The Innocent Abroad: Part 1

WARNING: Explicit Content

“How do you say cold in Korean?”

Cold? Ah, you say chuweo.”

“What? Chuo-wo?”

“No, like this: chuweo.”

“Huh? That sounds like Mexican gang slang…How the hell did you people invent these sounds?”

Sagramore had just exited the taxi with his Korean colleagues, and in an exercise of resisting-the-Borg-level futility, was also trying to pick up some Korean from the members of Seoul’s Globocorp branch office. Unfortunately, the Korean language is composed of sounds no Western mind could imagine in its strangest fantasies. Sagramore had no idea what kind of vowel-defying deep structures were buried within his colleagues’ brains, but he himself certainly wasn’t equipped with them.

It was cold in Seoul, much colder than in Tokyo, his usual haunt. Let’s say stomping ground; our hero isn’t a ghost. It was his third, and final, night in the land of kimchee and indefinable amounts of grilled beef. Sagramore had come to Korea on business, landing in Pusan, and had visited several prospective clients throughout the peninsula. The last stop before his return was Seoul. It is the capital of Korea (The Republic of), and its largest city in terms of both geographic size and population. It is booming. Tokyo is no small city, but it is a mass of cramped, twisting streets leading into pockets of giganto skyscrapers. There is no room anywhere. Look at a picture of Tokyo from 1988, and then walk outside for a bit right now, and you won’t see much difference. No construction, no expansion, no growth. Tokyo is a rich man nearing retirement. He already has all the nice things he’ll ever need, and is just inching towards stasis and then death. Seoul is the hot sophomore cheerleader. She’s pretty, colorful, and very flexible. Just wait until senior year; she’ll rule the school, and your heart. Seoul is wide open; it’s newer, it’s growing. The atmosphere is dynamic and energetic. Things move, baby. You want high-speed internet? Give a provider a call, and you’ll be live-streaming porno webcams before you hang up the phone. It took Sagramore a month to get internet in Tokyo. He had to call a provider, who then set up an appointment with an actual phone company to install the modem/cables/ whatever 3 weeks later. Once the installation was complete, he could then start the process of getting approved to receive high speed inter—I’m already bored.

Back to the matter at hand, he was walking away from the taxi with his two Korean colleagues, both named Mr. Kim. He had met one Lee in three days; everyone else was a Kim. This is true. Koreans are pretty much the least imaginative race on Earth when it comes to surnames. I’m not sure how this affects their mating. She’s probably not your cousin…but how can you really know? Anyway, the three dudes names Lee must be in very high demand. It was only 10pm, and Sagramore’s friends suggested staying out for a few drinks before taking him back to the hotel. He acquiesced, and left the choice of venue up to them.

“Then we need to try Korean Karaoke. Much better than Japanese.”

“What? How can it be any different? You just sing, right?”

Mr. Kim smiled in a manner not unlike a jungle cat staring down a young, unattended buffalo calf. Sagramore’s interest was piqued. He was anxious to see what set Korean Karaoke apart, other than alliteration. The Japanese invented Karaoke, so one would think they would have a more fundamental grasp over the concept. The two Kims led Sagramore away from the street down a side alley, and finally through a door leading down to basement level. The sign outside was bright red, and the place was called “7’s,” or “9’s,” or something. He’s never been good with numbers. The stairs led down into a large reception area, with 7 or 9 different hallways leading out into the Seoul underverse, in a huge underground complex reminiscent of a James Bond villain’s hideout. The two Kims conversed with the receptionist, whose nametag featured unintelligible Korean script, and then the word “KIM” right under it. He was a tall man, dressed in a suit 2 size too small, and whose hair was drenched in enough hair product to…I’m not sure what huge amounts of hair product would do. The concierge led them down one of the 7 or 9 hallways, passing by many doors and a few smaller hallways, lined with thinner, numbered doors. Sagramore took a mental note.

Mr. Kim finally stopped, and opened a door labeled VIP. They were all labeled VIP. It seemed this Karaoke club only served the highest quality customer. The room was not very wide, but deep. It was lined with plush couches, and a large table was placed in the middle. On the same wall as the door was an enormous TV screen playing music videos on mute. The Karaoke apparatus was under it. Sagramore and the two Kims sat down, and the elder one ordered several varieties of drink and snacks. Within 5 minutes, the table was covered in sliced fruit, varied dried snacks, beer, and Korean whiskey, which is superior in every way to the Japanese variety, but still a step behind Scotch and sweet, sweet, Kentucky Bourbon. They started drinking, and after a few short moments Sagramore asked who wanted to sing first. The elder Kim flashed a predatory smile and said:

“Wait.”

A few hot minutes later the door opened, and concierge Kim led in 6 mostly ridiculously beautiful women of varying height and hair-length, who’s only shared traits were high heels and criminally revealing one-piece dresses. Sagramore’s interest became more piqued. The younger Kim now addressed our hero.

