Thursday, August 4, 2011

Summer Birthdays and Summer Shenanigans

So I have no idea what 'shenanigans' means in Minnesota, but apparently it's something big enough to get into a tizzy and storm out of a bar over.

Oh and hello readers! <insert half-arsed excuse for not updating my blog more frequently to cover reality of extreme laziness here> At least this month I have a valid excuse or two to keep the lame ones company though - principally, the end of semester and the simultaneous start of summer camp, and secondarily, my birthday! (huzzah!) As a testament to my ageing faculties, and partly in defence of my long absence, it did actually take me a while and a random question from a teacher about my exact age to remember that it was in fact my birthday soon. Having failed to remember that, it was also a bit of a trial to remember exactly how old I was turning and the difference in age between 23 and 25, possibly because of afore-mentioned failure to remember exactly how old I am. (Darn math! You kids these days with your subtractions and divisions and whatchamacallits!) Celebrating a joint birthday with a borrowed KBFF (since both of our originals have left!), Christy and I had a lovely day of manicures, pedicures, Harry Potter movies and cake around Nampo-dong in Busan. Luckily, Christy doesn't seem to have been afflicted with early-onset dementia like me, and was most gentle in her mockery of my extremely blonde weekend, even when I was surprised that the cherry and almond ice-cream cake we had chosen after much discussion in the store had cherries in it. Later, we went out for Christy's birthday with her friends and had a quiet but fun night out at a nearby bar and of course noraebang, topped by the most magnificent night-club I've ever been to! Aptly named Superdome, the culmination of the evening was the roof opening to music from the Star Wars movies and being showered in fake snow. Beautiful! (I just realised that I didn't in fact get a video of this like I thought so you'll have to go there to see this wonder for yourselves!) It was also quite entertaining  - singing and dancing from the stage-shows, and an ajumma being physically dragged out of the club by five bouncers after getting mouthy, throwing beer all over people on the dance floor and then trying to take them all on and refusing to leave. Haha, Busan never fails in fun^^

The next weekend (last weekend), birthday celebrations were set to continue with a trip to Pohang, a coastal city in Gyeongsangbuk-do. Looking for a quiet weekend after a cocktail party on Friday night that had featured some particularly lethal drinking games, things didn't quite go to plan. Mostly due to the afore-mentioned drinking games and a challenge to the theme of "I don't get drunk. Drunk is for people from weak countries", a friend that I'll call Irish Pride (IP) barely made it to the bus (she had our tickets so we were very lucky that she has a conscience!) and having made it to the bus, trooper that she was held it in for 2 hours before we got to the rest stop before hurling her guts up. Off the bus at the other end and another chuck up, a run to the chemist (the fastest I've ever been able to explain a problem and buy the correct medicine for it!), another 40 minutes on a city bus, and 15 minutes walk with a stop or two along the way, and we were at the beach.

At this point, the less hungover of us wanted to get something to eat, so we continued down the beach. IP definitely needed a rest so she decided to hang back and have a nap as was. Being too hungover to take stock, the place she chose was unfortunately right in the middle of the beach with no shade. Being good friends that we are, when we'd eaten and come back to find her, the first order of business was of course photographic evidence of her solitude amongst the crowds. I'm sure at this point that the Korean tourists around were wondering what kind of people we were to be sniggering and taking photos of this poor hapless person evidently not very well that we'd apparently just stumbled on. Even after we'd woken her up and all gone off together, I'm sure they were still unimpressed, as we were also the only ones wearing bikinis (the usual Korean swimming outfit being not that much different from normal clothes, i.e. fully dressed), and after taking a dip we all promptly fell asleep on the sand, then after waking up took more photos of others still asleep.

IP on IV
Anyway, so after an otherwise relaxed afternoon on the beach where we'd all been at least a little burnt, it started getting cloudy and sprinkling, so we decided to leave and go find a motel. Getting up however, IP (at this point as red as a lobster, mostly from the walk from the bus) started getting the shakes. Protesting that she was ok, the rest of us got bossy and called a taxi to take her to a hospital. It was revealed at this point that she'd also had a bit of a cheeky chuck on the beach and buried the evidence. Which meant that she hadn't been able to keep down any water. The first taxi took us to a hospital nearby that proved to be closed, but luckily a woman (who must have been a nurse that normally works there or something) saw IP's state, called us another taxi and gave us some good advice to stop us freaking out that IP's hands were turning blue and she couldn't stand up by herself. Luckily IP was ok when sitting down, so she didn't redecorate the taxi. Whether it was to the driver's credit for understanding the urgency of the situation or just because he was afraid of that happening, he got us back to the city in under 20 minutes, where it seemed like it would normally take at least 30. Fortunately, a nurse at the hospital spoke enough English that they could figure out some treatment for IP (since the gaps in my Korean medical vocabulary are more like crevasses and the others don't really speak Korean). An injection of something miraculous for her migraine and a litre and a half of IV fluid for the dehydration later, things were looking less dire. Possibly gazing at the handsome English speaking male nurse and discussing the link between education and good looks amongst Korean medical staff for a couple of hours helped. At any rate, it was more than enough time for her sympathetic friends to take another photo. Hehe ㅋ ㅋ ㅋ

Anyway, so a steak dinner and the obligatory noraebang later, and it was a good birthday weekend where no-one died! Sadly it was drizzling that night so the fire work we tried didn't do anything and we were all to scared to go pick it up, but I did get a 'Happy Birthday' song from the staff at Outback Steakhouse and a commemorative photograph so it was all good :)

As a follow up, yesterday I went to the dermatologists with IP as her face had puffed up and started blistering quite badly - kind of like 3rd degree burns. They gave her some medicine, an injection, and some magic ointment though that seems to be doing the trick. She's sworn off the tipple but we'll have to see how long that lasts!

And that's the saga of my last two birthday-related weekends :)


  1. You know 'shenanigans' is a great word! Love MN.

  2. Also that was totally shenanigans. I mean really, who the hell skips 'Eye of the tiger.' Shenanigans.

  3. Wow! That sounds like a crazy birthday weekend. I too am glad no-one died.

  4. Craaaaazy birthday!! Totally tops last years' Busan beach party ;)..........I WISH I WAS THERE!!!! hahaha