Sunday, February 1, 2009

Today A Little Boy Grabbed My Ass and Other Stories

The old Jjim Jil Bang is beginning to look like a Sunday tradition for me.  Wake up at a nice leisurely hour, call the folks, call my homies (if you ever want to rap on the phone leave your number at the Shame Threshold email and I would be MORE than happy to give you a call, it's dirt cheap), then take a nice little trip to paradise.  While today's particular trip did not have the same intrigue or excitement as my maiden voyage, it still retained the sublime feeling of relaxation and all the hullabaloo that comes with hundreds of people vibing together.  I felt more at ease with the procedures and custom that are inherent in a situation where people are coming together to get naked and take part in ritualistic bathing.  Felt like I had the situation on lock.  Yet still I felt the stares.  The uncomfortable stares and feelings of apprehension that only middle age naked men can exert on strange long haired, bearded, tattooed westerners.  I decided that it was best to capture the energy of these stares and in an exercise in mental judo redistribute the scrutiny to assess the average size of the Korean wiener (as seen through the limited lenses of my JJ Bang goggles).

 It is my belief that the average occidental holds the perception that asian men have somewhat smaller penises.  That has always been my experience in the locker room and what I have believed, due in part to a collective opinion that corroborated my own experiences.  But of course when tackling any journalistic/pseudo academic curiosity it is best to clear ones mind of any preconceived notions and engage with an objective attitude.  Hear we go.  Now naturally, this most recent trip to the bathhouse was not the first time that I have had the unique experience of seeing a large group of racially homogenous men baring it all...I have two other experiences visiting Korean Bathhouses.  Previously it was my belief that the Asians were getting a raw deal.  Yes I saw some small penises.  Very small.  But I also witnessed some serious, proud, and large penises.  No joke, there was no mistaking these fellas for anything less than big.  I felt that in fact, the Korean penis was no larger or smaller than his western counterpart (although they were almost uniformly circumcised).

But with the greater exposure to the Korean penis has come, I believe, a more complete portrait of the Korean penis.  Using the only baseline I have available to me, my own penis, which I believe is about average in the west (nothing to brag about, but also nothing to be weary of) I have been consistently measuring my own penis against the many Korean penises surrounding me.  It seems, after careful consideration, and adroit assessment that there are more penises on the smaller end of the spectrum that the larger.  Don't get me wrong, there were many a large penis.  Show stoppers.  Big city lights.  Picturesque man portraits that would make any son's mother proud.  But then there were the rest.  Maybe this makes me seem like a racist, westcentric prick, but I call 'em as I see 'em and I stand by my word.  Stay tuned for further updates on the Korean penis.  This is far from over.

Eventually, I left the sanctuary where naked men roam free and ventured out towards the "spa"  where men are joined by their better halves to pursue the single minded objective of achieving complete, perfect relaxation.  Things began uneventfully, I soaked my feet, breathed in the toxin free air of the "oxygen room," where I gently laid my head down to experience the beautiful  neverland between sleep and consciousness.  Onwards to the many hot saunas, until I reached the cool zone, the room which I can best describe as being nothing short of a giant, mild refrigerator.  I had previously approached the room several times, but had always been dissuaded by the large number of small children frolicking about.  Finally, I reached the point where I didn't care how many geriatric woman or rug rats were filling the room, I need to get cool quick.  I enjoyed the room for a modest period of time, maybe ten smooth ones and then ventured out.  As I was leaving the room I was shocked to find a small boy in nothing short of lurk mode tailing my ass while his cohorts lagged behind, his eyes affixed on he and I.  Suddenly the boy reached out as if possessed.  He was in full on zombie stance, eyes askew, head cocked, arms braced straight forwards.  What came next was the only conclusion that could.  He grabbed my ass.  In no uncertain terms he gave me a full on, two handed hand-to-ass lock.  Not quite sure what to make of this situation I peered behind him to give him a stern, if not confused glance.  This did nothing to deter him.  I then moved on to more aggressive defensive maneuvers.  I gave him the old spin around only to find him a  moment later with a firm, determined look in his eye, arms still forward and hands out.  He grabbed me again.  Finally we both exited the door like a pair of bizarro, conjoined twins.  I gave him a final look of shear bewilderment only to find his face completely absent of shame or shock.  There was nothing amiss in this young boys face.  I did the only thing that seemed appropriate, I shook my head and let the magnetic force of his friends draw him back to that cold den and we parted ways.

