Recollections and Repressions Part I [Travelogue]

02I am writing from a hotel room beside the SeaTac airport just a day prior to what should be an advantageous day sight-seeing a city I rarely visit, and know almost nothing about.  The city of Seattle.  This is just another stop I will be making on my short tour through my homeland known as the Great Northwest.  My time has been spent very well during my first mid tour, and I have been having some of the best times of my life.  I’m frankly not looking forward to returning to the land of the morning calm.  In fact, I sincerely believe that had Korea not been formed a couple of thousand years before earlier, this is the land that could have stolen such a nickname.


My time in Korea has not been a total wash.  Although I have failed to document each event specifically, I have definitely tried to make the best of my time abroad.  I have toured a few temples, walked through the streets of Seoul during the daylight hours and witnessed ceremonial dancing and ate some fine traditional Korean food (well, “fine” might be a bit much, the food hasn’t really impressed me at all).  I’ve also spend a rowdy night in Seoul catching up with an old friend, destroying my liver and soul just a bit more with each bottle of Hite or shot of Soju I consume.  I even hiked three miles in a pair of worn out Chuck Taylors just to see a few monuments (this being unplanned and painful, but ultimately pretty okay).  And I have also continued to enjoy my time in the quaint and majestically sinful area previously mentioned as Songtan.  But, still, I am not looking forward to heading back.


01It’s not that opportunities in Korea are lacking, because there are definitely chances to explore and see some cool old shit and what not.  But, my heart is just not in it.  Without wanting to be too entirely insulting to an entire nation that has such a varied history, I have decided on a simple fact….. Korea is the Iowa of Asia.  I mean, Iowa might have something to offer as far as tourism and excitement but, c’mon?  Really?  When there are places like the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Japan, even Guam, right in your back door, Korea seems a bit bland.  I don’t mean this to be the opinion of everyone, just mine.  And I don’t want to sound ungrateful or even unimpressed.  I have actually rather enjoyed meeting new friends and such around the ole VFW and other areas around my local area.  It is a fun place, but I can honestly say that my experiences have run their course and I am absolutely ready to go.  Especially after just a week back here.  


05I arrived a week ago hopping off a twenty-nine dollar flight and 17 hours of travel.  And when I saw my wife’s face as I rode of the escalator after customs, I was ecstatic.  She was simply glowing and beautiful, just as I had remembered her (on Skype the day prior).  The adventures have been endless, and each deserving of documentation in their own right.  But, alas, the hour grows late, my family is fast asleep with dreams of world’s fair projects and aquatic life visuals for the following day dance in their pretty heads.  A cold Landshark brew cools my toes and I am forced to sit an awkward angle on the floor as my recent tattoo portrayal of the great and wise Gonzo mastermind Hunter S. Thompson can not handle too much pressure seeing as it is less than 36 hours imprinted on my skin.  Just another bout with intense eradicating scar I will leave my homeland with as I eventually venture back to the drunken calm that is Songtan.  Seriously, I don’t want to go back.  I do want to go to Spain, but that is another venture in its own right.


In the short 8 days I have been back, I have done almost too much to truly account for.  And at some points I haven’t done a god damned thing.  I paid a visit to my beautiful Grandmother who is about to have her bladder surgically extracted.  I spent one more night on the couch in the basement of my dear friend Tyler Averett’s parents after a wildly and raunchy spoken night with “the Gentlemen”, just as I had done several times over the last twelve years.  This venture included about an hour and a half of Def Comedy Jam style rants and quips that I dare not describe in detail in fear of offending the two or three women who actually read this smut I put out (which is also a cop-out for saying, “I remember doing it, I just don’t remember what was said, but it had to be terrible”).  Sadly (or not?) these nights have officially come to an end.  Sir Averett has finally decided to move on with his life and is moving to Berkeley California, and is probably sleeping off minor jet lag down in the Golden State at this very moment.  But, dammit him, myself, and the delightfully refined Adam Mattson sure did it right.  I awoke dazed, confused, and severely constricted from sadness to notice three empty fifths of booze and I was out of cigarettes.  Sounds like a beautiful night to me.  


03Beyond that, my beautiful wife and I got a room at a flea bag motel on Portland Oregon’s east side, just a block away from the Doug Fir Lounge where we enjoyed turkey burgers, Raineer beer (well, I did, Melissa drank her Malibu Rum), and the musical stylings of one of the greatest bands to be performing today, the great Blitzen Trapper (Live Review pending).  This was a magical night as well.  Over the last few years I have grown accustomed to speaking with folks like BT at indie rock gigs, and the humanization has really sunk in.  But to Melissa, seeing the great Eric Earley (who this half-assed music blogger has reported as, “the son Bob Dylan wished he would have had”) was absolutely spell binding.  Even cute.  She is so enthralled by this man’s presence, it was like watching Jesus resurrect himself.  Or like the time I met Jared Mees in 2009 when I was still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about meeting a musician I admired.  Not to say that I wasn’t at a loss for words when meeting Eric, but it wasn’t as dramatic, and I was blushing a whole lot less than Melissa was.  Yes, Blitzen Trapper is a very important band to us.  Their words have meant the world to the both of us for more reasons than I actually care to get in to.  Just understand that they are important to us now, and shall always be.


So, I was gleefully writing this silly diatribe of mine, in the dark and half drunk from WIld Turkey, a reunion with the greatest thing to come out of Korea known as Soju, and the fore mentioned Landshark followed by a new one, when I glanced at the television to see the city I currently sit in being profiled on the Weather Channel series It Could Happen Tomorrow to not only be intrigued, but absolutely frightened.  According to this propaganda, the events of the Bay Area in 1989 would look like the Boston Marathon to Seattle’s 9/11 if the same entirely possible scenario occurred to the hypothetical “tomorrow”.  And seeing as though I am actually headed to tour around this city a bit, and actually head up that whole Space Needle thing that I have yet to do in my almost thirty years of existence and seemed like a fitting outro before I become European and celebrate a half of a decade abroad…..  I am a bit frightened.  It is probably the midnight hour and the booze that sparks paranoia, but dammit am I compelled to post this extremely rough drafted and poorly spell check travelogue up before I could possibly be thrown from the Space Needle tomorrow.


04On that note, I shall call this Part 1 for now.  Wish me luck.  And South Korea, if tomorrow is my punishment for not living your country to the fullest, well, that’s just mean.  Good night everyone and best of luck in all your tomorrows…..if you are so lucky.  Cheers!

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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