I expend a great deal of effort trying not to be a douchebag. For many Koreans, there is a lingering stereotype of foreigners, particularly those who arrive in their great nation to educate their children in Englishee: that we are loud, obnoxious, drunken boors who do nothing but laze about all day, slurping back beer, and rubbing our enormous, swollen bellies and genitals in a flurry of perversion and gluttony. I try to combat this by being steadfastly upstanding, trying not to laugh too hard, and keeping my boorishness at bay. The Rocky Mountain Tavern scavenger hunt, featuring an array of challenges ranging from fun and interesting to dastardly and repulsive, required me to throw all these social mores and sense of dignity to the wind.
I will spare you a long and drawn out deluge of logorrhea on the subject, and will instead show you some pictures, as well as tell you a few of the challenges completed by my brave Panda-hatted compatriots and me.
Mission: challenge a Korean B-Boy to a dance-off. We assumed that this would come to nothing, that the entire day we would never encounter such a person. And then, gloriously, we did. He barely had any moves, and thus I think our team won this challenge handily. Behold: Brigitte.
Mission: chug entire bottle of soju. We saved this ‘til the end of the day, rightfully assuming that anyone who engaged in this challenge would instantly become useless, insufferable, and incapable of decision-making (seconds later, Richard then did the last challenge of the day, chugging three spicy Korean energy drinks in a row, making him my photo-negative in terms of mental capacity at the time). I do not recommend this. If you would like to simulate the experience, do the following things: 1. Purchase can of paint thinner. 2. Drink can of paint thinner.
Mission: at least one team member must have an open alcoholic beverage at all times. If another team caught you without one and photographed it, you would lose 50 points. Despite early thinking that we could simply fill a soju bottle with water, we never went through with it, as this was one of the easiest challenges of the day.
Mission: tape a team member to a lamp post, and make them call for help until someone frees them. We purchased very low quality tape, but Letizia still fought on bravely.
Mission: find a Korean with an instrument, get them to play it for you. These Korean Santas were enormously helpful to us that day, completing probably four or five of our challenges, not seen here. Mission: sing Christmas carol, draw a crowd (they sang the lyrics to Rudolph in Korean, thus it was a slightly confusing experience). Mission: do an 80s breakdancing arm wave with at least 10 people. Mission: get a Korean to teach you Tae Kwon Do.
Mission: create a sign compelling Koreans to hit you if they hate foreigners, and kiss you if they love foreigners. I walked through the street with this sign held aloft, but we didn’t start getting real bites until we handed it, of course, to the blonde. Also note: Richard is not loved as a waygook.
Mission: get a restaurant full of people to raise their hands at the same time. My co-teacher, the day before, taught me a Korean phrase that explained that we were involved in a drinking game, where the winner commanded the losers to do whatever. Koreans are very, very forgiving and abiding when you claim you are in a drinking game.
Mission: get your whole team to kiss a McDonald’s employee. Again, kismet struck, as we saw this delivery man riding down a crowded street, and bringing fries or what-have-you to a hair salon. We waited below the stairs in attack formation, and spattered him with rapid Korean and English. As long as his face didn’t have to be shown, and that we would soon leave him the hell alone, he was cool with whatever we wanted.
Mission: find a broken elevator, climb up half-way, and call for help until someone rescues you. It did not take long.
The rest of the day went on in this fashion. At different times, we were spanked by ajummas, chugging full bottles of wine and soju competitively, invading karaoke rooms, eating raw eggs, giving and receiving wedgies, sucking toes on the subway (it’s as erotic as it sounds), and being swarmed by bees. One of our team members spent about 50% of the day in a skin-tight black morph suit. At one point, we simulated a live-birth on a crowded subway, where the infant then began hissing and clawing at the mother. We didn’t win, mostly because some challenges worth more points involved abundant nudity (many other teams were fiiiiine with this), but more importantly, it was an enormously fun day. It is only through my camera and vague accounts collated Rashoman-style from myself and the others that I am able to construct this post.