Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The advantage of being married to an extroverted American.... that I don't get selected to join the cast of "JUMP" onstage for a demonstration of martial arts to determine "who is the master?"

The disadvantage is that my extroverted American husband does.

JUMP is a Korean "comic martial arts performance," which basically means they act out a story using very little language--handy, since the audience was mostly Korean but this is apparently a major tourist perk--and incredible demonstrations of acrobatics, martial arts and slapstick humor. We were all laughing and oooooooohing constantly throughout the show.

Yes, I have had Van Halen stuck in my head for the past couple of days. Gomen, gomen.

However, there is a place in the show for a person to be selected from the audience. And last night that person was, of course, Tavis. *sigh* He had already been involved earlier in the show; the "narrator," a little old man, asked Tavis to help him to the stage, and as Tavis got up to do so, the old man snuck into his seat next to me. He offered Tavis a piece of candy to leave, and Tavis (the eternal cheeseball) played along and said "Nope. TWO pieces of candy!" And then, upon receiving his candy, walked to the back of the auditorium and "disappeared" behind the back row. I don't think they counted on landing the one person in the audience who commits just as much as the actors do.

Regardless, we think that since he played along so well, he was the one selected for the second event. The story is centered around one family of martial artists who all train and live together; in the second scene they are competing with one another to see "who is the master?" However, the master may be found among the audience! They cowered in fear when they saw Tavis, asked where he was from, and dragged him up to stage. The first round, "Drunken Uncle" came at Tavis with a (slow-mo) punch and Tavis blocked it. The second round, Drunken Uncle did a forward somersault/backward somersault combo. Tavis, after playing to the Grandpa and audience for comedic effect, did a very nice job of replicating. (I am by this point thinking of nothing but Zoolander--"first model walks; second model duplicates, then elaborates.") After this, the family swarmed Tavis for a patdown and found that he was carrying an axe, a knife, and other assorted weapons. They all cowered in fear and ushered him off the stage with much laughter and appreciation by all.

It was just hilarious. My face was of course beet red, but I could not have wished for a better time.

Before that, the group of us were in Itaewon, doing some window shopping and getting massages. Tavis was unfortunately brutalized there and has a bruisy back today from his "deep tissue" torture. I had a much better time, fortunately. My legs and feet are still sore today from the amount of walking we've been doing, but that's no big deal.

Yes, I got a massage in Itaewon. Keep yer innuendo to yerself.

After the massage, we are walking on air. It looks like brick, but that's just because of the pollution.

A perfect pagoda.

I'm sure he's of some historical significance. I just love how dynamic his expression is.

I somehow don't think that jelly and coffee is going to be a big hit in the US. But everywhere you go, there are jelly drinks, or drinks with pulpy fruit mashed in. It's hard to explain unless you're a zombie and are familiar with a nice tasty mushy brain. They really are quite delicious if you can embrace the squishy.

Insadong, the "arts and crafts" community was next in our afternoon. We picked up some neat souvenirs and a nice wall hanging for our house, and then had dinner at another barbecue house where we had a room to ourselves with the low table and mats to sit upon. I liked this dining experience the least, actually--just not as many astounding flavors as we'd had in our other places. Still very pretty.

Neat lamps for sale in a ridiculously expensive store with ridiculously beautiful things, especially the textiles. Ties for $70, scarves for $110, normal-sheet-of-paper-sized silk wall hangings for even more than that. Wah for pretty things that I can't have.

Ceiling of a building in Insadong. Very neat.

I think this is a ceiling too, but for the life of me I can't remember which way it's oriented.

View of the layers of stores.

Us at the restaurant. Not pictured: numb feet.

Jo is such a wonderful hostess. We're so fortunate that our good friends have good friends.

Today we are getting started bright and early. As usual. Whyyyyy can't we sleep in?!

Cuteness part 1.

Cuteness part 2. My sleeping mask is awesome, don't lie.

We are heading back to Daejeon; should be there in time for lunch. Our travel plans have changed somewhat--we just found out that procrastinating on buying our ferry tickets to Japan was probably not the best move, and the ferry we want doesn't run on the day we'd planned to leave. So we're flying from Pusan (South Korea) to Osaka (Japan), which will cost a bit more but fortunately Rosie's travel agent got us a discount and this will really save time in transit. Hurray!

Anyway we're in Daejeon for another couple of days; we fly out to Japan on the 25th. Plenty to do and eat before then--I am really mad at myself for missing all the street food! It almost all smells amazing, with the notable exception of the stirfried larvae which stink up the whole street. Those aren't on my "must nom" list, obviously. I just hope the stars align to where we are walking down a street NOT after having just eaten.

That's all for now! If you didn't read the comment, Rob (Tavis's dad) mentioned that this blog is the #1 English hit for "Kundori Daejeon" on Google, so woot woot for my moment of celebrity. :)