Trashed on the subway back to Uijeongbu at 5 Sunday afternoon, I decided to get phone numbers. Approached two girls standing at the door, and got one girl’s number, the other saying she had a boyfriend. She was the reason I talked to them in the first place—then their stop and our subsequent goodbyes. Noticed that almost everyone was staring, so I moved into the next car and sat down.

The woman sitting next to me was playing some mindless game on her cellphone, and I asked in Korean if she was having fun. She responded in fluent English and we spoke for a while: she had lived in LA for twenty years. “How old am I?” she asked. I honestly had no idea, and maybe it was the makkeoli I’d drank, but I said late thirties. “Fifty.” I responded, “Wow, my mother’s fifty.” She told me she was married and had a twenty-seven year old son, going to Uijeongbu to meet a friend.

Then I started talking to a girl standing next to us, and the lady helped (not like I need it), but the girl said English was too difficult and that she was too shy, and as we were arriving in Uijeonbug, I knew I couldn’t complete the sale and would only look like a fool, so I left. Fell asleep on the bus back to Pocheon and woke up way out in the middle of nowhere, riding it out to the depot. Got on the wrong bus back and had to switch—it ended up taking two hours to get back.