Buzzing and Blood.

So picture this:

Seoul. Wednesday. 7am. The sun was just beginning to rise over the concrete jungle that I found myself walking in. I was on my way to work and had just stepped off the subway and was making my way through the maze of buildings and shops in an area known as Apgujeong, a ritzy little district that boasts the highest number of plastic surgery clinics per capita then anywhere else in Southeast Asia. Go Korea Go.

I was feeling good; the sun was shining, a cool morning breeze was happening, I had a fresh cup of coffee in hand and my favorite Coldplay song in my ears. The streets were humming with the morning routines of its people and I, for one, was content to simply be a part of it all. In the midst of my musings, I somehow sensed commotion behind me and to my left. I was in the process of turning around when something struck me in the small of my back and my fresh cup of coffee was unceremoniously dumped all over the clean, white shirt I had chosen to wear that morning. Before I had time to process this information fully, I found myself lying in a heap on the ground, contents of my purse scattered on the sidewalk and road, and as I looked up, I saw the driver of the motorcycle that had just hit me actually turn around to see me lying in the gutter before he sped away. Clearly he was a very important person who had somewhere very special to be and I, silly foreigner that I am, had not realized this. What was I thinking taking up valuable sidewalk space by walking on it? Luckily, not all Koreans are assholes and I was surrounded in short order by a small crowd who were hurling verbal abuse at the back of the quickly retreating biker on my behalf and helping me to my feet. Unluckily, the jagged edge of the curb I had taken a tumble on, had taken, in return, a chunk of my leg.

As I gathered up my belongings and tried to assure everyone who had stopped to help that I would indeed live to see another day, I tried not to think about what else might have been in that gutter that my gushing leg had just made contact with. So there I was, on my perfect Seoul morning, with my coffee soaked t-shirt, dirt/god knows what else streaked across my arms, legs and face, and a wound in my leg the size of a tomato, limping along streets where the rich go to make themselves beautiful. Like I don’t get enough strange looks in the country.

Miraculously, the week passed without further incident, and I will save talking about work for another blog. Suffice to say that things are already insane, par for the course here in good ol’SK. The leg is healing nicely and I decided to celebrate that fact by going out to Hongdae with some of my fellow teachers last night. Beer, shisha and some late night snacks, and I found myself crawling into bed at the very reasonable hour of 2am, still buzzing, with a smile. I love this city. It’ll knock you on your ass from time to time, make you bleed, maybe even take a piece for you for itself. But it gives too, gives you unexpected pleasures, unexpected people, unexpected pieces for you to make yourself whole with….again.


Vivian said…
so glad to hear you're okay- those stupid little motorcycles are so scary and annoying, i almost got killed by them so many times.

it's reassuring to know there are people who helped you, though. and kudos to you for keeping such a great attitude. that's right- seoul can kick your ass, but it's still one of the best places i've been to.

ps- you work in apku? i used to spend my weekends there. no, not shopping, because i couldn't afford it. but for the coffee shops, and browsing.
Jaime said…
My motorcycle could kick his motorcycle's ass anyday..
Anonymous said…
pictures are great ....
thanks for sharing....

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