May 09, 2006

5:06 PM Tuesday in California
9:06 AM Wednesday in Seoul
As I sit calmly, left leg folded over right knee, looking out the 5th floor window of my aunts home, I gather my thoughts for the exact words that need to come out of me. Hmmmmm... Yeah, that's pretty much the extent of my vocabulary. I've mastered the !!! and the ...... and the Hmmm... and the DOH! Ok, let's get back to Monday.

After breakfast, I went for a short walk around the neighborhood. The humidity in Korea is thick. Well, thicker than California, but not as bad as say Florida. At around 2PM, my cousin drove me to the EBS television studios. She actually didn't know exactly how to get there, so we went to a neaby hospital and my friend Hyunjoon came and got me.

At the station, we headed towards the performance space that I was to perform at and passed by some live tv shos. There was a childrens show being filmed which i took pictures of me on the set later when they were done. Damn, i actually should have took more. Really cool set with fake rocks and trees and all that stuff. At this point, a little knocking started to hit my gut as the realization that I would be on national tv started to come into play. And the walls of the studio showed faces of famous musicians from all over the world. Real musicians like Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Modeski, Martin, and Wood. What was I doing here? Settling in the green room(back stage for you non-rock stars) I grabbed at the complimentary cookies and drank some green tea whilst talking to the shows producer. They were going over the schedule for the evening and what was expected from me. My translator then came in, but I forget her name?? And she went over my song lyrics with me hoping that I could help her in translation. The problem is that my lyrics are almost non-senible at times. Using imagery and subtle anecdotes instead of straight ahead "SHE'S THE GIRL AT THE MALL and I KISSED HER LAST FALL" bullshit lyrics. I couldn't help them much. translating word for word on my lyrics would be impossible, so I just gave them generalizations of the songs meaning.

I was the special guest of the featured star of the night named AHN CHI HWAN. They told me he was the most famous political folk singer in Korea. The equivalance of a Woody Guthrie perhaps?? I don't know. But we were introduced and I always feel awkward in these situations. I don't know who he is and he doesn't know who I am, but we smile for some pictures and then he gives me a cd and i give him a cd. And that's it. Oh, by the way this show is kind of like a AUSTIN CITY LIMITS type of deal. Full concert. I played three songs as the opener.

Anyways, more waiting around as the clock hits 6:00 PM. I'm left alone in the green room as I pass on dinner with the crew in charge and sit alone with the make up artist. Yeah, they did make up for me. WOOPDEE DOO! An hour of silence between this woman and myself was odd, so I just played my guitar. At 7 PM, some crew people started showing up and they told me the tv audience were now being allowed in and that I would be on stage in exactly 30 minutes. 30 minutes!! Oh boy... The heart pitter patters some and then I think to myself. COME ON!! Who cares?? What's the worst that can happen. You've been playing for so long, just don't worry. ENJOY!!!

And that's what i did. I felt very confident and played extremely well. I wore a suit to impress the people here and smiled as big as I could. A sense of relief filled my body and soul afterwads, along with satisfaction on a job well done. A staff member whom brought me to Korea came by to take me wherever I wanted to go, but the station said they could give me a video tape if I waited. They said it should be about 20 minutes. Well, 20 minutes turned into 80 minutes and the tape never came. They had trouble with some machine, so no luck for me. Ahhhh... we wasted so much time. I wanted to head back to HAN DAE to meet Sanawon as it was their last night. We didn't end up getting out there til past 10 PM. By this time the steam was let out of myself and them. Tired from jet lag, overeating, and over stimulation. We were able to manage a few Korean beers and some soup and that was it. Time was not on our side. The clock ticked fast and we all turned into pumpkins. BYE BYE was shared amongst the group and off I went backt o my aunts home. My guide/helper/interpreter(I forget his name) had a strange personality. He would grate on my soul to the point of wanting to scream. I didn't know what to do except smile and grind my teeth. I didn't want to be rude, but man he was making me crazy. But he was kind and drove me home several times and I know that can't be easy considering the distance, time, and inconvenience. So I am appreciative.

Damn, I'm not finished. I didn't write about yesterday. I'll make this short. My mom and cousin went to the Imperial palace. Sight seeing my friends. Took pictures and listened to the tour guide explain what this place was like 600 years ago. Afterwards, we met up with my other cousin, aunt, and blah blah. Japanese food at a fancy shmancy place. Lots of food too. I ate way too much, my gut was on Orange alert. Afterwards they took us to their ritzy apartment to show off how much cash they have. It's very Korean to show off I think?? Am I wrong? Koreans... Let me know.

And finally a bit of shopping and that's it. The rest of the night was spent relaxing, watching episodes of degrassi on youtube and then sleep. I've got an interview today at 3:30 PM and then perhaps a baseball game with my cousin. Then I'm done. We leave tomorrow morning and back to the US we go!! WOOOHOO!
Mike Park