It was time for another escapism weekend. Time to jump on a bus and go. The weekend was supposed to entail a trip to yet another flower festival , a Tulip Festival on Imja-do, an island in the Yellow Sea. It was cancelled due to the ferry disaster. I guess I should really write about this but the country has been swamped with grief so instead I’ll take the escapism route. Now as I write this, it feels so shallow and I could delete these last words and therefore choose to completely ignore it but I won’t ….
I hadn’t been on a weekend away since my Seoul trip and I was chomping at the bit to go. You know by now how much I love it. I even woke up at 6.00am on Saturday morning. I had intended to sleep in and arrive in the afternoon but nope the travel itch tickled me awake as it was thinking about the Japanese restaurant and English book cafe. Neither of these things occurred, I can blame the Israelis for that.
On finding my room on Saturday evening after an afternoon of Busan wandering, I met lying trying to snooze, an easy-going Israeli. In fact, it turned out I had two easy-going Israelis and one Australian to enjoy the rest of the weekend with. After rolling into and out of a couple of bars, not drunk rolling but rolling into and out of different encounters as we met a Canadian teacher, a far too flirtatious Korean with a southern USA drawl and two Brits looking for a bar that nobody could find, the Israelis were keen to hit a club. I followed.
Entering super massive (their words not mine) Club Grid, the large platters of fruit on the tables gave the impression of a business conference but the strobes cutting the darkness and the moving walls corrected me. Maybe the grapes were a symbol of a debauched Greek affair along with the half attacked chocolate cakes. It didn’t take long for me to realise I was a good 10 years older than everyone else but there are no social norms in this expat life. Yet there was something else that wasn’t quite right. This place was big, the music more than adequately loud enough to fill the space and any festival would have been happy to hold this level of strobe lighting. Here, even fun is taken seriously. The bottles of vodka standing on tables, some empty (the tables that is not the bottles, NEVER in England would you leave a half-opened bottle of vodka alone on a table) showed adequate alcohol was being consumed yet…something definitely felt a bit weird.
The music stopped. Four long-legged ladies strode out across the platform standing above the DJ. Hair swooped in time to Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Faster tickling the imaginative minds of the young audience. Hell, even my eyes were peeled. Their hips followed and as the grinding set in … pop…. little light bulbs lit up across the girls torso’s and tight shorts. Their dancing really was electric (click for video). I guess she wasn’t sure what else to do but the DJ lit up a cigarette which hung in an appropriate rock n roll style from her lips while the continued with the music. An Israeli pulled me across to his space on the dance floor as a far too young Korean who jostling into me. That was it, jostling.
There were some elevated elbows being pushed into the air. Some raised zombie style arms beating in time to the music. People were moving but except for a couple of crazy assed dancers in the middle, it was contained. The mass of the crowd had all eyes on the DJ, swaying and jostling, staying as a whole. The atmosphere in this club was completely different from any I’d been in before. Same loud music, same alcohol but baked into a different recipe. Maybe it was the baked goods arriving in little Paris Baguette bags from the bakery next door, yes the bakery was still open at 1am, that changed the mix? Even on this grid locked dance floor in Club Grid Busan, the “we” of the crowd arose above the individualism that dances in a western club crowd, it wasn’t bad but strange and as a bonus, there was cake 🙂