21 October 2007

gay tennis

riverside tennis on a delightful (but cold!) autumn afternoon.

i love gorgeous fall days when cool air and clear skies create unusually bright sunshine and a new palette of colors. thanks to my dutch korean adoptee buddy, i spent 4 hours yesterday at yeouido island's hangang citizen's park, part of a huge park system that stretches for miles along the han river and across 12 of seoul's districts.

he invited me to join his 20- and 30-something homo korean tennis group. for several hours each weekend, about a dozen guys get together to rally, volley, serve and the like. they're a diverse lot. one of them sported sporty short shorts, while another was dressed like a korean pop star. my favorite was the guy playing in cargo pants and a very puffy parka (admittedly it was a surprisingly chilly 3° C).

tennis groups or clubs tend to have a vibe. whereas some groups are ultra-competitive, others are just an excuse for drinking beer or flirting. from what i could tell, these guys are an easy-going group but their primary interest is indeed playing tennis. sure, i got the obligatory, "do you have a boyfriend?" and, "do you like korean guys?" questions, but it was innocent enough. since their english-ability is limited, i'm looking forward to practicing my korean but being on opposite sides of the net is also a good excuse to avoid talking when i don't feel like fumbling over verb conjugations. all said, even though i haven't played in years and this was my first time on clay, marty and i won our doubles match, 6-4.

while in their company, i had the familiar feeling of relief in my gut when i'm reminded that homos can be normal people with hobbies. spending too much time in sex-themed gay clubs or personals websites can do that to you. sure, everyone using pseudonyms isn't totally normal (i assume it's to protected their closets), but they fairly readily shared their real names. anyhow, it was a delightful way to spend a saturday, and i'm looking forward to next week.


Anonymous said...

I think this is happiest blog entry I've seen from you.


Anonymous said...

i can hear this post being read out loud by an 80s soap star in that mechanical way that seemed to be all the rage for 80s instructional videos. "i LEARNed that HOmos can be QUITE NORmal too. Follow me as we visit a well known coffee shop here in Seoul. HERE, we will meet AND interact with... lots of NORmal homos."

matt said...

hey dave... ya my kiboonee has been buoyed lately. thanks for noticing.

re: anonymous, i'll take your word for it ;)