“Lotte World: The Amusement Park of Life and Death” – Day 39 (6/27)

When one goes to Korea, he or she should go to Lotte World at least once. The place is mostly for little kids but there are a few good roller coasters that can get your adrenaline pumping. We decide that Comrade Rachel would take charge of this expedition. We were to come from different stations and areas around Seoul so to not be followed and rendezvous at Jamsil Station at 1 pm.  There was a new addition to this group of awesomeness, this energetic bunch. Jee Seong (aka Jee-Money, Jee-Mula) was to join us in this quest. If you’ve been following my blog, she was the one who took me to that communist rally at KU  way back in May (Not really a commie rally, but everyone was wearing red so it did look like a sea of communists).

Meeting at the rally point, we decide to take the park head on! It didn’t matter if we were in unfamiliar territory. We were not afraid! Not with our native guide, Andrew: the newly minted Vicar and Inho the Necromancer on our side! Right in front of a packed crowd in Jamsil Station, Inho reveals that he is well versed in the says of ancient shamanism by making a sacrifice to the gods that involved rubber bands, a coin, and a lamb. “Yea, I bought the lamb on the way here. Had to hide the little guy in my jacket” says Inho. We get the hell out of dodge when we notice that people are looking at us and that Korean transit policed started getting suspicious.

We enter the park and I stop dead in my tracks. Someone just gave us bad intel. No one told us about a castle. “How are we going to get past that?!” I cried. Acting like an Asian Gandalf, Inho the Necromancer says in a raspy voice, “I have no memory of this place… However, I’m pretty sure that castle is a fake. Like a uuuuh Trojan horse.” He widens his eyes to get a better look. “When did they start making condoms for horses?” chimes in Jessica. Everyone just looks at her with surprise. “What the hell are you talking about?” says Andrew. “Yea, get your head out of the gutter, doooode” adds Jee-Money. “LOL fuck you both” replies Jessica.

The moment of a poor tasting joke is broken as Rachel cries, “Guys! What are we going to do about that castle!” We all look at her quizzingly. “Ok, it’s ok. Comrade Phil, get the cannon. We’ll blast a hole through the gate and storm the castle.” Despite being Rachel’s superior in many ways, I decide not to yell at her and to take the time to make a logical argument by quoting the medicine/shaman/necromancer, Inho Kim and how he said the castle was fake. She would hear no more of it. “Look!” I say in an exasperate voice, “Even if the castle was real, the door is already open. We can just saunter in if we want.” I try to explain the Koreans’ weak attempt to make Lotte World look like Disney World by building the park with houses that follow Western architecture. And that even a baby would know that a 11th century Spanish castle cannot possibly be surrounded by houses with Bavarian style roofing. Rachel had enough. Slapping me in the face, she says, “I don’t give two shits! When we started this expedition, you said I would lead! This is my chance to prove myself! You can’t hold me back! Get the cannon, you motherfucker!” “Ok, ok!” I say.

Wheeling in a British 4 pounder, I ask, “you want the normal shot or grape-shot?” “What foo? Grape shot of course! We’re going to make this castle my bitch!” replies Rachel as she takes a sip of cognac. The flask is passed around and Jessica takes a long drought for what’s to come. A loud ‘BOOM’, a shower of hot lead, and a splintered door later, we emerge from the smoke and flames as conquerors. We are a fuckin’ wolf pack of conquistadores. Koreans quake beneath us at our awesomeness. Kids crying, girls crying and checking their make up, boys pissing in their skinny jeans. Oh what a sight it is. However, the fear is not deep enough for them to give up their spots in line for the roller coaster rides. As we wait in line for the much-anticipated ATLANTIS ride, four Koreans clad in black cut us in line. My anger rises to a boiling rage as these four kids try to act like nothing happened. We are about to experience Chernobyl 2! “Hey, you muthafuckkkeeeers. You fuckin’ shits. You know, you guys are the reason God doesn’t talk to us anymore” I say. They do not even turn around. I repeat what I said a little louder. Still no response. AhhhI thought. They don’t understand English. We eventually rode the pretty awesome ride.

