“Sunday Funday” is an American colloquialism that I like. Basically, it is a label that makes getting drunk on Sundays acceptable and fun.
I dig it.
I had a Sunday Funday in Korea. I’ve chronologically organized the events for accuracy and entertainment. If you find yourself in Asia, please, don’t hesitate to reach out about future Sunday Funday opportunities.
8:05- Cell phone alarm sounds. Accompanying an aggravating sound/melody is a note on my phone that reads: “Wake up. Be great today!”
8:15- Second alarm sounds. Phone reads: “Wake up. Your 19 year old gf dumped you.”
8:30- Third alarm. “You’re 27, single, and unemployed. Wake up!”
(I set notes in the morning and throughout the day for myself. Effective way to incite some action and shame yourself into doing.)
8:40- I wake, on my own accord. I make a slow sprawling movement and turn to place my feet upon the bedroom floor. Grab laptop and saunter to bathroom.
8:41-9:04- Personal time.
9:07-Take Bluetooth speaker from my friend’s master bedroom. He is not home. He left around 7:45 AM for the baseball training and rehabilitation. I pair my phone and blast medley of Ed Sheeran, T Swift, and Sugar Ray.
9:08-9:20- Shower/brush teeth/Rogaine.
9:25- Change into workout clothes. Head to kitchen to take pre-workout shots: Dutch coffee, regular coffee, sugar, Earl Grey tea. Depart for gym.
9:34- Swipe gym access card. My Korean fitness friends are on their treadmills. They wave and I reciprocate.
9:36-9:44- Korean stretch: upside down hang machine, belt massage machine, bamboo cane rotations, vibrate platform stretch, upside down again, flying lotus finish.
9:45-10:35- Workout: pullups, upside down machine, pushups, vibrate on platform, deadlifts–slam weight on floor, establish sovereignty–pullups, Instagram, pushups, bamboo stick swinging finish.
10:45- Put clothes in washing machine.
11:15- Counter top tidy.
11:25- Put clothes in dryer.
11:27-11:44- Personal time.
11:50: Fold laundry neatly/meticulously.
12:05- Shower. Turn lights off and listen to Harry Potter soundtrack. Disregard utilities cost. Stay in shower for a pruning length–relaxing and reminisching about all the mischief those rascals from Gryffindor got into.
12:35- Stand in balcony terrace room, overlooking Daegu. Air dry and stretch.
12:45- Crack open first beer. Sunday Funday starts.
12:55- Finish first beer. Grab second. Walk to living room. Feed turtles.
1:06- Scroll through Instagram. Like a picture of an ex-gf happily portrayed with current bf, so she knows I’m over her.
1:08- Text my mom on Whatsap. Tell her the reception is bad and there is a looming threat of nuclear war, or else I would have called.
1:10- Phone sounds. Alarm. Screen reads “Are you being productive today?”
1:10- Pour two tall boys of Hite (Korean bud light) into a canteen. Grab my leather satchel and head for apartment complex outdoor leisure area.
1:30- Read and drink beer in apartment complex outdoor leisure area.
1:41- Adorable Korean brother and sister–maybe six or seven– approach from nearby park. Children here enjoy practicing their English. They see me, a large bearded American, and almost in unison, wave and say “huuelllooo”. I return the wave, initially excited. They wave again. I wave back. They are delighted. They wave again. I pause. I see where this is going. I wave. They wave back. I take a slow, intended sip of my beer and I break their rhythm. I return a hybrid wave of consternation and annoyance. Once my hand lowers, they wave back. I smile and return to my book. I hear the clatter of small feet. Slowly, a forehead and two eyes rise from behind the pages of what I’m reading. “Huellooo.” I grab a stick next to my feet on the ground and I throw it. I point to it. Brother and sister race after it. They return with the stick, say “huelloo,” and I throw it again. I play fetch with two small children until I finish my beer. I go back to my condo because I realize drinking beer and playing fetch with small children–that aren’t yours–is not a good look, even during times of war.
3:05- Remove turtles Walter and Jesse from their cage and place them on living room floor. I offer encouragement as they crawl across the floor. I poor a little bit of beer on the ground, forming a puddle, hoping either Walter or Jesse would drink it. They don’t.
3:05- Phone buzzes. Alarm. Screen reads “be your best self today!”
3:05- Syphon beer puddle from living room floor.