Still reeling by the unforeseen experience of the cool out room I made my way to the men's lockers where I intended to shower and move forward with my day.  As I approached my destination I passed the seemingly endless row of massage chairs that I had so wished on my previous visit that I had the paper currency to kick start into mechanical nirvana.  As luck would have it, this time I did.  I reached into my baggy cotton sweat shorts and pulled out a sweat saturated 1k won bill and proudly drove it into the appropriate slot.  Oh what luck.  The digital clock above the bill slot unmistakably read 10:00.  Ten fucking minutes for the equivalent of 72 US cents.  And boy was this achievement in modern technology fit for kings.  The throne rammed my back like the pistons of heaven, driving rhythmically into every sector of my back like so many angels hammering me with the love and affection of god.  My eyes became unsteady.  As they focused on the digital clock across from me the numbers on the display began to dance harmoniously as my head shook and bobbed, to and fro.  During the more vigorous and titillating assaults my teeth began to chatter as my body melted into the soft leather of that black chair.  I died and was resurrected during that ten minutes.  When it was all over I sauntered towards the locker room, got as naked as I could, and showered.

I felt the only appropriate conclusion to this evening so solely dedicated to the art of relaxation was to enjoy my favorite healthy treat: Kal gook Sue (at least this is the phonetic romanized spelling of it).  The soup is comprised of hand made noodles and clams served in a broth of undetermined origin... I have the sneaking suspicion that it might be chicken.  This particular purveyor of KGS also happens to have the best Kimchi I have ever had the pleasure of dipping in my mouth.  So I swooped up my fair maiden and made my way down to the local restaurant and proceeded to stuff my face with this warm, ethereal milk.

I am just beginning to become comfortable with my life here in Korea.  It didn't strike me until fairly recently that I had been experiencing something that I naively though I would avoid, culture shock.  The Korean culture is significantly different than the culture of the United States with which I have grown up.  I wont go into a long winded dissection of the Korean culture and how it seems to differ in almost every way to my previous experiences, but suffice to say, they are at times radically opposed.  Anyhow, this stark juxtaposition has left me feeling very nostalgic for my life in the states and dare I say, something which I never expected to utter, homesick.  I have missed my few friends in the states very much.  I have missed Portland and the East Bay.  Places for which I have a strong affinity that borders on kinship.  I miss every person that I know is reading this posting and perhaps even some of those that I don't.  At any rate, it has been a harder time that I had anticipated.  I am pleased to report however, that things are beginning to feel a bit more comfortable.  I have taken up a new hobby, which has been a constant source of energy for me; skateboarding.  I have been taking full advantage of the almost always empty skatepark right behind my house and have been battling with it every chance I get.  I love the sense that every time I go out there and skate I can feel myself becoming better.  It is a distinct pleasure to feel and witness progress in any endeavor.  I have recommitted myself to physical health.  After nearly two years of allowing my athleticism to dwindle I have decided that enough is enough and that It is high time to become as healthy and physically adept as I am accustomed to.  But it will be no more gyms or boring routines for me.  I am only going to exercise in ways that have always made me feel happy, modalities that take me outside and face to face with the physical world.  I am happy to be writing again, even in as casual a forum as this.  I feel like I'm getting my mind right.  Keep up the paper chase, staying fit, and getting some of this strange world.

Still I look forwards to my return stateside.  I can't wait to make some more life changes.  I think I'm finally ready to get above four wheels and purchase a car that will take me from portland to the coast.  I want to start surfing, go camping, and stay active and adventurous.  I miss always being up to something on the physical level, whether it be swimming, biking, or whatever the fuck.  I can't wait to be back with my dog and my friends.  Anyways, this is getting long enough.  Things are getting.  

Be Excellent,



John said...

Nice one! Do you ride a bike in Korea? Man, I went boardin with my brother the saturday morning following my friday night bachelor party. It was pretty rough. Pretty fun though. Sounds like you're having fun though!

Lily said...

Show stoppers! Big city lights!
I cackled out loud multiple times while reading this installment.

Fringe Vintage said...

I totally know how you FEEL. You want to wear American flag bandanas and go to Denny's right? Yeah. I totally know how you feel. I should show you the video I made of myself in France while I was teaching there. I thought the video was going to be an inspiration and shine with love, but it turned out to be all about despair and black clouds. Trust me though--the more miserable you let yourself be, the better. You will have super hero powers when you return.