As the day wore on , we ride roller coasters as if the world is going to shit the next day. We ride DRUNKEN BASKETS, which is a PG-13 version of the spinning tea cups. We spin like no other. People are almost falling out of the cup (or in this case, basket) because of the centrifugal force. After such violent spinning, Andrew starts to get sick and the situation worsens. His majestic form crumples like house of cards you spent hours to perfect and then some asshole who thinks it will be funny, blows on it. His pulse gets weaker. Soon his eyes close as he begins to say, “I’m so tired broski.” During this time, Jessica yells at Andrew to get away from Inho and how our shaman is her man. Jee-Money practices her awkward turtles and awkward balloon movements while Rachel yells at me saying, “If you complain one more time about how white we all look in my pictures, I will erase you! from the picture.” In a desperate attempt to revive Andrew: The Vicar of Snowmounteen, The Representative of the gods on Earth, God’s Chosen Son, Inho transformed himself into a spirit and blew through him. Just like any other kid who knows some magic tricks blowing through his friends.

Like a sirens’ calling, Inho begins to beckon Andrew towards the Earth. It was not Andrew’s time yet. “Who blew me, to life? I mean who blew through me?” asks Andrew weakly. We all stop what we are doing and hover over our native guide as Inho meekly coughs as his qi is in a weakened state. Andrew then turns to me and says, “Yo, Phil. I had a dream that I was driving in a chocolate car in a field of blueberries and Inho was in it too.” A glaring Jessica turns from Andrew to Inho. The necromancer tries to hide a giggle and returns the glare with a blush and his signature boyish smile. “Yea, we were driving along until the berries started to burst into flames” continues Andrew. “The chocolate car started to melt. As we were heading toward certain doom, Inho pushed me out of the melting chocolate car just before it careened off a ravine. What a dream, maaan.” Shaking her head, Jee-Mula says, “Andrew, that sort of wasn’t a dream. You passed out and sorta died and Inho revived you, dude.” “Oh really?” Andrew replies. He shakes Inho’s hand to thank him and in the middle of the handshake, Andrew says, “Wow, for a shaman, your hands are soft as a baby’s bottom!” Eventually, everybody including myself start to touch Inho’s skin. Andrew was right. “Will everyone stop fondling my boyfriend?!” cries Jessica. We laugh and decide to celebrate this awesome display of reviving with churros and a nice dinner of samgyupsal.

We go to a restaurant and order a shit ton of food and drink. As we dig in, Jee-Money says, “Just to let you all know, I’m a cup of green tea by day and a glass of so-mek {a concoction where you mix shitty Korean beer (mekju)with Soju (rice liqour). Mixing the two bad tasting stuff creates something tolerable to consume} by night type of girl.” “Triple that, you got me” says Jessica after taking a shot of Soju with the newly revived Vicar. I congratulate my comrade on a job well done in our expedition and that even though the cannon was unnecessary, it’s been a while since we fired one. With tears welling up in her eyes, she takes another sip of cognac and a shot of Soju and then thanks me for believing in her. A few moments later into the dinner, Rachel suddenly stands up. “Listen up you fucks! I’m gonna go to the bathroom to powder my nose and when I get back, you all better be shwasted. Because if I get back here and bottles aren’t strewn everywhere, someone’s gonna pay, got that?! Stunned by such an outburst, we all silently nod while Inho tries to hold back a tear. As I try to open my mouth to provide my only solution for people who get overheated at the moment. Comrade Rachel says, “And no, Comrade Philip. I DO NOT need a bingsoo to cool  myself off! I just dare you to say “bingsoo“. Yeeea, that’s right, say it! After a few second of silence in which Andrew quickly died again and was reincarnated, Rachel goes, “I though so… shit…” Ohhh, how the alcohol talks.

The rest of the night involves half of us stumbling out of the restaurant and the other half laughing. We sang karaoke and had tearful goodbyes.

Disclaimer: Andrew never died. I actually did say those things to those Koreans who cut the line. There is no love affair b/w Andrew and Inho (I think… ;)). No one got hurt in this day. Obviously no cannon.


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