|Front facing the train station.|
|Toward the back (away from the station).|
|(and I think towards the bus stop)|
|To the right (I think).|
We decided we were gonna go see a movie that afternoon, so we would get our tickets ahead of time. The two options for movies in English at the time we wanted were Jack the Giant Slayer and Stoker. Of course I chose Stoker. I've seen 5 Park Chan-wook films in America (he's a Korean director for those who don't know). Why wouldn't I see his first American film while I'm in Korea? The irony is too great. (Off topic, but I also plan on seeing the American remake of Chan-wook's Oldboy, my favorite Korean movie, while I'm here, too.) Anyway, this particular theater is in a giant building with different stores on the bottom floors and apartments up above, so we went up to the theater and got our tickets. We also had to choose which seats we wanted, as there was assigned seating.
|One of the posters inside with listings/times.|
|Wanna go to Outback Steakhouse? They have it!|
|The little burger place inside this tiny little garage.|
We still had quite a bit of time to kill, so we went to an arcade and played a little House of the Dead 4 (for those unaware, a zombie/monster shooting game) while a bunch of teenagers watched us. I lasted just a little bit longer, but soon died off, too. We still had quite a bit of time, but we thought we'd just go to the theater and relax there and wait. Little did we know our most entertaining part of the day was yet to occur.
|The front of the building with the theater|
(it's super tall with the apartments above).
When our elevator finally takes us up to the theater (it kept taking us down into sub-levels to get more people), we took a seat in this waiting area near these bathrooms. And this is where the fun began. As we waited, there was somebody (presumably in the men's restroom) making the most bizarre noise. It sounded like a mix of choking, heaving, and squawking. And I'm not even sure that description does it nearly enough justice. It happened in short intervals, and at first neither of us knew what was going on or if it was some cultural thing we were unaware of. But then we noticed even Korean people trying to investigate where the noise was coming from and/or what it was. But every time we'd try to start a conversation, this noise would start, too. And eventually we would just burst out laughing and couldn't control ourselves. It really was the most ridiculous thing ever. We think it was a guy having a really bad reaction to something. We suspected it was one guy who eventually came out of the bathroom soon after the noise stopped. But then he went back in and never came back out. Hopefully he didn't die.
We also talked about funny little things about we could be talking out loud in English because nobody around us knew what we were saying. So my neighbor started saying ridiculous things just to prove the point ("I ate a clown today!") to which nobody reacted. He also let me in on the little "looks" we will get as foreigners from Koreans. They won't outright stare (most of the time), but they will look at you at least once. And he was right--if you're paying attention, you will see the Korean people steal at least one glance at you. So while they (usually) don't look at you, they're always very aware that you're there.
The next strange thing happened as we were going into the actual theater area. The ticket girl looked Korean, but spoke English… with an Australian accent . It was quite strange. The theater room itself was incredibly small. Easily the smallest I've ever seen (and probably even smaller than you're imagining. The chairs themselves were comfortable, but there wasn't a whole lot of leg room. As for the movie--it started off really slow and weird. The first 20 minutes were very odd, and I never knew where it was going. But as it got into the story, it got better. By the end, I really liked it. Definitely not for everyone, though.
We left the theater and headed to the bus stop… in some weather that easily dropped like 20 degrees in the last couple hours. And I was shown how to take the bus home from there (and which bus to take). And I got home about 7:30 or so. And that was about it! This was easily the best afternoon I'd had so far in Korea. And I'm sure I'm gonna be spending quite a bit of time in Sanbon.