G-Star Journal: Day 2 – Part 1

Due to the insanely long travel times, Day 1 (November 6th) and Day 2 (November 7th) run together like a crazy, airplane-peanut-fueled fever dream, so for the sake of the narrative, let’s call this (November 8th) Day 2.

In some ways, flying here was easier jetlag-wise than flying to Europe has ever been. By the time I got here, it was 10pm so I was able to just hit the pillow and sleep rather than try to hallucinate my way through another 8-10 hours like I’ve done when I’ve landed in the a.m. in Europe. The Haeundae Grand Hotel is pretty nice—the service is certainly great and the bed’s really comfortable.

It even has one of those crazy electronic toilets with all the settings. I haven’t used any of its fancy features because the instructions are all in Korean and the descriptive icons frankly, scare me. Outside the room, there are signs like these offering helpful advice:

No leaning on the elevator


…which means, “Don’t lean casually against the elevator doors unless you enjoy falling down a chute and cracking your skull.”

The only issue I really have with the hotel is that my room is equipped with one of those hand-held shower thingies. I hate those and if I’d forgotten to hate them, what happened this morning would have been ample reminder. Having taken my glasses off, I turned the water on high, then pulled the shower thingie up to send the water through the shower head. I was standing there sleepily brushing my teeth when suddenly I realized I was standing in about a half inch of water.

Without my glasses, I hadn’t noticed that the shower head was spraying well outside the tub, having been repositioned by the force of the water and before I did notice it, the entire bathroom floor was soaked. I had to use all my towels and wash cloths and even the bath mat to soak up the water because I was too embarrassed to call housekeeping and explain what I’d done. “Ah yes. (I say to the maid) In America, we bathe ADJACENT to the tub.”

You’d think that’s where the battle with the shower head would end. You’d be wrong. Once I’d mopped up, I found I had two choices. Either use the shower head thing to wet myself (you know what I mean) and then turn the water off and stand shivering during the bodywash/shampoo/shaving cycles, or risk hosing the entire bathroom down again. The two wall brackets mocked me as I tried to coax them into holding the shower head in a useful place, rather than pointing it directly at my face or out the bathroom door.

Ultimately they were useless, and so I spent the whole time wrestling the shower head like it was a damn baby Hydra.

Finally, I just clamped the thing between my knees. Standing there knock-kneed and shivering, I couldn’t help but think about that famous Jack Nicholson scene from Five Easy Pieces where he taunts the waitress…

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