I'm at home on a Friday like a responsible cit, sipping a cold glass of Asahi and keeping my two cats company before I embark on this summer's journey. They are very attached to me, shadowing me throughout my place, and I know that they will freak out with separation anxiety when I'm gone. Fuck it, they're cats. They'll get over it. That's why I adopted two, so they can keep each other company during my frequent absences, and to dissuade Motgol from spitefully shitting on my pillow when left alone for too long.

Vacation. Hoo-ray.

I finished my month-long indentured summer obligation of "extra classes" today, wrapping it up with two hours of kiddy class in which I played The Sticky Ball Game (a genius invention of The Big Dog Sam) and pretented to attack them as a crazed gorilla. I often channel the gorilla when working with kids, since they go nuts for the kinetic engergy of a feral gorilla running amuck in the classroom. This is why I'm universally known as "Gorilla Teacher" among the children I teach. It makes no sense and has zero educational value. It's just really really silly, and THAT'S why I like it.

This has been a long month - the busiest schedule I've worked since my days in a Haeundae hogwon. I had nine a.m. classes daily, which for me is like having to wake up at three to milk the cows. I generally showed up on time - though there were several times when I staggered in reeking of Warsteiner and Jameson's - the result of the one-two punch of drinking with my good friend Scott Evans near Kyungsung University. Most of my students trickled in twenty or thirty minutes late, though - as this class was a summer jerkoff affair, never requiring real dedication or diligence. There was always that one Christian girl sitting bright-eyed at the front of the room, though. There always is. She probably came forty-five minutes early every day, filled with Christ's linguistic fervor. When asked a question, she usually replied in Aramaic...

This month will be filed prominently in the "most fun I've had in Korea" folder, to tell the truth. I worked a lot and made some coin, but I played harder. I did three standup comedy shows, two of which were for packed houses of loud, responsive audiences. I had some epic sessions with some good, new friends. "The Gargles" reunited for two, boozy, impromptu gigs, thanks to the temporary addition of Eric the German to the lineup. The man can rock. He hits the drums like a concentration camp guard beating a gay Jewish communist. Lucie and I spent a lot of time together, eating serious meals and getting deeper into the groove of each other. The passion that we have erupted into a few fiery blowups, but our white-hot anger tends to cool quickly, which is an important reason to stay together. We know that these things pass.

So I'm enjoying some prime Jap suds and pondering the wicked adventure that will make up the next month. There are two main components:

Tomorrow morning I fly to Jeju Island, the big volcanic outcropping that is Korea's largest and most famous island. "Jejudo is the 'Hawaii of Korea'" This is one of those earnest statements made by the locals that invariably causes eye-rolling and scoffs among foreigners - but despite the attempts by Koreans to glorify their main maritime possession, I am told that it's generally a nice place. It has a much different flavor than the rest of The Peninsula, and I'm looking forward to checking out some beaches, eating some crazy, delicious seafood, doing some hiking, and spending some good time with the girl.

But the weather is being uber-cunty. It's scheduled to piss much of the time we're there. It's rained and rained and fucking well rained for the whole month of July. This isn't unheard of, as it IS the rainy season, but this rainy season has been maliciously rainy, and it's about time someone put a stop to it. So I'm officially FIRING the summer monsoon. Take a hike, 장마. 나가라!

I come back to The K on next Wednesday, and then promptly fly to China on Thursday morning, where I will meet up with my merry band of degenerates in Kunming city, in the far-away southern province of Yunnan. After checking out Kunming we'll head towards the Indochinese border, where we're planning on seriously chilling among the limestone mountains and getting our hill tribe jungle trek on. We'll then cross into Laos, where we will disappear for a good ten days in the northern reaches of the most chilled out country in the world.

I'm bringing rain gear and a big fuck-off can of DEET, to deter the skitters. I hope I don't catch swine flu or malaria or dengue fever or any other such tropical horror. I hope my ass doesn't explode with brown water every fifteen minutes, which is probably just wishful thinking, since it always does when I travel to brown people countries. This sometimes applies applies to white people countries as well. I got diarrea in the UK last time I was there. I think it was from a "dodgy banger." It was in Wales, though, and I'm not even sure if those people are "white." Mustn't we draw the line somewhere?


Stay tuned for new and raw travel stuff here at Showbiz Central, anyway.