It’s ten p.m. Do you know where you are?
ROK and Roll! (my adventures in the land of soju, kimchi, Taekwondo and Twice ❤)
You’re not the kind of guy who would be standing in the middle of a street at this hour on a Monday, slightly drunk, confused, and frustrated. But here you are. And you’re not alone, you’re surrounded by noisy horny drunk people trying to put one foot in front of the other to head home. It reminds you of these documentaries following lemming’s migration through the tundra. It has been a bit more than a year since covid-19 hit the world, and Korea is doing good during this global shit show. The country never went into full lockdown and life, if quieter, was not drastically changed compared to other parts of the world like the Philippines, Europe, etc. It became more serious a few months ago tho, when the government decided to straighten the social distancing rules due to a resurgence of cases, and the nightlife had to stop at 9 p.m. Lucky for us, since Seollal 2021 (the Korean new year), we got an extra hour when it comes to the greater Seoul area, and the rest of the country is back to be open all night long. You’re not complaining about the situation, it is what it is, but you start to feel a certain covid fatigue, you don’t care about wearing a mask or getting vaccine shots, but you are critical of the way governments around the globe are dealing with the situation, the perpetual cycles of lockdowns, curfews, and social distancing, especially after looking seriously into the numbers given by the WHO. And you know the worst is yet to come, they will never relinquish the power they got during this pandemic, like they did after 9/11. You worry about privacy, freedom, the economic and mental health repercussions and the new world you’re going to live in once it settles down. The media are less optimistic about the effect of global vaccination than they were at the end of 2020, president Biden hopes the U.S. will be back to normal by March 2022. “Hope”, does this word even mean something coming from the mouth of politicians? And billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates warns global return to normal could take all of 2022. Surprisingly, you’re not mad at all these powerful assholes unable to do their job properly, who decided to sacrifice the livelihood of billions of people without thinking about the repercussions to give the illusion they were taking actions, you simply feel numb. Globalization is on life support, thank God we have the Internet, but the last remnant of faith you had for the institutions died during the pandemic.
You take off your face mask for a few seconds to take a deep breath of despair and fine dust, your nostrils are burning and your throat is soar but it’s okay, you’re alive. You survived 2020 and early ’21. You definitely gained weight but you know you can burn that shit away, and while you got a few cold beers tonight, you handled your booze consumption pretty well this past year while some friends dived deep into it, as their mental health took a toll during the pandemic. You don’t want to go home now but everything is closing and there’s not many options left, you could wander around the city with your camera, or text a cuddle buddy for example, everyone needs cuddles these days, but you don’t have the energy, so you decide to go for a pizza. The idea of eating pizza in underwear at home while listening to some podcast gives you a boost of energy. You found your purpose for the evening. Time to put one foot in front of the other.