Invitations received on street corners are often, and wisely, refused. But in Seoul, on a Sunday afternoon, when approached by two young men, flyer in hand, I readily accepted the piece of paper and assented with a nod that I would join them at 6pm for a concert. Some agreements of this kind are not fulfilled, but since I managed to find a friend to join me, I decided I would indeed attend this concert, even if it meant risking my life or being lured into a Korean cult, all my faith dependent upon a flyer in a language I can't even read.
Our arrival at the venue produced a lot of excitement, the boys whom I encountered on the street being pleasantly surprised that I showed up, the story being relayed to their friends and everyone bowing graciously, shaking our hands and escorting us in. The club was in a basement, dark and with a stage and several guitars leaning seductively against the wall. The place was filling up quickly with a lot of young people, and also some older people, including grandmothers. As we questioned our position in the crowd, and whether it disabled us to make a quick escape, my friend and I scanned the room. Just when we were sure we were being sold into religious slavery or had stumbled into a Sunday night Christian rock concert, the proprietor dropped by. He told us, in quite plain English, that the kids had rented out the club for their high school concert, but that we were welcome to the club's typical offerings, beer and ash trays. I ordered both and we decided to stay.
Two hours later, two beers later, two cigarettes later, many Korean songs and a couple English songs, including "Feliz Navidad" later, many more than two awkward, curious stares later, we had enjoyed our very first Korean High School Rock Concert. The very first and probably last Korean High School Rock Concert I will ever attend, but certainly not the last mysterious invitation I will accept.
- Carly Pifer
- Born and raised under the Los Angeles sun and smog. At sixteen spent some time in LA County Juvenile Detention Center, although never really learned her lesson. Moved to Boston for the classic college experience. Spray painted graffiti in the Paris Metro during six month stay in the Marais. Survived an ultra fabulous and frightening internship at Vogue Magazine while living at a nunnery in Hell's Kitchen. Lived a year in Seoul, a city which can only be compared to a Disneyland theme park. Written four hundred sixty-four words of an undisclosed masterpiece novel. Currently pondering her next adventure and also the meaning of her memoirs from an artist's loft in dirty Brooklyn.