Happy Olympics Everybody! I’ve been watching those things pretty religiously, especially since I can cheer for more than country. My allegiances still lie with the U.S. however; I just opened a Korean bank account so now I think I’m officially ½ Korean. I also work with a bunch of Canadians and last week they made me an honorary Canadian in a ceremony that involved drinking a lot of beer so I can cheer for the crazy knanucks as well.
Other than watching the Torino games I’ve been finding other ways to keep me busy. I opened an account at the video store last week, and when I get tired of staring at the electronic box, I head out to the YMCA. Opening the bank account and obtaining a video membership were really quite easy. I just threw down my passport and alien registration card and Viola! I was set. Getting into the YMCA was a bit of a challenge. First I had no idea where to go and I almost walked into the women’s locker room. Did you know that there’s a universal sign that is easily comprehensible in an language when your about to walk into the wrong restroom? It’s usually involves a lot of loud yelling and a general flailing of arms. I finally found a person who spoke barely comprehensible English to show me the way to the weight room.
In Korea I’m a stud. You won’t see any Koreans throwing weight plate after weight plate on the bench press while their training partner goads them on by yelling, “Big pecs! C’mon, big pecs!” (This a distinctly American gym trait that I’m glad to have escaped from.) I can top off the weight machines here and ask for more. No, what the Koreans lack in actual lifting inclination, they make up for in energy. The aerobics room is a hypersonic flurry of activity. I find myself just gawking at the amount of sweat and movement that goes on in this room, however, the weight room isn’t much different. The music is god-awfully loud and, well, just god-awful. I’m not the biggest dance-techno music conisuer, but this sounds like chipmunks on crack. For a person who likes to lift heavy things and listen to punk or obnoxious death metal, I might be in the wrong place.
Then again I think the gym is a form of societal neurosis to begin with. Lift heavy stuff and run on machines that keep you in place for no financial or societal gain? Doesn’t make much sense, and I’ll admit that I’m one of the guiltiest of the guilty. I want to create a gym that has all the machines hooked up to generators so the gym powers itself. When the lights start to dim I could hop on the PA and yell at everyone to step it up. Alas, many of my friends have shot down what I believe is a perfectly legitimate idea (no stealing this one anybody). Maybe Korea could use an idea like this.