Happiness is a firecracker sitting on my headboard
Happiness was never mine to hold
Careful child, light the fuse and get away
‘Cause happiness throws a shower of sparks
Happiness damn near destroys you
Breaks your faith to pieces on the floor
So you tell yourself, that's enough for now
Happiness has a violent roar
Happiness is like the old man told me
Look for it, but you'll never find it all
Let it go, live your life and leave it
Then one day, wake up and she'll be home
These lyrics by The Fray never meant so much to me as they did when i played this song while walking home from a night out in Masan. Then again every emotional song finally means something to me. I don't have to imagine excitement or loneliness or appreciation or surprise or humility or shock or alienation or happiness. These things are experienced on a day to day basis here. The last few days have been quite amazing and one blog post can't do them justice. Suffice to say i've made some friends now. Not quite solid bffs quite yet, but ive got off on a good foot with a lot of different, interesting and quite remarkable people here and seem to be doing it faster than most do in their first week. I feel quite humbled too with how nice some people have been to me, especially when it comes to introductions.
It all started wednesday night. I spent an hour and a half walking in the freezing cold looking for International Bar where i thought one or two of some facebook friends i had spoken to might be, though with no cell phone, it would be hard to coordinate or be sure they were even there. Eventually i found O'Briens Bar and went up to the door and heard English voices, which sounded so good, but i couldnt bring myself to walk in and have to say 'hi i have no friends, please talk to me', at least i couldnt do that without knowing what the layout of the bar would be first. Where's Chloe when you need her for some schematics? Anyway, i decided to give up and go back home and wait for another day. But at a cross roads, i thought about my book and how it would probably tell me to feel the fear and do it anyway, so i did. I went back, looked harder for the pub, eventually found it and went in. I sat nervously at the bar, trying to act like i was waiting for someone while really coping the place out. I saw a friendly looking guy callled Sam by a game and said hi. After that, i found Brittani and later Danica and a whole bunch of really fun people including Jack Sparrow, a hobo guy and a hippie looking girl with dreads. All totally cool people. We had more drinks than could later be remembered but definitely got to know some people.
Next night Brittani invites me out and i got to know a few more people and see a bit more of the city 7 mall. Finally after work tonight I got wind of a meeting at a burger restaurant and that was really great. Got to see some of the same people from wednesday but a few others too, some good food, well priced beer and really great decor. Then went to Masan to a bar. It wasnt as good as the bit previously, but got to meet some more people, including a Joe from Ohio (always wanted to meet one of them - all i need now is a man from Nantucket and a man with a wooden leg called Smith) oh and also a guy with a very interesting legit massage story that was quite shocking. I love how welcoming guys are here and I intend to offer the same hospitality to future noobs. I really sucked at pool tonight which would usually really bother me, but it really doesn't matter. Finally i got to meet a fellow Croydoner as well. I mean, what are the odds?! Just hearing such familiar place names as the one's he said (riddlesdown, addington etc) was a nice feeling.
Some people went on to a club but by 2am, having already done more socialising with random people than i have in the last 5 years of my life (ok probably 2 years, but still its been 5 days!) i felt it was time to call it a night. I got a cab back with 2 girls i didnt know, and in another country that would be weird, but such is the culture and vibe here, if youre white, youre alright! lol im kidding, but it is kind of like that. you can just talk freely to other westerners, we're all in the same boat and one big family to some extent. It reminds me of the show Shipwrecked and how the different teams really welcome new people. I may be a fairly quiet person but i hope to contribute something to the group dynamic with my fairly unique brand of deadpan sarcasm and wit.
Walking home tonight, i realised that in such a short space of time, i've pretty much found what i was looking for. Infact i'm going to write to Bone from U2 and tell him it was in S. Korea all along! (if you dont get that then you must not be aware of their songs). It was a cold but beautiful night walking home. I reflected upon what i had here and it made me smile and appreciate my new home for what it has brought about. Life in the UK was so stale, like its not too hard to survive there, but going anywhere at the moment is like walking up an escalator. You get no where. I had no feelings to describe. Nothing to miss either because everyone i knew wasnt too far away, but the shame of not having a decent, stable career and the lack of money just took away my energy and desire to do anything. Becoming good at COD4 was about my only passion, though i appreciated the guys for some good times. But in Korea, the bad is good and the good is amazingly good. Things may change in the future, but for now i'm very happy here.
Unexpected free time
7 years ago