“Ok. Now you pick one you like.”

“Wait, what? Can I? Will it hurt the others’ feelings or something? I don’t want to offend anyone…”

The two Kims laughed, and assured Sagramore it was all right. An occupational hazard. He picked the 2nd or 4th girl from the left; again, he’s never been comfortable with numbers. She had the shortest hair in the group. An almost lesbianish cut flowing down to just below her ears. Some men prefer tits, others ass, and even more look to a girl’s legs. All Sagramore needs is short, boyish hair, and he’s good to go. Trust me, he fully understand how disturbing that may sound. But defying one’s nature is difficult. The short hair girl smiled, and slid into the couch next to our hero. She was pretty; damn pretty. Very long, slim legs, and a tight little athletic body type, overall. No tits though, which was a pity, but nothing a few thousand dollars a good doctor couldn’t fix. Oh, why couldn’t she have been wearing glasses? A nice set of thin-rimmed business lady/librarian type glasses, together with that body and hair, would have been irresistible. But you can’t have everything, and Sagramore made do. The 2 Kims each picked a girl. They were both long-haired, big titted types who were really totally unremarkable. They fit into the environment of that place like an ash tray, or the wallpaper. Completely unimaginative selections. Sagramore pitied his Korean friends’ primal, fundamentally uncultured physical tastes. The other girls feigned disappointment, concierge Kim smiled, and then they all left the room.

“Now, you sing!”

It seemed as though the party could finally start. The elder Kim decided to go first, and selected some non-descript Korean song Sagramore had never heard before. He was quite a good singer though, displayed a remarkable amount of range. As Kim serenaded the room, Sagramore tried to speak to his new-found companion though it soon became apparent she did not speak English. The not-currently-singing Kim acted as a go-between, unfortunately for his own companion, who seemed bored, and eventually, after some basic introductions and getting-to-know-you bits, jokingly asked the short-haired girl if she spoke Japanese. Her face brightened up, and she answered that she did. Sagramore jumped in, and, in Japanese, was able to start a successful dialogue with his Karaoke escort. He told her about himself, and she was very complimentary/impressed. After a few sentences back and forth he noticed her knee would often knock against his own, until after a few more minutes her leg permanently attached itself to his thigh. She’d laugh often, and pat him on the back, or grab and hold his arm. Eventually she started tousling the back of his air, calling his hair cut cute. This lass was a pro. Sagramore feigned offense at being called cute, and that joke lasted for a few more minutes, until it was his turn to sing.

Our hero got up from the couch, and his short-haired lady friend followed. She showed him the electronic song selector, and in a historically significant act of unintentional irony/foreshadowing, he selected the Offspring’s Self Esteem. The song is about a guy with no self-esteem who gets treated badly by a girl who cheats on him etc., but he puts up with it because she’s the only one who gives him any sex, basically. As Sagramore started in with the chorus, singing about his low sense of personal value, the shot-haired girl interlocked arms with him and began swaying to the music and clapping in approval, occasionally exclaiming how great he was at singing. The other girls and the two Kims did so as well. As he rock-screamed out the last “Yeah!” of the song, everyone in the room clapped loudly, and congratulated him on a song well-sung. Sagramore and his slim-legged companion sat back down, and the younger Kim went at the machine. He picked an English song, surprisingly, and everyone else started talking amongst themselves as the saxophone intro brought on Wham’s Careless Whisper. A modern classic. Sagramore and his girl continued to converse in Japanese, when, suddenly, her hand gently landed on his penis…and stayed there. Sagramore’s eyes shot open to about twice their usual range, and realized that the Mr. Kim across the table from him was probably receiving similar treatment, judging by his expression. After a brief massage, the younger Kim’s song finished. More clapping all around, and Sagramore’s penis was given a brief respite from its fondling. Sagramore then noticed the girls eying each other strangely, as if they were telepathically communicating.

Before anyone else could get up to have a go at the song machine, the short hair girl grabbed Sagramore’s left hand, and led him up off the couch. He looked to the 2 Kims, who were conspicuously ignoring his glances. The girl led Sagramore out of the room. She asked him to follow her, and they walked back down the hallway, and turned into one of the smaller subterranean alleys of the complex. Sagramore is not stupid; he’s in his mid-twenties, and has been around the block a few times. He knew where this was headed. He was totally going to get a lap dance! Korean Karaoke is awesome, and way classier than U.S. strip clubs. This was going to be a sweet private dance; he could feel it. She stopped in front of one of the numbered doors, and swiped a hotel card key looking thing. Ha! This was Asia, so the girls were probably way more open. She led him into the room. Maybe he’d get to touch her boobs, too? Would she take her bra and panties off? This would definitely be an awesome lap dance. He couldn’t wait to—

OH MY GOD! There was a king-size bed in the middle of the room, with a condom tray on top of the sheets. The short-haired girl started taking all her clothes off, and Sagramore’s jaw hit the floor.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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