“Tell me what makes a man?’, crooned out Westlife, a pretty boyband, specialisers in covers of songs that don’t need the compliment. Well it’s a debate every lesbian wonders about and Roseanne Barr has come closest to solving. Some men or rather a nation of men think they have the answer. Generosity? Fair play for women? No. Of course not. Its the old adage of how much alcohol you can drink.
Now the local firewater is Soju, a paraffin made from potatoes. After the opening gambit of “So do you like soju?” (once the “ahhhhs” have died down to your positive response), the guys immediately move in with “So how many bottles can you drink?” The assumption is foreigners have bottom-less pits.
Now I’m old school about drinking. My general feeling is if I can remember how much I drank last night, then I didn’t drink enough. That’s cos drinking, where I am from is a professional skill, something cultivated from youth, over hundreds of hours, weeks of day sessions, days of potential arrests moments and the odd night in the police cell. In short, almost worthy of your CV.
But that’s the trick here. Drinking is a short term business. The locals can remember how much they drunk because they live by speed drinking or binge drinking, encouraged on by nervous blind dates, business gettogethers and submerged in tiredness. They drink, redden up and pass out in the restaurant, to be dragged to a taxi, money thrown on the chest by paralytic workmates. He’ll get home and tomorrow will be at work by 9am, head on desk by 10am.
So as Carter wisely said in the great original Get Carter from 1971
“You’re a big man, but you’re out of shape. With me it’s a full time job. Now behave yourself. “
It seems to happen every tournament. England play magnificently, make a great team look ordinary and eventually lose to the champions-elect. Mexico 1986, Italy 1990, England 96, World Cup 1998, World Cup 2002. When is our day gonna come? Apart from the slightly dodgy substitutions, Sven got his tactics right and left us wondering where was Henry, Pires, Trezuegut or even Zidane for long stretches of the game…
But you know, for some reason, I’m confident still…still think we can do it. Still believe that the wait, as long as I’ve watched football, will be worth it. After all, when you support Newcastle, you just get used to it.
Cultural awareness is a vital weapon in the world of traveling. Like learning a bit of the lingo, without it, you don’t experience the slights and insights, don’t get the bizarre wedding invitations or the free beer. As I have experienced in other places, you just get pissed with a bunch of foreigners in a foreign country. A bit of knowledge of culture goes a long way..
So when i heard a Salvador Dali exhibition was on its way to this neck of the woods, I jumped at seeing a master’s work. Telling my work mate, (the one who had never heard of Che Guevara), I was pleased she had heard of Dali. I was slightly surprised when she asked if he still had no hair? When I informed her he was actually 10 years passed, she told me but she had “seen him on the news recently.” Then it struck me. She was talking about The Dalai Lama. “Oh, I’ve heard of him,” she replied.
Good question about the hair though. After all, he’s always changing his style, a buffoon one week, a quiff the next. Some people…
Been away from the weekend to the east coast. Its beautiful, full of parks, waterfalls and seafood. All 5 of us and two dogs enjoyed a free apartment, climbed waterfalls, lazed on the beach, visited temples and caves and had a few beers. My lungs only began to rebel as we approached the hazy apartments of Seoul, reminding me of work, work, work…..
I’m an advocate of” if you don’t like something, then don’t do it…..
I have decisions to make…
Wow, its hot at the moment. I stand here, naked with the sweat running down my back to make the futile leap from my arse. Where to go? Life isnt easy for a ball of sweat especially that patrols near my arse.
Have the rest of the day off. Heading to the gym, watch an MMA video, go for a beer and do some reading, Japanese and writing hopefully. Got the quiz tonight, second once, and fat Simon is back…..wonder how he sweats?