The Great American Douchebag

Itaewon Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 50 › view all entries
Itaewon, home of Korea's international community, a popular shopping district for anything and everything from discounted (debateably authentic) name brand clothing, shoes, fur, traditional Korean antiques. It is a culturally diverse center beyond what I had previously imagined, a place where you can go to a bar and speak English to everyone including the staff. It's a place that almost feels like home (depending on where you come from). I saw more foreigners here than Koreans. Many of the Koreans I did see were held tightly in the grip of their American partner (mostly military). Itaewon is home to the only Muslim mosque in Korea. It is a cultural pool by day, by night it turns into the most rude and crude military hang out spots in all of Asia. This neighborhood also included "hooker hill" and "homo hill." Before I go any farther and sense this is a public journal I feel this entry merits a disclaimer: I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for our men and women in uniform, who on a daily basis are standing up for their country and defending it and helping other countries defend theirs. With that being said, some of these "men" who are serving our country are some the of the biggest ass holes this planet has ever witnessed. Their ability to behave in a manner that they somehow deem as acceptable is simply mind-blowing and it is no wonder Americans are viewed in the world as cocky, show-offs, disrespectful etc etc. And we all know it only takes one bad apple to spoil the whole batch. Okay so why and I venting so hard. Would you like to know?....

I believe it was last Friday, after a meeting with my recruiter to discuss my new job teaching esl and the possibility of additional employment, I left with a fellow recruit for an evening of beers and soju with a fellow recruit from LA. After, one, I repeat, one pitcher of beer, my new friend was feeling "too buzzed" and decided it would be best for him to head back to his place. I agreed and said bye. I stuck around, got another pitcher and made some new friends to help me drink it. We were having a great time, shooting pool, shooting the shit, talking to girls, just havin a good ole time. My new friends Rasheed and I forget the other guys name were from Morocco and Nate was from Nigeria. So Rasheed points out a Korean girl who had been eying me from across the pool table. So I went over and introduced myself hoping she spoke English and what do ya know, but her English was near perfect. Yes!!! I was in, so we started chatting and having a good time. Turns out she loves Guinness. So hear I was hanging out in what seemed like another version of Heaven and up walks this individual, broad-shoulders, buzzed haircut, square jaw. I was thinking to myself, not about him, but about how I was trying to get my "mack on" and this guy's got the nerve to butt in and start talking to Annie and her friend. I politely intervened and introduced myself and in the haze of all the alcohol and the upcoming situation I lost track of the details of the memory, but I believed it involved some foul language. And then it happened, BAAMMM!!! This guy punched me square in the chin. Luckily, my new friends were real quick and in a hurry to mediate the situation by putting this guy in his place, the ground with spilled drinks on him. I was punched away to the bar were I was given a fresh beer...and better yet, Annie's email address :) (I don't have a phone yet). I am not really sure what this guys problem was. His friends came and apologized for his actions, bought me a beer and explained he has a tendency to do this when he's drunk. I suggested they leave and try to avoid letting this guy drink anymore because he might not hit a guy who is quite as passive as myself. I just do not, under any circumstances see his behavior as okay. It's not my fault he gets pissy when girls don't want to talk to him. I mean look at his style. I mean really, I feel so incredibly sorry for the person that winds up with this guy. And to make matter worse, he represents my country. He most likely is in the army infantry because of well, let's just say lack of better options and maybe there's nothing he hates worse than to see some one else picking up the girl that he "wanted." I have not met one person since I have been here that has anything positive to say about the military guys who hang around Itaewon. I mean, my friend EJ is a military guy who apparently hangs around there. I guess just gotta take the good with the bad. You can't let an incident like this deter you from having a good time. A hurdle is a good way to view it. Anyway, so Annie and her friend left shortly thereafter and it was me and my new friends still shooting some pool hangin out having a good time. My host, Domique, and her friend Genna show up and we hang there for a while before leaving and heading out for the club scene. Oh, I forgot to mention, I ran into EJ at this bar. He was the guy from the airplane I chatted with on the way over. Of all the people and all the bars in Korea, I run into him here. Too bad he left before the escalation cause he was with three of his military friends as well and I imagine there could have been more repercussions for the douche other than and stout shove and spilt drink.

Ok so my two lady friends, my friend from Nigeria and some his his pose and myself head out to the club scene. After a few more drinks and a few more establishments we wind up at a food stand grubbing out on some delicious fried shrimp and peppers. Ok so Dominque is from Canada and I am from the US, but we are both world citizens and fully aware of all stereotypes of our homeland. We have been joking about these for over a week now. "Americans are such assholes with their giant SUVs and world police mentality," "Canadians are such pussies, they're like our little sister..." we've been enjoying ourselves at the expense of our homeland. It has all been in good fun with no real derogatory comments or anything hurtful. Well, as we were standing there chatting amongst ourselves enjoying our late night snack, we were joined by two other guys who were listening in on our conversation and decided to interject and say some highly inappropriate comments to both of my friends. Again with the, at this point potent buzz, and frustration with the annoying situation, the details are hazy. But at one point, one of the guys grabbed Dominique by the thumb (yeah the thumb, damn puss Canadians haha) and twisted pretty hard. For a few days they had an interesting hue of colors and a good swell to it. So I had had it. Not once, but twice I had some idiot trying to start a fight. Again my Nigerian friends were not going to let anything escalate and I was, for lack of better words, not happy about it. I am ashamed of the things I said and the way I acted. I am a lover, not a fighter ;), but I was ****ing pissed, oh and drunk. So these guys didn't hang around too long because it was only a matter of time before I would have broke loose of these three guys grip and do something that would have probably ended up with me in some Korean jail. Maybe it was just because it was Friday the 13th. I don't know, but either way I'm only going back to Itaewon for delicious food and cheap knock-offs.... Oh and I lost my camera this night too so there's no pictures.
carmen81180 says:
So you lost your camera? That stinks! Was it your brand new one? That stinks. It must have been the Friday the 13th...all the freaks come on then for sure!!
Posted on: Feb 16, 2009
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