Annyounghaseyo !

Had a chance to show off my SNSD tattoo tonight. Coz I was drinking with Koreans. A couple of dudes who were sitting near me. I had passed a smoke to Daniel and he had passed it to one of them, and after chatting briefly about some other stuff, I was like “Soooo… Korean right ? Does that mean you like So Nyo Shi Dae ?” “Oh, of COURSE” said the younger one (who was 30). “They’re awesome”.

“Cool. Seen them in concert ?” I asked.
“Yep, in Seoul last year. They are great in concert” I was assured by the younger one.
“Yes, I know” I said. “I saw them in Sydney in November, along with Kara, T-ara, 4Minute, 2NE1, CNBlue and some other groups. I got backstage to photograph them”.
“Oh my god. You are a photographer ? You really got up that close with SoShi ?” he asked, looking at the camera draped conspicuously around my neck.
“I did, yes. My friends were very jealous” I smirked.
“I would be too” he said.
The other guy chuckled and said “So you really like Kpop hey ?”
“Not only Kpop. I like Japanese music and music from parts of Asia too. And stuff that isn’t pop too. I like FT Island and CN Blue lots after seeing them both play live”.
“You know”, said the other guy, gesturing at his friend. “His little brother is best friends with the lead singer of CN Blue, Jung Yong Hwa”.
“No shit ?” I said. “That’s pretty cool. Is he a good guy ?”
“He’s ok” said the younger bloke dismissively.
We chatted for a bit about Vietnam. I did get their names, but I had to write them down since Korean names are sorta long and complex, but sadly my stupid note taking app did not save the note, so I lost them.nit
The younger guy had been here for almost a year, but the other bloke had just arrived recently and was interested in talking about the pickpocketing and grab and snatches that he heard goes on in the area and he commented that he thought Saigon sounded really dangerous. I said that I thought it was far from dangerous and that most crime was opportunistic and rarely pre-meditated or violent, and made some comparisons in crime between Vietnam, Australia and Japan and asked about Korea, and I was told that snatch and grabs and stuff were also fairly common in parts of Korea.

They were quite keen to chat since I had struck the conversation up over Korean girl pop groups which they were clearly into (though I think the older one seemed like he was more likely to be into hard rock stuff) and we talked a little more about music from around the world before I could’t help but notice a Korean girl walk past. I was distracted mid-sentence so to cover, I just grinned at them both and said “Korean girl” and nodded towards the street. The younger guy looked, broke out laughing and said “Good work. I didn’t even notice her”.
“I have a radar for such girls” I mumbled, a little red-faced.
He chuckled and said “So do I. Trust me”.
“I saw her” said the other guy matter-of-factly and then added “Not very pretty”.
“Not by my standards” I snorted.
“You’ll enjoy Seoul then” he said casually while looking up the street in the direction of the departed Korean girl.

They finished their beers and stood up to leave, stopping to say goodbye and that they enjoyed meeting me, pausing just long enough for me to request a photo of them both before they headed off. I stuck around a little bit after they left, wondering if anything else of interest would happen tonight, but it seemed very boring, or at least I felt bored. Toan arrived and we chatted briefly. He said Thao had been looking for me the other day. I knew of course, because she told me, but it was cute the way Toan said it with a little amused smile as if he thought I would be really excited by the news.

I just dismissively said “I know. I’ve been talking to her on Skype while I’m drinking. He just went “Oh. Ok. Good for you then”. I considered mentioning that we were talking about going to the temple at Chau Doc together because she wants to go pray there, but it’s not really set in stone because Thao has to get over her eye operation before she plans to go off into the provinces anywhere.

Tired, I bid Toan goodnight and headed off after giving Vung the $1 that I owed for four pints with my awesome friends-of-bia-hoi discount where I only pay 4,000 a beer instead of 6,000 because I’m just the sort of guy that people only want to charge 18 cents to for a pint of beer. If this place had a logo I could tattoo on myself, I probably would, except that one bar’s logo is probably enough as far as tattoos go.

Number 5 may have an unlimited happy hour, but I’d have to drink 25 pints of beer to spend 100,000 dong at bia hoi, and it’s the same price all night, so it’d be difficult to say it was expensie. Though plastic stools and no music are no match for air conditioning and pretty waitresses I’ll admit, but at least at bia hoi no waitress is gonna sidle up and tell me I’m handsome and then snivel if I don’t buy her a drink.

Anyway, I’m running the bath for a long relaxing soak before bed. You can check-out this picture of the two crazy Korean guys I met tonight. What an odd looking pair, right ? It’s the first photo I’ve taken with my new lens. I’ll go out and take some more tomorrow I swear… maybe.

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