Weekend of Asians
September 28, 2009 § Leave a comment
Korean pop has officially become my comfort music. This past week when I was feeling overwhelmed and utterly hopeless from the sheer amount of schoolwork I had to complete, downloading some new Korean music lifted my spirits significantly.
Even though for the past two weekends I’ve tried not to plan anything so as to give myself time to do homework or apply to internships, I have successfully neglected my work both times due to unexpected activities. These past days were an enjoyable juxtaposition to the depressing hell that was Monday to Friday.
On Friday evening I had dinner with my friend NM at the Korean-owned Geisha Sushi Bar; I had been inexplicably craving sushi for a few weeks, and the newly opened restaurant is within walking distance. It was only my third time actually eating “real” sushi at a restaurant [California rolls don’t count], and sushi is a culture I have resisted [due to both price and perceived overratedness], and NM didn’t even know how to use chopsticks, so we were both kind of at a loss for what to order.
When we walked in, the dimly-lit club-like interior immediately surprised me. The walls and furniture were all black and fashioned in a sleek, modernized-Asian style. Korean pop played loudly over the speakers, which delighted [and distracted] me, and the waitress seated us directly beside the giant screen onto which Korean music videos were being projected, although for some reason they did not match up correctly to the actual music.
We ordered a salmon roll and a geisha roll, both of which were quite tasty. I was worried about what to expect from the restaurant after reading an article about it online [I tried looking for a website but this was the closest I could find other than their Facebook page].
Things from the article that I looked forward to:
He [27-year-old Kwang “Kory” Yoo, owner] hopes fresh ingredients — including fresh, not frozen, fish — and a lively yet relaxing atmosphere will equal a successful business.
Besides sushi, a Japanese dish, Geisha also will serve a popular Korean dish called Bibimbap. [At $15+, though, it proved way too expensive to order.]
Things from the article that made me grimace:
Another saucy feature of the restaurant will be the waitresses, who will wear hot pants and sexy kimono-style tops, Yoo said. “It is called Geisha,” he said, reminding me of the name of the restaurant. “You know what the geisha means, right?” [Disgusting.]
According to Webster’s, a geisha is “a Japanese woman trained in singing, dancing, the art of conservation, etc., to serve as a hired companion to men.”
The uniforms worn by the waitresses were actually rather cute; they were more like kimono-style dresses with a v-neck collar that went down to the mid-thigh, paired with black flats. Any shorts worn were completely covered. The one waiter, an Asian, dressed in pretty typical modern Korean wear: a dark dress shirt, black vest, tight-ish dress pants and black dress shoes. The overall aesthetic was much more pleasing than the ugly mess that most waiters and waitresses have to don.
A sign on the window said that they are still hiring waitresses. I am having an internal struggle to decide whether I have the time to work part-time. Money is good, but would I actually want to subject myself to being a waitress, especially when I know nothing about sushi? But I do look the part, ha ha, and if it means that I’ll be able to sample sushi cheaply, then perhaps the benefit outweighs the cost…
Later on that night, CP invited me to visit the University of Kansas with her and LF; their Vietnamese Student Association was hosting a Pho Fundraiser event, and their AASU and our AAA have a good connection despite being rival universities. Being the pho lover that I am, I spontaneously accepted, and we departed on Saturday afternoon. It was a first-time visit for both CP and me.
The KU people we met were very friendly and welcoming, even though I basically only knew one of them [barely]. The house in which the delicious homemade pho was being served had a spacious, tricked-out basement with a huge TV and a full-sized kitchen. Dozens of KU Asians milled about, socializing with one another as three adorable little dogs scampered around underfoot. At one point, I heard the Vietnamese version of 邓丽君 – 甜蜜蜜 playing in the background, which was an unexpected throwback to summers I’ve spent in China as a young girl listening to my relatives sing karaoke.
The president of VSA had brought his two PS3 karaoke games: Disney Sing It and Disney Sing It: High School Musical 3. While I’m glad they can enjoy frivolous past-times [I’ve definitely had my share of playing SingStar until 4AM], I literally only knew two songs total from the two games. Why so much bad Disney music..?
Anyway, when our KU buddies found out that it was CP’s 21st birthday, they insisted that she get inebriated. Although they are avid clubgoers, we didn’t go out to celebrate because CP doesn’t like clubs. Instead, they bought her a bottle of X-Rated, which is pretty much the prettiest alcohol I’ve ever seen. I also learned that in Kansas [or at least the KC area], there is a limit on how late alcohol may be purchased. I have never heard of such a rule before, but AT told me that it exists in Nville as well, which came as a surprise to me.
We ended up playing Cranium until 4AM. One memorable round was when all three teams competed in a Sensosketch, which is basically where one person from each team draws with his or her eyes closed and the rest of the team members guess. The word was Etch-A-Sketch. It literally took about 10 minutes to complete this round because none of the guessers knew the actual name of the object. “Sketch-o-sketch?” “Sketch-it?” WTF? Even when I spelled out the first word [elephant = E, tree = T, cat = C, house = H], my two teammates still couldn’t pronounce the word correctly. Unbelievable yet riotous. Another Sensosketch involved a guy from the red team drawing the word “umbilical cord” — absolutely hilarious.
A total of six people slept over at the apartment of the AASU president & his two other roommates. I generally have trouble sleeping in unfamiliar places, so I depend on my sleeping mask and iPod to help me get rest. It’s not like I felt homesick when only 2.5 hours away from my bed [and it’s not like I consider CoMo my home], but when 2PM’s “Again & Again” started playing, I felt instantly comforted. Can’t explain it.
CP, LF and I got a total of 3.5 hours of sleep before having to rouse ourselves for the drive back to CoMo in order to be at the AAA car wash fundraiser, which took place in the side parking lot of the Hy-Vee grocery store. We arrived exhausted and hungry, so CP and I went inside and bought ourselves a whole rotisserie chicken, which we picked apart with our fingers in the trunk of JG’s pickup truck. Delicious. A disappointingly insufficient number of AAA members showed up, but at least I finally received some sunlight after a dreary week of rain.