The traveler arriving to Seoul by train will be greeted by two sights: the vast glass and metal honeycomb of Seoul Station, designed with a titan’s jackstones in mind, and, outside, a landscape of steps descending to an artery of buses and cars, over which a gigantic, burning television flashes images that I think few people have actually looked at, since the screen is so bright it induces headaches almost immediately. Even remembering it makes one’s eyes hurt. Koreans also habitually rush everywhere they go—it would be amusing to a hold a race to the subway in which the slowest person is the winner—and particularly enjoy doing so while wearing enormously high, loud, wobbly, unwieldy, stilettos, therefore it is doubtful any of them have had the time to learn about the armsleeves being peddled on that massive blinding portal.
We alternately searched for spas or love motels in which to sleep for a few hours before meeting up with some fellow Shakespeareans in the park, but we were turned away several times because the workers at the respective institutions feared, quite naturally, that we would instigate a massive orgy if we were allowed to enter into a room with beds while unmarried and in a state of open sin. Therefore we were compelled to briefly join the ranks of the homeless and work our spines into the hard lincoln logs of a gazebo in Yoiedo Park, where our company included a large, apparently free-roaming rabbit, pigeons, a turtle lurking in the pond, frogs, ogling passersby (Korea’s ubiquitous set piece), and an upright citizen who apparently believed we were missing people and wished us to turn ourselves in at the local police station. All of the nonhuman components at this park would surely be devoured by ravening ajummas if a similar experiment were to be attempted in Busan.