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Escaping the Republic of Korea

Friday, November 9th, 2018

I had decided to accept Sarom’s offer and teach at one of his schools in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Ignoring my friend Karl’s sage advise, and prediction of impending doom, I made preparations.   I was staying at the stylish Dustin’s Guesthouse in a trendy part of Seoul, managed by the mysterious Sabrina. 

Around 4 PM I headed out to find a hospital, wearing four t-shirts and shorts.  The temperature was around 4C. I didn’t get far before I was approached by two you Korean ladies, one of whom spoke perfect English. She wanted to know if I was busy and if knew how to get to “Line Friends.”  I had never heard of this place before, but had heard of similar “friend” places.   She quickly changed the subject to a topic I hate to about: “me.”  

While I was answering questions, and searching my phone for images of some Dolsot Bibimbap that I made, an older lady approached.  She made the Korean symbol for no (crossed arms) and said “Don’t touch.”  I was taken aback.  I had never touched, or attempted to touch these young ladies.  Eventually, I left, but was rather outraged at the presumed assumption of the older lady.  I pointed at her and said, “You are really pissing me off.”  She was startled by this apparent hostility directed at her.

I walked about 100 meters before one of the young ladies caught up to me.  She said she was studying Korean culture and would like to do a Korean cultural presentation.   

“At the college?” I asked. 

“No.  At my place out in the country.  Anytime you want.”

We exchanged “whatsapp” information.  As I walked off, I realized the older lady was trying to help me.  She was trying to warn me.  I felt quite badly and hoped I would recognize her again so that I may apologize and thank her.

I continued on my journey through winding streets and eventually hit the main road.  Two young Korean ladies approached and asked if I was busy.  It was the same modus operandi as the previous two.  I now knew it was a trap.   I excused myself and continued my progress.  I came to the Severance Cancer Center.  I walked further until I found the hospital.  The Cancer Center was an imposing building.  Like some kind of mega-structure from an anime.  I walked up a long walkway until I got to the information desk.  I was directed to the International Patients area.  I explained that I wanted some anti-malaria tablets and a few inoculations.  I got an appointment for Saturday at 11:20 PM.

I walked back to my hostel in the dark.  I decided to take a different route back, as the original route was sure to get me lost. I walked past various street vendors, and people performing music.  Eventually, I found my way back to the hostel.  

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