Scooter Rally and Korean Movie Theaters

Friday afternoon was brutal at work. I got back in to my teaching routine, computer now functioning after an explosion disabling it for a previous afternoon. But, midway through Friday, the freaking A/C went out on half of the floor, the side where 4 of the 5 teachers are situated. Try being an effective English teacher while the kids are sweating, saying, “Teacher hot, teacher water, teacher hot!” Being uncomfortable in the muggy heat is definitely understandable, but even before that, and it seems like most of the kids decided that this was going to be a day they just did not care about school. Authoritative yelling could be heard coming from my neighboring classrooms all day, and I know they can hear me when I have to raise my voice. At the end of the day, 3 of us literally scratchy raspy voices. I don’t like doing it, but if I don’t sometimes, I’m not doing my job.

So, needless to say it was nice to leave Friday evening for the weekend, which will be my first major holiday spent away from home. At least I’ve got plans Saturday to keep me from getting too nostalgic about the Waterfront Blues Festival, dumping beer in The Senator’s fish pond, and listening to Don Daddy fire off bottle rockets and assault choppers in the middle of Lake Oswego.

Friday night I decided to see Transformers 2 with a guy I work with, preceded by a Big Mac. Every time I step foot in a McD’s it’s slammed. Many of them are open 24/7 and a lot of them deliver, what I’m told is any amount of food, no minimum. After the fast food fix we’re off to my first movie theater experience in Korea.

Thinking we are late for the movie, instead of taking the bus to Yongsan, we hop on his scooter. Quite the sight to behold… two dudes, dude in the back a big dude (me), rallying a little scooter through neighborhoods South of the Han River, crossing the river at night, honking their way through traffic, and taking a scenic detour through the Yongsan red light district on the way to the mall. It wouldn’t be me if the camera wasn’t ready.

Purchasing movie tickets is different than in Portland, or even in Denmark. Like many places here, instead of lining up, you grab a number and wait to be summoned. As a side note, if you do have to use the line up method anywhere, prepare for chaos and disregard because people will push and cut in front you. But pretty much everything else about seeing a movie is the same. However, there were no movie previews before the featured film, only many many of the usual advertisements for beer, soju, milk and cell phones. Something that I found interesting, there were several children in theater. I kept thinking of my friend’s kids melting down at 8pm or 9pm back home because they were so tired and wondered how it was possible that kids here were at movie starting at 11:40, close to midnight after the ads.

I have to wonder how much of the movie gets lost in translation and cultural differences. I found humor in all kinds of subtle comments and actions that apparently nobody else in the theater did. Things like LaBeouf’s mom buying a pot brownie and acting all wasted on campus when they drop him off for college, and LaBeouf poking fun at the tight shirts worn by the frat guys. I suppose you don’t go to a movie like Transformers for the dialogue. You go for the over the top visual and audio experience… and Megan Fox. I have to admit being overwhelmed by everything that was taking place on screen, it’s a bit much, and I remembered feeling that way after seeing the first Transformers in Tigard with a bunch of the guys after eating a disappointing Buster’s BBQ because Skipper’s was closed.

Not really my kind of movie, but it was entertaining and a good introduction to Korean theaters. Now I need to see if the Hangover is playing here yet.


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~ by ripcitytoseoul on July 4, 2009.

One Response to “Scooter Rally and Korean Movie Theaters”

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