January 19th, 2010
Although I was happy to be able to pay my bills on time and eat my own choice of foods, it was very frustrating to spend almost 50 dollars on the transport to Seoul and be with the doctor less than 4 minutes, only about 20 seconds of which was examining the results of the surgery. Not only that but the hospital was so far behind that even though they snuck me in before my 2:30 slot, it was still 3:10 when I saw the doctor, which means I just missed the 3:40 bus and had to take the 4:30. I brought donuts for the students.
I got to the training center at 8:40 and practiced the monk's dance, 승무 Seungmu, for almost an hour under 경진 Gyeongjin's tutelage. Today they learned about 2/3 of the dance, tomorrow is going to be tough. But I am very good at following along and fortunately I did learn it back in summer 2009. Back at our rooms I cut each donut into two pieces so people could have half of two different flavors and the students devoured them as though they were starving. The students (who will perform the three acts with 대사 scripts) split into different rooms according to scene and sat or lolled on the floor as they worked on memorizing the dialogue.
At 10:00 suddenly (to me, since I hadn't known in advance) 태환 Taehwan said "come on, everyone, we have to go to the big 뒤풀이 duipuli now." When I arrived at the main practice hall I was incredibly surprised to see two huge containers of 막걸리 makgeolli bought directly from the maker, each holding about four gallons of makgeolli. There was this much to drink and it had to be drunk almost immediately (as it hadn't been in any way treated to keep and we don't have giant refrigerators that would accommodate it anyway) despite the fact that some of the students didn't participate at all (from the Korea University of Arts and from entire other teams). Naturally what ensued were drinking games. The group I was in (the size was originally about 9 people but it expanded to around 11) played a game where two captains played rock paper scissors, each time they won they could choose someone for their team. After they had teams (uneven in size), the members of the teams played rock paper scissors against each other and the team that lost had to drink the entire pot of makgeolli in the middle of the group, the pots were about 3.5 quart pots, filled to perhaps the 3 quart level. Yes, I am saying that teams of four students (twice it was four) had to drink 3 quarts of alcohol as quickly as possible. Of course each time the teams had people who really couldn't drink (more than a tiny bit) so this meant that the people who could, or who liked makgeolli were drinking obscene amounts. We played four times and each time the other team lost, so I was never forced to slug any makgeolli. But it was really insane. They then proceeded to do another game which I didn't quite understand where the losers had to do couple shots (around each other's necks, not just linked arms, if it was a mixed gender couple) or exchange food (mouth to mouth if they were the same gender). I had to do one couple shot but used my seniority to assert that I'd just do a linked arm shot. As I was sitting there 범성 Beomseong came up to check on us, and he smelled like camp fire, which he explained was happening in a large tent outside. I immediately went to the tent, where I found 대천 Daecheon, another instructor whose name I don't know, a woman (민정?) who I met at the Mask Dance Festival and a guy who hangs around a lot but I'm not sure what his capacity is. They had a grill and two heaters inside the tent, which was partially open on one side. I sat there with them and one other KNUA student (준영 Junyeong), and had a bit more makgeolli while having some more advanced conversation.