Clearly Not a Honeymoon

May 20, 1987

It has taken only a month for me to fall into Shin's routine. Twice a week after our last night class we head to his favorite watering hole. This place--the name I can't recall--has several counters that each serve a different specialty. Generally we go to the same spot, order up some spicy grilled Octopus, and choke it down with Soju. Every time I lobby for some meat, but rarely does it cross my lips.

In the background, Karaoke is in full effect (this isn't Karaoke in the 노래방 sense; this is Karaoke with the whole basement level as your audience. I don't think they had even invented the private song room (NRB) concept back then.). Shin typically waits until his face is flushed red with Soju courage before pulling a number to go up and sing Sinatra's My Way. Again.

On top of the fact that I feel like an advertisement or a party gimmick trotted out to garner attention, my discomfort is compounded by the company we usually have on these outings. We are rolling with a Miss Han and a Miss Choi. The Miss Choi is a student from Shin's last class who goes almost everywhere with him as long as his wife isn't going. She has a troubled complexion and is heavy enough so that if she were a foreigner, Koreans would always ask her why she is so fat. She is a nice person and smart, but I remember thinking if one were to need something beyond what the wife can provide (not making a moral judgment here), one should choose a partner that would make getting caught worth it. Miss Choi doesn't hit that mark.

The Miss Han is a PNU college gal; taller than most and much slimmer than Miss Choi. She is usually dressed in blue jeans with heels. Her English is weak, and I get the feeling she is just there to keep me from being the third wheel. We are both enablers of the Shin+Choi trysts it seems. Miss Han and I sit silently most of the time not even looking at each other. Ahhh, 건배.

When we're done eating, drinking, and singing, we put Miss Han in a taxi. We three pile in the Pony and head home. They two usually drop me off and that's as far as I care to know about where they go or what they do.

Shin, at 5'4" and 130 lbs. (being genereous...) occasionally needs to pass out in the back seat with his head on Miss Choi's lap. Opposite of cute. Miss Choi has no driver's license. I don't have an international license, but sometimes I have to do the honors.

I'm clearly not even a "Cosmopolitan."

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