I had a near religious experience this morning... but first I should explain last night. Last night was so fucked up I don't even know where to begin. I guess chronological order is the best. I apologize in advance for any spelling and/or grammatical errors made, because I still haven't completely sobered up.

So, my coworker Mi Hi asked me to go for a drink with her last night. Since meeting her, I've had the distinct impression that she has a thing for me. She's a nice girl, and I'd probably reciprocate if I didn't already have a girlfriend.

So, we're sitting in this bar/coffee shop around the corner from the school, and we get on the subject of romance and marriage. Then, she suddenly says, "I have a crush on you. But you have a girlfriend." I say, "I kind of suspected that." Her English isn't perfect, so she didn't understand. I tried rephrasing a few ways, until I finally gave up and phrased it bluntly; "I already knew." She responded with, "I was only kidding!" Fuck. So then I was left in the awkward position of having to explain why I'd gotten the false impression that she was interested in me, while she accused me of secretly being interested in her the whole time. Later, she brought it up again, and said, "I... I..." as if she was about to confess something. Then she decided against it and changed the subject. I don't think she'd really been kidding when she told me she had a crush on me.

I had arranged to meet my friend Mr. Pak (aka 2-Pac) later that night, and Mi Hi agreed to come along. While we were walking to another bar to meet him, I tutored her in a few slangy English expressions, like "Is is cool if...?" Then she asked me how to say "link arms with someone" (I mean, she said, "How do you say..." and briefly linked arms with me to show what she meant). I told her and she said, "Is it right to say, 'Is it cool if I link arms with you?'" I said, "Yeah, that's right." Then she was looking at me expectantly. I said, "Was that a question?" She started laughing nervously. She definitely hadn't been kidding about having a crush on me, after all. Fuck.

So we met 2-Pac, and went off to eat some ori bulgogi (grilled duck) and drink some sam-ship seju, a mixture of soju (sort of like vodka) and bek seju (Korean ginseng wine). Then we went to another bar and drank more. Mi Hi was trying to play footsie with me. I hate to admit it, but I wasn't resisting. Fuck. I love Eun Jung. Why does life have to be complicated? Anyway, afterwards, 2-Pac dragged us off to a night club. By this point, my wallet was empty, but he was paying for everything. We stayed there for a while, danced and drank, then decided to leave.

Mi Hi took a taxi home. I got in a taxi with 2-Pac, since we live in the same direction. But he didn't take me home. I was drunk enough that I didn't notice that we were heading the opposite direction. Next thing I know, we're in the red light district, prostitutes waving as us from the windows of the brothels. Too drunk to argue, I let 2-Pac lead me into one of them. We sat in the back room, drinking beer with the matron for a while, then 2-Pac disappeared to another room, and a moment later, the matron came back with about 6 girls. "Choose one," she told me, in Korean. I tried to explain that I didn't want to do this. 2-Pac had already paid, and she wasn't having any of it. "It's okay," she said, "choose one and let's just drink beer together." So I picked the girl on the end, and they sat down and we drank. Later, 2-Pac came back with a girl of his own. We drank more. The night is a blur by this point. Next thing I know, 2-Pac is checking us into a yogwon (Korean love motel). He goes off to his room, and I end up in another room with the girl I had picked out. I was so drunk I probably couldn't have even spoken English properly, but I managed to explain to her in Korean that I have a girlfriend, I didn't want to do this, and I would have just taken a taxi home a long time ago, except my wallet was empty, and at this hour, all the bank machines weren't working (in Korea, for some reason, you can't use bank machines past 11 PM). "You want to go home?" she asked. I said yes. She led me back to the brothel, and asked one of the other girls to borrow 10,000 Won. Then she put me in a taxi and sent me home. Nice girl. I'm glad I had the morals and the presence of mind not to sleep with her.

I woke up at 11:30 this morning. I didn't have my backpack, containing, among other things, the cologne I got as a going away present from my favorite student who's moving to Gwangju and, more importantly, the love letter that I wrote to Eun Jung and haven't had a chance to give her yet (she didn't come out with us Wednesday night). I searched the apartment, but it was nowhere to be found. Fuck. I didn't remember having it at any point in the night, so it could have been anywhere; the first bar, the restaurant, the next bar, the night club, the whore house, the motel... pissed off, I decided to go to the school and get ready for work, and... what the fuck... there it was, sitting on the front steps of my apartment building.

That's not a near-religious experience, you're thinking. Except I'm sure I didn't have it with me when I came home. And why would I have put it down on the steps before going in? I mean, obviously I did; I must have remembered to bring it with me the whole time, and put it down on the steps (for some drunken reason), and forgot to take it in with me. There's no other explanation. Seeing it there, though, I couldn't help but feel that I was being rewarded for good behaviour; somehow, I feel sure that if I had slept with the prostitute, I never would have seen it again. Really, though, I actually didn't behave all that well. I was way more receptive to Mi Hi than I should have been. Why is it that when you're single, women won't give you the time of day, but once you fall in love with one, and find that love reciprocated, others start coming out of the woodwork?

I'm seeing Eun Jung tonight. I'll give her the love letter. I didn't sleep with the prostitute. There was chemistry between me and Mi Hi, but nothing happened, and I'll make sure nothing will. I will be good. I will. I will. Why can't life be simple?