3:15- Message from wives club Kakao chat (Korean Groupme). They’ve set dinner plans for the evening. I respond with a smiling emoji and call the other two wives betches– a sign of friendship.
3:16-5:00- Evening prep: beer, shower, North Korea news updates, Donald Trump news updates, beer, Rogaine, hibachi (anytime I use a the stove in Korea), pushups , beer, Instagram follow my ex’s co-workers, a little more Rogaine, depart.
5:15- Board Subway train at Imdang Station. Henry is on the train. Henry is the 17 month old son of my American friends Darin and Libby. Henry is not on the train by himself, he is with his parents. He nods and waves, gesturing “sup”. Henry is the coolest.
5:17- The Americans spread out. The train is full. Adria sits next to an overtly friendly Korean women. This woman wants to communicate but her English is limited (non-existent). She speaks in up-beat Korean tongue. Still, she is friendly and I like friendly people. I laugh at Adria’s discomfort. I do nothing to help.
5:25- Henry has become a celebrity on the train. He is waving and exchanging pleasantries with several Korean passengers. They love him. When his parents say “can you wave?”, he can. And when they say “can you bow?”, he can. Henry is legit.
5:35- Still in the train. 3 stops left. The beer and snacks from earlier are unrelenting. I crop dust an entire cabin. Henry laughs.
5:50- Exit train station. Venture away from downtown Daegu towards the direction of our restaurant, Surf and Turf. We were all craving burgers.
5:54- We follow Adria. She is holding her phone in front of her like it is a magnet being drawn to Surf and Turf. We begin to doubt her. Henry wants us to turn back but he can’t talk yet.
5:57- The buildings and stores are closed and the street is dark. I think there is a ninja following us.
6:01- We make it. I should apologize to Adria for doubting her.
6:06- I do not deviate and I order a “surf and turf” burger. I do not mean to come off as offensive, but when I order, I say, “surf-uhhh an turf-uhhh burghaaaah”. The waitress shakes her head in irritation and non-verbally tells me to go f*ck myself. In perfect English she says, “surf and turf burger. Anything to drink with that?” I feel embarrassed. I push over Henry to create a distraction.
6:15- We are all sitting upstairs waiting for our food. It is hot. We discuss the lack of air condition in Korea. I haven’t forgotten about the ninja.
6:22- Food and beer arrives. In my initial excitement I spill mustard on the shirt I stole from Anthony’s closet when he wasn’t home. Libby hands me one of Henry’s wet wipes. Henry laughs, at me.
6:23- Zach is trying to open his beer and we can’t find the bottle opener. Seizing an opportunity to prove my worth and discard the “free-loader” taint, I take Zach’s chilled beer and I place it on the edge of our wooden restaurant table. In a forceful motion I slam my fist on the intersection of table and beer top. The bottle cap remains firmly intact and I inadvertently remove 2 to 3 inches of tabletop wood.
6:24- Bottle opener is underneath an order of Mac and Cheese.
6:39- We order more food. I walk down to the first floor and order more beer. Anthony is paying so I order 3 beers. When the waiter brings the beers I look confused as to their multitude. I shrug and reference a language barrier–sliding three beers in front of me. “Can’t be wasteful though, not with the whole North Korea thing going on!”
7:18- We sit in silence. Collectively we put a lot of food down. The waiter actually told us “no mo Mac ee Cheese”. I think we ordered 8-15 sides between us–hard to count.
7:41- Responsible parents Darin and Libby hailed a cab home. I started drooling towards the end of dinner and made successive references to Geishas I hoped to find later that evening… The next ten minutes in our own cab were palpably subdued. There is a big energy and positivity drop when Henry leaves. We missed him. I took this opportunity to get back to neutral and suppress a couple compromising beer burps.
***We used Google translate and Korean text messages from Alex, team translator, to communicate with cab drivers. Sorry for leaving those details out. I was/am drunk.
8:15- Arrive at Thursday party. The bartenders and owners recognize me. I feel good about that.
(If you’re unfamiliar with the Daegu night scene, Thursday Party is a bar where foreigners are known to frequent. The ratio is still low, probably in the 20 to 1 range (Korean : White/Black/Spanish), but more English is spoken here than anywhere else I’ve been.)
