Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gone Walkabout

Leaving the town of my birth was hugely anticlimatic.

I loaded what I thought I needed into a huge pack and hit the road.  I didn't really know where I was going or why.  I just knew I had to go.

Somewhere in the back of my mind was the thought that I had to be back in three and a half months to start on my Phd.  But it was a thought that seemed to register more as a suggestion than a certainty.  What seemed more important was just to go.

I hiked for about a week, caging rides along the way.  It was on the seventh day that three Iranians stopped on the side of the road.  They didn't ask me if I wanted a ride, simply asked if I was ok, if I needed anything, maybe some money.  I was puzzled, even more so when they each handed me a dollar.  Then they piled back into the car and drove off, leaving me wondering just what exactly had transpired.

It was from this point that life seemed to shift and enter an alternate reality.

It started the next morning.  When I got too tired, I'd climb up the bank of the interstate, unroll my sleeping bag and crash until the sun seared the sleep from my eyes.  That morning I was woken by snuffling in my face and ear.  I bolted awake to catch two deer looking me over.  As soon as I awoke they tore off into the woods.  Not everyday that you get woken up by deer.  I packed up and decided to try my luck on the highway, despite it being 5 am.

I was still groggy and didn't notice that a car had stopped some way up from me.  The flashing lights finally caught my eye and I ran up to see Mr. Joe Preppy Average waiting for me in a nice Ford Super Duty.  This was a big truck.  He smiled and waved me in.

He asked me where I was going.  It just sort of came out, the whole situation of how I'd arrived at where I was, my job, my grandparents, even the Iranians and the deer.  I told it in a sort of detached way.  I said I just needed to step out for a bit, to go walkabout.

We got to talking about life and liberty.  Freedom.  We spoke of how freedoms were being curtailed, how laws were being put in place that made no sense save in the context of removing individual liberties.  Look at the laws regarding pot as an example he said.  I can buy cigarettes and booze wherever, but this benign substance is the one stigmatized.

I agreed.  I wasn't a huge smoker at that time, but he did have a point.  It wasn't a new idea of course, having read enough undergrad papers to hear of it again and again.

What threw me was when he decided that he was going to exercise his inalienable right to freedom and stoke one up right then. He pulled over at a rest stop and rolled this cannon of a jay.  Mr. Appears-Straightedge.  Ok.  Sure I'm game.  Pass it over.  It was 6:30 in the morning. 

It was one of the 'stondest' I've ever been.  I don't know how that pot was grown, but it was incredibly potent and totally fried me.  I slurred this observation out, which was met first with a smile.  Then: yeah I can grow some pretty good stuff he says.  In fact I have a grow op not too far from here.  But I couldn't take you there.  Well. . . 

It took a second to register what he had said.  Yeah I'd like to see that, this is some serious shit.

Ok, but if I take you there I'd have to blindfold you and recline the seat so nobody would see you.

This did freak me out.  This guy had just picked me up and gotten me seriously high, the Iranians, the deer . . . and then being asked if I'd allow myself to be blindfolded and brought to some unknown destination to see a secret grow op.

Sure.  Why not?

I used one of my socks to blindfold myself and laid the seat back.  The whole time I'm thinking American Psycho, and the relative position of the wheel in case I needed to grab it and drive us into a ditch.  When we finally pull up in front of a warehouse in a cottage district, I have a serious case of heebeejeebees.  He laughs at me and says cmon.  Inside, the warehouse is empty.  He takes me deeper in where there is only a non-descript windowless white trailor.  A huge power cord.  An odd hummmm.

He unlocks the door and I'm momentarily blinded by the glare.  Inside was beautiful: maybe 60-80 plants, sea of green, aromatic and close to harvest.

Inside his office he opens a small chest freezer that is nearly full of one pound bags of some of the most crystalized bud I've ever seen.  I sell this shit in major cities for about 800 an ounce wholesale.  I have 6 ops like this one set up in different places.  I have the truck and trailor as a front.  I run a moving business you see.  If things ever get too hot, I just hook the trailor up, clean out the freezer and I'm gone.  Nothing incriminating gets left behind.

The only thing that sucks is I can't have a normal life.  I have to look normal, but how easy is it to date or make friends?  Inevitably, you could trip up, or people start asking too many questions.  But if I can do this for a few more years it'll be freedom 45.

I sat stunned during most of this.  What could I say besides boring shit like "cool, man.  Wow.  Yeah that sucks."

While he speaks, he rolls another, much smaller joint.  When he's finished he lights it up, then hands me the bag that was sitting in front of him.  It's a one pound bag that contains about a half ounce.  It's a gold mine of tight little nuggets and shake.  Here, this might make your walkabout more interesting.  I simply say thanks and bury it in my pack.  We smoke and then leave.

He dropped me off by the turnpike and waved good bye.  I was fried until the early afternoon.  But hours of standing in the sun waiting for someone to pick me up finally took the edge off.  I had taken to thinking that maybe I should just head off to the main side road when finally someone pulled over to pick me up.


Anonymous said...

An interesting post. Enjoyed reading it.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. I'll check back for the next.

Anonymous said...

Nice post. Wish I had me some of that. Glad you didn't get diddled.

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