Seoul, South Korea
A friend of mine recently told me that no one had ever thrown her a surprise party. She’d never been to one, either. “That’s such a movie thing,” she said, baffled. “Does that actually happen?” Yes, yes it does, and whenever I hear someone say that, I have to suppress a giddy urge to break into their house and jump out from behind a potted plant with a cupcake.
We were a surprise party house. My childhood was a one-upmanship minefield of “gotchas” so epic that everyone got a little jittery in dark rooms around birthday season. This one time, way before his actual birth date, mom convinced dad that he was giving a fundraising speech to an audience of 300. He practiced for weeks. The whole, huge room was in on it, and while he’s up there behind the podium railing away, they’re lighting the candles in the kitchen. Mid-speech, the cake set the fire alarm off.
Kyle had never had one either until I threw him one for his 33rd. Best entrance ever: he barged in the door to the house, bypassed the light switch and went straight to the bathroom. Twenty people sat in the dark listening to him pee, giggling and wondering when to yell ‘surprise’. It was a good party.
It’s not my birthday or anything, but Kyle surprised me with a weekend trip to Seoul. “I’ll pick you up on the street corner. Bring your passport.”
I’m not sure why we’ve never been to South Korea. We kept meaning to. The shopping is legendary, the coffee alone is worth the trip, and the plane flight is an hour and a half from Beijing. Shit, it takes longer to drive to the Great Wall. We spent the weekend wandering around Hongdae, the design-y district, poking our heads into theme bars and eating pancakes.
The customs department at Incheon Airport humbly reminds you that guns, drugs, and dick bombs are not permitted aboard the aircraft.
Watchmen in Korean.
YES will greatly enhance your love life, your personal life, and your business life. Mmmm, business.