Rokon Farewell Party, and the other bits of a fantastic weekend

Friday night was the Rokon farewell party, an event that we’d resolved to make a celebration of something good as opposed to commiserating it’s end. If ever there’s an excuse to smoke oddly flavoured cigars and strike ludicrous poses throughout one of Itaewon’s most upmarket bars, this was it. So we did. Never mind Saturday’s early start, there was no way I was going to chill out for a night like this, I considered myself to be being sensible calling it a night just before 3am before stumbling into work for 9am on Saturday morning. Rokon is gone, but the spirit of the team certainly isn’t, we’ll be strong for a long time to come.

Having worked a normal 9 till five on Saturday – and made myself a little overly familiar with the best place to buy a Dictaphone in Gangnam – I headed straight for World Cup Stadium in Western Seoul. It really wasn’t worth heading home before the festival. Or so I thought: for everyone else coming ‘early’ to an all day festival apparently means coming at nearly 10pm. Oh well, I enjoyed the opening half an hour of FC Seoul’s K league game against the frankly diabolical Busan I’Park, and hung around reading and listening to the Tokyo Jazz Massive perform from outside. Busan somehow managed to be leading Seoul when I left (Seoul eventually nicked the game 2-1 in second half injury time), and the festival is, as they say, a whole different blog entry.

Unsurprisingly, Sunday was a bit of a write off. Though I did manage to eat a damn good Steak and Mushroom pie. And observe a team of kids wearing darts t-shirts with the imaginative script ‘darts whore: I’ll take on for the team’. Classy.

Watching the European Championship Final – as essential as such an activity obviously is – is clearly not the best way to start the working week. At least not if you live in Seoul, anyway, as said European Championship Final kicks off at 3.45am on a Monday morning. At least we have the advantage of having pubs that are open suitably long hours, and a couple of hours in the pub drinking tea serenely before work doesn’t feel quite so bad when the Spanish admirably decide they feel like playing at a level that could not be legitimately described as ‘pathetically underperforming’. From the point of view of an English football fan, the German team winning is never a good thing. Especially when we didn’t even get to play. Lehmann and Ballack made themselves look about as sportsmanlike as Manchester United when somebody has the cheek to win a freekick at Old Trafford. The Germans looked like moaning fools. The Spanish finally got a well-deserved trophy. If it’s not going to be England, I can live with that.

So this week –after a 5am bedtime on Saturday and 3.30 am alarm call on Monday morning – I’ll no doubt be suffering from the kind of jet lag that’s induced by travelling precisely nowhere, if such a thing exists. Which I’m sure will be great fun when coupled with the mildly stress inducing monthly change of classes and a heavy workload. At least I can say that this weekend – especially after Pendulum – was worth it in every possible way. I’ll suffer, but I’ll suffer with a smile on my face.

Hang on a minute, did I just miss Glastonbury?? I guess it was only Jay Z…

J x

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