On the flip side of going away parties, there were also birthday parties and welcome backs. Beemish came back into our our lives and I was lucky to get to hang out with her and other at her welcome back party/Chrissy's Bday party. It was a great night of hanging out with friends that ended up with heading back to a friends apartment to find we had left all their belongings at the bar. Thankfully another friend picked up everything. We also had Tony's Birthday where I would eventually have my going away party. It was a lot of fun that of course ended up in Hongdae and another 6 o'clockish morning.
I was lucky enough to get to spend the glorious Holiday of St. Paddy's day in Korea this year. After work I headed into Seoul where I was meeting some great friends for a few green beers at a pub in Itaewon. However, Tom and I couldn't stay there too late b/c we had to hop the subway to Uijeongbu so we could go to Andrew's to watch the NCAA games. UK played at 1am and we had to bed ready. What a glorious day, as we watched bball games all day, called in sick to school ( I didn't have any classes on Fridays), somehow managed to drink all the beer and an entire bottle of Jamison (That's the holiday spirit) before 3pm. So, as any good bloke would do we hopped over across the street and picked up a few more maekju's. Later in the evening we headed up a little more North (not to the DMZ though) and had Soju cocktails with some Chingu's before heading to our friend Sandy's to crash: Tom and I total carnage; about 35 straight. Best part was that I had to get up two hours later to go to the dentist. Fun. After the dentist I hopped the subway a couple stops for the official St. Paddy's day party. Of course they didn't serve beer there. What kind of self respecting Irish were these people (Just kidding). I don't believe there was a store within 2 miles that had alcohol left once everyone found this out. We managed to have a blast and even made the news reel for the evening. Representing Korea and Ireland as best we could, lol. Afterwards we managed to find a couple cats with a free hug sign, so of course we obliged and helped their cause, for , I don't know, 45 minutes or so, give or take 20.
The following weekend, we jumped on the KTX to head south to Busan. Busan is a slower paced, smaller town compared to Seoul. It only has 4 millionish people. Like I said, small. I've rode the KTX twice and still amazed that the group I was with didn't get kicked off at some people, we're a bit loud. Had a great time in Busan with lots of UK bball watching, jumping in the cold ocean, drinking cold ones on the beach, tossing the frisbee, Beer pong (7 year champs were knocked off, congrats KOBE), and missing the train back to Seoul, again. Dang it. May I mention that this event that drew 17 heathens to Busan was for Adam Moran, or as we affectionately refer to him: A Dam Moran. It was to celebrate his bday. There was also some more beer bonging there as well, although not near as much as at the St. Paddy's day celebration (the official one), it made the news.
The last week at school was a good one as I pretty much just took the students outside and played basketball, soccer, took pics with them and chilled out. 5th graders started out when I got there being my least favorite class (then 4th graders) and ended up being some of my favorites. One of my fav students thanked me for taking the time to talk to him daily about Wrestling, or as we say in the south, Wrastlin'. The kicker was with my sixth grade class, who made me a makeshift cake of Choco pies (moon piesish), with pretzels sticking out as candles, surrounded by cheese puffs. What else do you need? The best part of it was their gift to me. It was a Frog coin bank. For those of you that know the story about the frog, I need not write anymore. And won't.
To finish off my Korea life in grand fashion I had a going away party. We had the dinner where Tony had his birthday party as they had lots of room and don't mind a bunch of crazy foreigners there. Plus for around 30 bones for all you can eat/drink, it's an ultimate pregame. Really loved my going away presents, which were a Korean flag (signed by all my friends) and a hard had (also signed). Following the dinner we all hopped in taxis and headed, shockingly, to Hongdae where would party at Zen Bar III. I had such a great time with all my friends and could never thank them enough. I feel so lucky to have so many wonderful friends for life. For the rest of my life I will be able to travel the world and have a friend in the area. Money can't buy that.
I had a few more days after the party before flying out, which was great. It allowed me to hang out with my Hanam people one last time, which is where everything started. I also had to get my pension papers filed and my money from school,etc. Finished my last night in style with a traditional Korean dinner, including massive amounts of Soju aka Devil, but contrary to Aunt B's dreams I made it to the airport 3.5 hours before my flight. Well, that's all for tonight. Next up: Beijing, Great Wall, Forbidden Palace, Dancing with Chinese girls, back in Amuuuuurica, etc.