8:18- At the bar I make dramatic gesture in which I fumble for my wallet, making it appear like I want to get the first round. I’ve known Anthony for 8 years and the Petricks for 3 months–neither party is fooled. Anthony pays and tells me to get away from him.
8:34- No English speaking women in proximity, yet. There are a few male American soldiers at the bar, unto which I offer either dap or handshake (black or white), because they are heroes, but no women yet.
8:41- No talent on the beer pong table. I’ve played several games in my recent visits and I’m yet to receive a legitimate threat. But, that “Despacito” song comes on and I feel like playing.
8:44- I embarrass Adria in a heads up match. Zach and Anthony don’t play because they are professional athletes and they are committed to the Samsung Lions. I’m very close to puking.
9:04- A group of three Korean women approach the bar. Instinctively I drop some eaves. They are speaking broken English. One, an above average looking young adult, is discussing their English lessons and noting the group’s progress. There is another, attractive and alabaster, who speaks sound English too. The third sounded like she had peanut butter on her tongue but she had good energy and fair skin. I approach.
(Zach and Adria are a married couple and Anthony has a wonderful gf coming to visit. They engage in respectable conversation broaching subject matter like cultural norms and Korean delicacy. I put my dignity in my back pocket and let it fly.)
9:25- All three girls have touched/grabbed my beard by this point. I hit em with a bow early on in the introduction and it seemed to land.
9:40- Phone buzzes. Alarm. “Are you satisfied with your effort today?!?”
9:40- First shot of Absinthe.
9:41- Head to bathroom: deep breaths, rinse mouth, Rogaine, rinse mouth, return.
10:04- Conversation persists. There is a soccer game on the TV nearest us. I tell the girls I can read Hangeul. They let go of my beard. They are skeptical. I squint my eyes, forcing a look of severe focus and pronounce the names of both teams playing (presented on screen in Korean). “Chhh-ellll-seeeuh” (Chelsea) and “Evv… Evviier… Everton!” (Everton). They smile and clap. Zach lowers the phone he furtively held aloft depicting “Chelsea V. Everton”, in bold print English.
10:27- Second shot of Absinthe.
10:28- There is a ninja behind the bar.
10:44- After telling Anthony about the potentially lethal assassin behind the bar, he made me drink two waters. I feel a little better. The friendly girls are still there. I slide back in with a bow.
11:01- I receive my first number/informational exchange in Korea.
11:19- Bathroom: Sink hover, check Linkedin updates, mouth rinse, return.
11:31- Stumble into club next door with friend and translator, Alex. Zach–along with his wife–and Anthony went home because they are professional athletes and they are dedicated to the Samsung Lions.
11:51- The DJ is good.
11:52- I make dramatic gesture in which I fumble for my wallet, making it appear like I want to get the first round. Alex falls for it. Shit. I have a hard time saying/ordering “well vodka”, “cheap”, or “rubbing alcohol”.
12:24- I’m feeling the music. Send a Samurai emoji to the nice Korean girl from the previous bar. Hours later I will learn that she finds this offensive.
12:39- That “Despacito” song comes on. I take my shirt off.
12:40- Phone alarm. “You are committed to growth and capable of great things!”
12:40- Put shirt back on.
12:59- First beard grab at new club. I follow.
01:04- I’m dancing on a table top with two Korean girls.
01:07- I’m not a good dancer.
01:08- Alex tells me that the girls tell him I’m not a good dancer.
01:18- Bartender/waiter approaches with a bottle of vodka and some mixers. The girls smile. The bartender waits for method of payment. The girls play with my beard and giggle. I know what’s going on now.
01:19-Hand bartender Subway gift card.
01:21- Hail taxi.
01:22- Too Drunk for google translate. In a unique, out of body inebriated experience, I mouth my desired condo location in perfect Korean.
01:47- Enter 24 hour mart next to condo.
01:48- Late night purchase: gallon of water, sushi, corn on stick, hot chips (flaming Cheetos equivalent), yogurt, lo mein, skittles.
02:00- Lay on floor.
02:01- Turn on PS4.
02:02- Send squinty eye emoji to girl from Thursday Party.
02:03- Open skittles.
02:04- Receive text from girl at Thursday Party: “Stop.”
02:05- Put on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
02:06- Wake up Anthony because Harry is being followed by a ninja.
02:07- Drink two glasses of water.
02:08- Feel better.