A Fond Farewell To A Friend [Travelogue]

018The last decade of my life has involved one grave act….the act of leaving.  I have ventured off myself several times.  And this is indeed a harsh act in itself.  I’ve left my family for months at a time, and in this case, an entire year.  It sucks.  It sucks a whole damn lot.  But, another side of it is leaving and losing some of the friends I have made in my tenor.  I’ve met some fine folks since enlisting, some of which we have shared some great times together, and who of which I have not seen in many years passing.  People move on to bigger and better things, for the most part.  Sometimes we run into one another again, sometimes we don’t.  Case in point – my dear friend Whitey.
As I mentioned previously, an old friend from my days in South Dakota has been here in Songtan, and has been my guide over the last two months.  But alas, the guide must go, and I have been forced to go on my own.  Yes, Whitey’s time has come, and he has made his way back to the states.  But, not before we had a really fun weekend.  The story of the end was a great one.  And I can not think of any better way to kick off the story without stating the major highlight…..
I ate dog.
Yep, I hate Gaegogi.  A well known Korean dish that is indeed, dog meat.  Here is where I should probably pretend to feel bad for all of you fine people who value the lives of your “babies” or “my kids” by name of which you oh so affectionately name your pet dogs.  But my only apologies will lie in the fact that I do not care if I hurt your precious little feelings.  So with that disclaimer in mind, let’s continue on…
dog, the other red meat.

dog, the other red meat.

A new friend of mine around here affectionately named Volvo Tony, a foreigner to Korea who has worked in the local Volvo car dealership for many years, invited myself, Whitey, and many other friends and acquaintances to enjoy a fun filled meal of Gaegogi and more Soju than one should really be able to ingest, yet somehow we all managed to make it work.  While the experience of eating Gaegogi was quite pleasurable, I need to be honest here – I really wasn’t too impressed.  The nearest resemblence to another type of meat would have to be roast beef, but with much more fat (which led us to believe that we were eating a very lazy dog) which made it more similar to the Moroccan Tajine (camel) I ate in Doha back in 2010.  The texture of the actual meat was quite nice when it was not entirely glazed with fat and topped with a bit of sea salt and mixed into a strange seasoning and sauce combination, I really don’t know what it was made of.  But, alas, I still think I prefer cow.  Not for moral reasons, as I actually would find it entirely unmoral to NOT partake in a dinner of Gaegogi if so offered.  To respect one’s culture is far more important than hurting your feelings.
020And the night moved on.  The soju flowed like wine through the streets of Songtan as we laughed, burped up dog meat, bar hopped, and genuinely had a great time in my dear friend’s final hours before he left this place he had become even more than accustomed to.  He had grown to love it here.  It was truly a sad time for all of us, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell on this night.  This night was all about going out with a bang.  And a bang we did.  We roamed around all of Whitey’s places, as well as some anew.  It was a good time shared by all to say the least.  And a time in which I do not rightfully or clearly remember the end of precisely.  But, alas the following day was interesting in itself.  But, that my dear friends is another story in itself.
(to be continued)
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About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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