Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dating a bartender; Bullo-Dong Tomb and the ghost of Min Gi

Although not the most auspicious of beginnings for relationships, I did meet Min Gi at the bar where he works evenings. I thought he was a 23-year-old bartender who, although cute, was clearly inappropriate and therefore un-dateable. You see bartenders have always been in my book of "no-nos" for dateable professions, along with motocross racers and bouncers for strip clubs because my weak little heart just can't usually take the drama associated with these professions.

However, much to my surprise, he turned out to be 34 with a daytime computer business he and his friend started a few years ago which is not doing so well now, hence working for his long time friends, the owners of the bar where I met him. We talked about our shared passion for the outdoors, arranged to go hiking, and have been dating ever since. I'm pretty busy myself, so I hadn't thought a lot about the whole "dating a bartender thing," again. Until Wednesday.

Min Gi and I had plans to see a movie because Wednesday is his night off from the bar. So I called him on my lunch break to confirm.

"Are you coming over tonight?"

Long pause.

"Is something wrong?"

"Um... Well... I want to come over, but..."

"Do you have other plans?"

"No, no. It's just my nose."

"Your what?"

"Something happened at the bar last night. And I don't want you to worry about me." Which immediately sends me into panic mode, naturally.

"What happened?"

"Well, I really want to see you. But there was a fight last night at the bar. And my nose looks terrible. So I paused because I want to see you, but I don't want you to worry about me."

"Ok, now you have to come over because I'm already worried." Then I ask the question I'm afraid to ask because I don't want to know if the answer is yes. "Were you in a fight?"

"No, not me. Two guys. I tried to stop them. One hit me."

He did come over that night. His nose doesn't look nearly as bad as he thought it did, and I got the whole story about the fight and his attempt to break it up which was rewarded with a punch hard enough to shatter his glasses and cut up his nose. He was pretty rattled about the whole thing (understandably), as was I. This is the first time I've been selfishly thrilled that he's quitting the bar job for reasons other than getting to spend more time with him. Now I'm a little scared.


This is a three day weekend because of the Korean Independence Day, so Friday Min Gi and I headed to a little historic site near my house. I first read about the Bullo-Dong Tomb, a small historic site just north of the Daegu airport, on Jane's blog. I've been really busy and stressed with all the preparations for moving, a new job, the trip to America, and intensive classes at the hagwon, but I needed a little nature trip getaway. Although I do want to start training more for a 10K and getting better at hiking regularly, I figured now is not the time to add stuff to my already fairly active repertoire, so I wanted a lighter hike for the sweltering heat of the Daegu summer.

Bullo-Dong Tomb

Bullo-Dong Tomb turned out to be perfect for my needs. And we hit it just between the crazy rainstorms that have been happening all weekend, so I was able to play around with my camera and take a bunch of pictures (I've been kind of lax in that department since Sarah went home).

It was beautiful!

There were lots of different kinds of flowers. I like playing with focus fields.

Butterflies having sex. Yes I am a 변태 (byeon tae--means roughly "pervert").

Min Gi plays tour guide. Bandaged nose and all.

We found an abandoned, solitary chair in the middle of this Edenic playground. It was eerie and out of place, so Min Gi started telling me that it must have been put there by a ghost. And then he made up a whole cute story about how I could be walking with the ghost of Min Gi instead of the real Min Gi and I would never know it. It would have been scary (maybe), but it was just too silly.

The ghost's chair.

So I may be dating a guy who on occasion gets punched in the face as part of his job description, but he makes me laugh a lot and has been exceptionally helpful throughout this transition time to my new job. Maybe it's worth it to stretch our boundaries and arbitrary "rules" about love a little for someone so kind and generous.

But, I swear, the next guy who touches him is getting round-house kicked in the head when I see him.


  1. a) wait, have you exchanged your i love yous?
    b) the two people in the fight. were they korean?
    c) i'm enjoying my stay in the US, but i have realized that korea is much better in certain areas. will post about them.


  2. william,

    has anyone ever told you that you're a bit on the blunt side?

    a) yes (but i'll be in America for the 100 days and he's already said it's not that big a deal to him).
    b) yes. it's a complicated situation and he's still dealing with some of the rammifications from the incident (including possible legal ones should the guy who's now in the hospital decide to sue the guy who started it).
    c) i look forward to reading about it. and even more so to making some of my own comparisons next week.

  3. how do u get to 불로동? what buses go there?

  4. any bus that heads out toward palgong passes it. it's right behind the airport (like about 1km) but before bongmu park.



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