Saturday, May 31, 2008

KR Travelogue Day6b: Change of Plan


Two floors down from where I boarded the elevator, the door opened and I was greeted with a smile from Ms. Fashionable herself Chi Yan. She dragged along her suitcase, handcarry and a plasticful of groceries. I asked how the meeting with her Mom went yesterday and she said that they went shopping to Lotte Mart. Hmm, I heard of this as one of the must-visits prior leaving from one of my officemates. I also inquired about her flight schedule and learned that it’s at 11 AM. Sigh. It’s about time everybody leaves today. I feel a twinge at the thought.

Mine is yet at 10 PM tonight. I reckoned I’ve got ample time to live and breathe Seoul. After what happened last night, I wouldn’t allow myself to leave Korea empty-handed. In fact this morning, I did a quick accounting (haha!!) and proofing (evidence above, hehe) of my cash on-hand and tried to conjure up the excitement on the vast and varied items it could afford in Dong Dae Mun. Haha!! I even thought about visiting Lotte Mall or perhaps squeeze another famous place to visit like the 63 building for example. Exciting!! ŰŰŰ

We then reached the lobby and before I can bid her my farewell, she felt inside her grocery bag and handed me a sealed 3-bottles of yogurt drink. I inspected it and saw that it’s the same banana flavor that I loved when David first made us try it two days ago. Aww, such a sweet woman!! What have I done to deserve this?? I muttered my thanks and wished her a safe flight.

No sooner was she gone and I was back to my original purpose. I may have lots of activities for today but I’ve got one more agenda to finish this morning: see Samuel. It’s been 6 months, 8 days, 12 hours since he went away. I miss him so much and I don’t know what to say. I gave an audible sigh. It’s past 8 AM and I was hoping that he didn’t take his breakfast early. If I missed it, then there’s no hope of seeing him again. =( I scanned the dining hall hoping to catch someone familiar. None. Where could they be??

I weaved through the throng of international diners and decided to take the right side of the hall. I dropped my yogurts in one of the – and there’s that word again – STRATEGIC position (strategic in the sense that I can easily spot and be spotted by whoever is coming) and made my way to the buffet table in the center. As I go on considering which among the omelets, croissants, Danishes, muffins, potatoes, cereal, crepes and many more am I having, I recognized Esther from the other side having a convo with this Chinese guy from the conference. The fact that I don’t know him strongly suggests that I don’t like him. I dunno. He’s an Asian probably working in a European country and it irritates me that he only talks to the European ladies (Esther and Nilce). He’s about to leave the moment I approached their table to drop my things and when I was back clutching with me a very delicious palate of my morning meal, he’s already gone. Oh, goody!!

“Where were you guys last night?” I asked casually and coolly; totally moved on from the fact that I could’ve missed whatever it is that happened last night. I sliced on my bacon and took my first bite.

“Oh, where were you?? We went to a bar!!!” Esther exclaimed enthusiastically. Suddenly, I found it hard to chomp on my bacon. There was tightness in my chest; a constriction in my throat. Thoughts are running wildly in my head. Perhaps with a different introductory answer to my question, I would’ve listened to her story on how she saw a very hot American guy or I would’ve noticed a new discovery that Mexicans are not really honed in speaking English but instead all I could focus on was: Samuel and Nilce probably getting cozy at the bar, getting inebriated perhaps, both of them going back to the hotel and God knows what else could happen. Gasp! Of course, I was only deducing from what I observed yesterday in Everland. God, I was jealous!! I was jealous; it was hot and green in my veins!!

“Too bad, we missed it. We were at the lobby at 7:45. We thought it was the meeting time.” I said trying not to show any hint of my emotion. I felt a spasm of hatred for myself for ignoring her calling in the elevator, for wandering in the lobby some more and for choosing to share the ride up with the American-based Korean guys.

“Eh, I told you before I go up, it’s 7:15!!” Right. Did the woman have to twist every knife?? I hate myself more with each passing seconds.

Oh no. What have I just done?? What could’ve possibly happened?? I was desperate to know but was she desperate to tell?? I wanted to fish for more info and although Esther was willing enough to share, none of her details could untie that knot in my stomach.

“So how many of you went out last night?” I asked after she just finished the tale on how the Korean girls zeroed in on the hot American guy. It’s an out of the blue question and completely unrelated I know but I had no choice.

She then recited to me all of the persons that came. “Massy, Samuel, Ronald, Alexy, Christian and Jakub.” I didn’t hear any Nilce. Did I hear it right??

“What about Nilce?” I asked finally and demandingly. I was expecting it was the same group as yesterday.

“Eh, she did not come. I think she went out with the guy who’s always with her.” She drawled.

I felt my whole body sag with relief. Phew!! This guy really had a special gift for making me a paranoid. So they drank last night, probably they’ll show up very late.

“So where are you going today?”

“Eh, maybe in In Sa Dong?? Eh, I asked the girl in the receptionist and said it is just near.”

“Really, what’s in there?”


“Eh, maybe museums. Shops.”

“Oh really?” I replied nonchalantly. “Who are you going out with?”

“Samuel.”

Ok. Let me just get my options absolutely clear here alright?? I’ve got lots of money for shopping today, u-huh. I’m going to make sure I’ve rounded each and every mall in Dong Dae Mun and emerge with the nicest presents for my friends and relatives back at home and bag the most fashionable clothes I could ever find. Nope, I’m not really keen on museums and all. It’s not a priority. Not at all.

“Can I join you guys?”

Toink!! Hahaha!! The moment she said yes, I can feel a beam of elation popping through. Ű I’m going out with Samuel!!! Woohoo!!! And Esther, okay I’m not forgetting.

Later, I caught sight of Dien standing on the buffet table and waved at him to join us in our table. As soon as he was seated, I began recounting to him the fun we missed last night. I also invited him to come with us in In Sa Dong to which he gladly obliged. If I’m not going to solo Samuel then might as well have more company. After all, the more the merrier. Right?? Ű

My back was facing the entrance to the dining hall and for some reason; some greater force prompted me to turn around. And there standing out from the crowd, gracing the halls of the dining are is Samuel. Perhaps, in another place or at another time, I would’ve noticed the commotion on the spilled glass of juice on the next table or the waiter asking for my coffee refill, but the only thing I could notice, the only thing with any definition was Samuel. I riveted my eyes on him, half-expecting him to turn his face towards us and half-wanting him to join us in our table. Then behind him came Ronald, clocking in at 6’2” and there’s only one more seat left in our table. They picked the table from where I initially positioned myself. *Sigh*

I was about to finish my meal when I saw him filling his plate from the central buffet table. All of a sudden he was coming towards the long line of sizzling servings right behind us. I was on full crush alert!! I can see that he’s about five to six steps away from me and certain bits of my body are already responding to him. Then came my most awaited moment!! He walked towards us and came along his good morning greeting is flash of his smile. One of those smiles!!! I gave him a feeble smile in return knowing full well that Dien was staring at me and studying my behaviors. Bastard, haha!!

Anyway, Esther confirmed to him the details of our meeting later and everybody agreed to see each other at 9:30 in the lobby. I happily shared how I got my banana yogurts this morning to Esther and Dien while heading back to our rooms. And against my better instincts and although I really love the yogurt, I distributed the two to Esther and Dien before the door opened to their floor. I was happy and I’d like to share my blessings. ŰŰŰ

(continue)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

looking at that pic, it looks like you just found a job that pays well in tips..
hehe :D

Wil

kCNeSs said...

ssshh!! i'll only say it here, but that money already includes the payment to that very expensive hotel!! hahaha!!