Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

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

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dirty Bird Special!

It's Wednesday night, and as will sometimes occur when the moon is right, Waeg finds himself out on the town.  He has made the somewhat dubious decision to meet up with Dirty Bird; a night out with Dirty Bird often begins with copious consumption of alcoholic beverages and ends in licentiousness and depravity.   However, it had been a while since Waeg had seen Dirty Bird, and DB's voice on the phone had seemed. . . sublimated.  It had confused Waeg, so he put aside his reservations and made out for the town.

They meet up at a favorite waeg watering hole known as the Kraken, it being famous for a huge selection of (expensive) beers and (more expensive) single malt whiskeys.  When he sees Dirty Bird, Waeg sees he has eschewed his normal attire of sports jersey, jeans, and ballcap, opting instead for khakis and a collared shirt.  Waeg sits, perplexed.

Hiya Waeg, been a while, how's the wife and kids?  Life in general?  Good, good.  Me?  Yeah, things have been going pretty well, I re-signed at Lee's English Emporium, yeah that third place you hooked me up with.  They've been pretty decent, actually helped me get everything sorted, even hooked me up furniture wise, well, everything except the awesome couch I found on the side of the street, that was a bitch to bring in, let me tell you!  You should come over sometime and check my digs!  Well, yeah maybe sometime later.  Yeah, I've changed man, this gig is one of the better ones I've had, and the secretary is H-O-T, hot, man, she's really cool too, not like most birds, you know what I mean?  She's pretty nice, and cooks a mean scrambled eggs haha nudge nudge wink wink.  I kid, I kid!  But yeah, why the change?  I dunno, man, but every since the folks at work have been telling me I'm special, and like meaning it, I've just felt. . .good.

Special.  Waeg lets that word linger a bit, and resists the urge to spit it out.  In his experience, whenever a Korean says you are special, they will usually say it in a very sincere meaningful way, but what they are saying is either you require a great deal of attention and patience since you are a social train wreck, or they belong to a weird religious cult and are attempting to bring you into the fold.  Waeg is confused as to why it would have such an effect on Dirty Bird, as he is sure Dirty Bird knows the term means pretty much the same thing back home, but when Waeg mentions this DB dismisses him:

No dude, you don't get it, it's not like that at all!  They really appreciate me, you don't understand!  In all my time in kimchi land I've always been treated like a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of the shoe of society, but these people are different.  You should see the office they've set me up in, and the apartment!  I really feel like I've found a home, man!

Waeg takes in everything Dirty Bird says, and wonders if maybe the staff at Lee's English Emporium haven't been spiking his coffee with some lithium based pharmaceutical.  Waeg feels he should intervene and say something about Dirty Bird's change, but then stops himself: everyone deserves a chance to be happy.  If Dirty Bird has found a niche that brings him a modicum of contentment, why should Waeg be the one to piss in his cornflakes?  Likely it's just a temporary shift anyway, and will pass.  So why not let Dirty Bird enjoy his moment in the sun?

The conversation switches to random things, and after a few games of darts, Waeg decides to call it a night.  In the past Dirty Bird would insult, cajole, insist that the party continue, but in keeping with his new self, the pair pay up and head home.

On the walk, Waeg thinks more about the change in Dirty Bird, and wonders about happiness, and having a sense of place.  For waegs living in Korea, finding that sense of place can be near impossible, often fitting within very narrow borders limited to a very small group, without the bells and whistles of an extended community.  Waeg imagines the sincerity and warmth those at Lee's English Emporium would have plastered on their faces as they tell Dirty Bird over and over just how special he is, and how that just might make Dirty Bird feel alright about everything; it is a rare and special thing to feel included as an expat in Korea.  But he stops his musings and decides to wait a couple of months and see how it plays out.  With Dirty Bird, you just never know.

Waeg picks up his pace, and thinks about nothing at all.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

In some other post you wrote about DB's Filipino bird. What happened to that story line? Did she make it to Korea?

brier

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to seeing what happens next.

F5Waeg said...

Brier: the time before last when I met him he said he'd cut contact with her as she had asked him to send her cash to help out her parents.... So much for true love. I wrote about it in the previous post

Anon: yeah with DB I'm rarely bored...

James Breakwell said...

Your cynicism warms my heart. Never change.

F5Waeg said...

cynical, me? I'm one of the most positive waeg bloggers out there!

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