For anyone not in (or going to) Korea, well… this might be of less interest to you, unless you love reading abut amazing restaurants that you’ll probably never visit.
Mrs. Jiwaku went first, and the immigration officer had nothing much to say to her–he just looked at her for a moment, fiddled with her passport, and stamped it.
But then I stepped forward. I happened to be wearing my T-shirt with this image on the front:
… which is why the immigration guy didn’t just give me a look, fiddle with my passport, and stamp it. Instead, he struck up a conversation.
“You like zombie!”
I thought for a moment he meant I looked like a zombie, which would make sense: our flight had been delayed in the ridiculous Guangzhou airport–an unheated mess where a bottle of water costs the same as a cup of coffee (about $8 US)–and I was feeling a bit like a zombie.
But then I realized he was looking at my shirt. He followed up with, “The Walking Dead! You like it?”
“The TV show?” I asked him.
He nodded, the excitement clear on his face. This, the only immigration officer in the Ho Chi Minh City airport at 5:00 in the morning. “Season 3! You watch?”
Yes, he wanted to know what the last episode I’d seen was. He wanted to know whether I’d seen Seasons 1 and 2. He even alerted me to the fact that new episodes would be starting that Thursday, and coming out every Thursday subsequent.
And he was so excited to talk to someone whom I suppose he felt was one of his tribe.
That man was a zombie-fan first, and government officer second. Not that he didn’t do his job or something… he did. But this dude was all about the living dead. Funny stuff, and probably the best way to end our trip out of Korea…
As for Saigon? It’s hot and sunny. I’m still learning the city, adjusting to the climate, getting used our new situation.
I’ll say more about all that another time, though. Because this post? It’s all about the guy who was all about the zombies.
Besides, some part of me would rather wander around in Tokyo, and maybe wander off to Kamakura or Minami-Alps (which my friends here have praised highly) or even just or Hakone, than to pass just a few days in Osaka or Fukuoka. I’ve been to Fukuoka, and it was an alright place, but having been to Tokyo for about a week, I still feel like I have only glimpsed the scratch on the surface of the place.
Any suggestions? Must-see or must-do things? If you’ve done a visa run to Tokyo, is there anything I should know? I’ll be calling the Korean embassy there just to confirm location and processing times and everything, but if you have any insights, I’d be glad of ’em.
And of course, if any reader is planning to be in Tokyo at that time (between the 16th and 26th) then feel free to contact me and maybe we can hook up and hit an izakaya or something.
- How the hell does anyone say anything of any relative complexity or nuance, that does a major topic justice, in ten pages? I mean, the paper title is half a page, right off the bat! But that’s the limit on papers: ten pages, double-spaced. Ah well, the font is 11-point. I guess I’ll manage.
- I’m not really, um, a Korean Studies specialist, and I’m thinking my guts will be on the walls by the end of the session. I’ve been eviscerated before in life, but never by people qualified to do so. I think there are going to be a few beta-test runs on my paper, let’s just say that.
Actually, I think I’m going to try to do take a lesson from Scott Eric Kaufman and submit a paper, but deliver a talk. Anyway, I’m grateful to James for posting about it at The Grant Narrative, so I could be possessed by a mad pique and find myself now waiting to be torn to bits by learned people.
That’s the good-but-scary news for today. The good-and-relaxing news is that the reason one of my molars has been feeling loose has nothing to do with cavities — there are none, say the X-Rays — and everything to do with how I grind my teeth at night. The dentist did a little adjusting, and said it probably wouldn’t solve the problem completely…that I’d need some kind of mouth guard in my mouth at night to totally stop grinding. I’m thinking less stress, and more exercise, might do just as well. We’ll see, I guess. So while that naughty tooth will probably persist in freaking out over cold or hot drinks, I’m safe from the horrors of root canal, for now.
And now, Lime says, it’s time for me to come home (with some sushi in tow) so she can stop waiting to watch the cliffhanger for Lost. So off I go…