Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up (3-Day) - (Korea) Days 271 - 273

Our "Victory Dinner" Korean BBQ with scrambled eggs & kimchi...Very Good!!

Saturday: I woke up around 0830 after 13 hours of much needed sleep, a great way to start a three day weekend. We get Monday off as a training holiday because of the exercise. I did my usual Saturday morning ritual of laundry and then video chatting with the wife and kids. I caught up on everything and spent a couple hours video chatting. It was nice to see and hear everyone. I wonder all the time if I've made a huge mistake joining the army because of all the time I will end up being away from my wife and kids. I will be missing so much of their preteen and teenage years. So many don't realize the everyday sacrifices that go into being in the military.

Today is our office's enlisted "victory party". The top brass are all having their own posh victory party celebrating their virtual win over North Korea during the exercise, so our NCOIC thought our office should do the same. We met up at the office at 1800…that is everyone except for Special K. He is notorious for not being able to do any after work activities because his wife has him on a very short leash. His excuse was that his mother was sick, but I'm not buying it. I'm pretty sure his wife told him that there is no way he's going.

The rest of us (our NCOIC, SPC Mick, & our KATUSA) headed to the subway and after about 4 stops we got off and headed to our NCOIC's favorite Korean BBQ establishment. The place is a little different than others because in addition to the BBQ, there is egg poured around the edge. While the meat is cooking the eggs start to scramble and kimchi is thrown in with it. It all tasted wonderful. Our NCOIC's husband (Mr NCOIC) joined us and we had quite a bit of soju and plenty of food. Everything was going swell until all of a sudden Mr. NCOIC got very pissed at our NCOIC. I won't go into details (it involved their kid), but he went from nice guy to yelling and cussing very loud. I felt bad for our NCOIC because I know she was pretty embarrassed. Not quite the night she had planned for us. Their fight eventually led them outside and finally they ended up leaving. Our NCOIC apologized and paid the bill. So we were sitting there wondering what to do the rest of the night.

We ended up going to a somewhat famous night club in Seoul called "Monkey Beach". Not really my scene at all, but fun to people watch. Young folks dancing to pop music on all the tables. We all ordered drinks and they were served to us in buckets. I can tell you that this was the start of what would later become a bad hangover. We hung out for a while and then our KATUSA said we should go do karaoke. Not wanting to waste any alcohol, I quickly finished my bucket…not a good decision.

Karaoke is very popular in Korea. They have a number of places you can go and rent a small room and sing karaoke. These places also serve food and beer to your room. We all got a room and started singing…well I laid down for a bit…something just wasn't quite right with my stomach, but after a couple of songs I was good to go. We all had some beer and we all sang…and by sang I mean we all sounded terrible. It's a good thing we had our own room. Our KATUSA was actually so bad, I didn't have any inhibitions about singing at all because nobody could be worse than him…lol.

We then got a call from our NCOIC and she said she wanted to meet up with us in Itaewon at a place called Seoul Pub. We took a taxi there and met up with her and her husband. They had worked things out and we all sat at a table and chatted for a while. We didn't drink anymore which is a good thing. I did use the unisex restroom there which was pretty interesting. This was the first time both sexes used it at the same time. I had to go pee so bad, I didn't really care. I do remember thinking it was kind of odd going pee in the urinal and having girls walk in and out to use the toilet. Stuff that just doesn't happen in America.

We headed back to our barracks at some point after 0230 or so and I promptly got in bed and passed out.
The Monkey Beach...where they serve alcohol in buckets!

The bathroom at Monkey Beach complete with CCTV...
big brother likes to watch you pee

SPC Mick singing while our KATUSA searches for the next our private room

Our "Resered" table at Seoul Pub in Itaewon

Sunday: I woke up with a sick feeling in my stomach and a raging headache. The stupid thing is that I know I should hydrate a lot more especially if I'm going to be drinking alcohol, but I didn't hardly have any water yesterday. I paid the price for it today. I took 3 Excedrin and drank some water. There was a UFC playing so I headed to Starbucks to get coffee and then took a taxi to PFC Pickle's room. Normally I walk there, but I thought I may throw up if I walked too far. I arrived and quickly grabbed the nearest chair in his room. I didn't move much from that chair for the entire UFC. I drank my coffee slowly and then also drank 2 liters of water before the UFC was over. I was hoping the water and the Advil I had in PFC Pickle's room would help. I finally lost the headache, but that sick stomach feeling never left. We headed out and caught a taxi to head to the USO, but found out that there was a demonstration going on and we couldn't get there. The taxi brought us back on post and didn't charge us anything. We wanted to go to the USO to purchase tickets for a Martial Arts Festival next weekend. Not sure what exactly it is, but it's something to do.

I headed back to my room and video chatted with my wife and kids, then did some schoolwork. I thought about taking a nap, but the schoolwork I had to do took too long. I then checked with PFC Pickle to see if he wanted to see "Super 8". I knew nothing about it, but saw it was playing at the theatre on post. We walked there and by this point my nausea was doing better, but I was still no where near 100%. We watched the movie, which was nothing what I expected…but it was good and entertaining. It basically centered around kids in a small town that uncover an alien. Kind of like a modern version of E.T., but with a huge freakin' alien that kills people instead of a cute little alien with a glowing finger.

By the time we headed back to our rooms I would say that I was feeling about 75%. Definitely much better, but it sure takes me a lot longer to recover than it used to. I never plan on drinking much when I go out, but I have to make sure I get some water in me if I ever even think I'll be drinking again.

Monday: I woke up about 0830 to my roommate coming into our room. Normally he leaves for the entire weekend, but for some reason he came back early. It's OK though because I was about to get up anyway. I got up and video chatted with my wife for a while. I feel 100% again! After video chatting with my wife I did schoolwork again.

I met up with PFC Pickle at the food court for lunch where we both ate foot long pulled pork subway sandwiches. For some reason we were both very hungry, but those sandwiches were very heavy. We both sat there for a bit feeling stuffed and bloated. I made a mental note to only order 6 inch sandwiches from now on.

We then headed over to the MWR at Moyer Rec Center and signed up for the Martial Arts Festival. Funny thing is that originally we were going to sign up at the USO and then found out that the MWR was offering a free trip…can't beat that! We then headed to "The Point" and worked out. After working out we sat in the hot tub for a while and relaxed. I love this place, it's going to be hard to go back to the normal gym after this.

We headed back to our rooms and I spent the rest of the day watching TV shows and doing SkillPorts. Back to the grind tomorrow….

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