stop at 01:00 and some of our crew hailed from sinchon, we ended early. walking back to acrovista the cool air was a nice reminder of similar late night walks "home" in other parts of the world. i could have been in seattle, new york, taipei, tokyo or any number of other places. i practiced my hangul by reading the ubiquitous signs along the way and realized that although i keep waiting for korea to feel difficult and foreign, perhaps it just won't.

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