Home > Arts & Entertainment, Life > May the fourth was with me

May the fourth was with me

It was my birthday two days ago and the celebrations went on for two days. Well, the main event was Tuesday night, with a subsidiary event the following day.

After work on Tuesday (where I’d already had a little mini birthday party and been given four boxes of teabags and some toner (of the cosmetic rather than printing variety)) I gathered a group of friends – Habiba, of course, Andrew and Seong-hyeon from work, Todd from roleplaying and Aidan and Alicia from Habiba’s work – and went for a meal at a place near Konkuk University with the silly name Bread is Ready, Coffee is Done. I’d been there once before with my friend and colleague Ji-hyeon and thought it was pretty decent and not too expensive. I think the feeling on Tuesday night was that it wasn’t that great. I was happy with my meal, however.

After that we embarked on a quest for a bowling alley that had been recommended to us by Zack. He was able to provide me with it’s location on a mapping website, so it was quite straightforward getting there. Once we got there, though, we were told there was a two hour wait for lanes. I had thought about trying to make a reservation, but in the end decided it probably wouldn’t be necessary. We put our names down for lanes and left.

After some umming and ahhing, during which time we were joined by Jessica who had a cactus for me, Andrew found us a bar to go to – a place called Bunker Bar. It looked like something from the eighties, but it served drinks (as long as you also bought food – par for the course in Korea) and had a booth where we could push a couple of tables together and enjoy a little privacy. We had beer – some of us soju – and fries and Korean savoury pancake and fruit. June arrived and Ksan and Jun-hong also joined us, bearing a bottle of wine and some flowers stolen from a wedding (which they’d just come from).

I was challenged to partake of a Korean tradition where someone who’s birthday it is or is leaving a company or what have you has to down a drink consisting of various things added by the other people. Mine was very tame – mostly beer with some cola, soju and sugary milk from the fruit salad thing – oh, and some parsley, courtesy of Habiba.

Then we went bowling – which was lots of fun. There were ten of us sharing two neighbouring lanes. I was using the bathroom when people were assigned teams and I ended up with Andrew, Seong-hyeon, Alicia and Ksan. The first game was very close. Habiba got 96 points, I think, and I got 93. I found my rhythm more in the second game and got the highest score of 132. Andrew wowed everyone by getting four strikes in a row for his last four rolls – but he was coming from a low score of about 60.

Eric joined us during the second game – a little too late to play, unfortunately. Once the bowling was done half our number returned to their dwelling while the rest of us went on to a noraebang and sang songs for an hour and a half. Eric and I duetted on a rendition of Limp Bizkit’s ‘Break Stuff’, which is a song that I think is fantastic, but he thinks is terrible.

And then we all went to our respective homes.

The following day was Iron Man 2. Ten of us got together for this, with me providing the tickets (Seong-uk at work helping me reserved them the following day – the cost has apparently been charged to my phone bill as I lack a Korean credit card). It was good, but not great, in my opinion. It had a lot of great elements, but it all seemed a bit perfunctory, nothing was covered in great depth. Even the highly fit Scarlett Johansson kicking multiple arse did little for me as her character was so unimportant and emotionally flat.

Later in the day, wearing the T-shirt Habiba had got me (beardy faces), the love of my life and I went to Itaewon where she pick me up another gift – Sea of Silver Light, the final book in the Otherland series. Then we went for a fancy meal at a restaurant in Itaewon, OK2.

The first course consisted of three small, disparate slices of raw fish on a plate with a little garnish. That makes it sound terrible, but it was actually very good. The whole meal consisted of about six courses, of which the fish appetiser was probably the most haute; the heartiest was the fish pasta. My main course was roast duck and not as good as Habiba’s snapper (more fish). It was an interesting and tasty (and pricey – but that’s OK: Habiba paid) meal.

All in all, it was a pretty excellent birthday.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Life
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