APPT Seoul: In the bright white noise
While some people were busy mixing it up in a crazy PLO game last night, the rest of us sought a less stomach-churning way to decompress. The APPT stepped up with free alcohol, free food, some live DJs "dropping mad beats" (as I believe the kids say), and a break-dancing crew.
Our venue: Ark Lounge, a small nightclub near the Itaewon district of the city. It's a prime nightlife area that tends to be a bit more tourist-friendly than other neighborhoods here. A shuttle from the tournament venue whisked us through the teeming night-time streets of Seoul, eventually depositing us at a dark alley. Our driver exhorted us to follow him down the alley.
"This is where it all ends for us," I told my blogging partner Heath Chick. And judging by Heath's condition this morning, I wasn't far off.
The alley, at least, proved innocuous. At its end we saw the familiar faces of APPT staff Robin Lim and Dom Choi. They directed us around a corner to a small doorway set back twenty feet from the alley. Inside, a white-walled staircase beckoned downwards.
That's where things get hazy. We stepped into a long, narrow club with bars on either side, and a DJ booth at the far end. A smoke machine pumped the interior of the club full of a light haze while lights flashed and music blared. Free beer was available at the bar; food, vodka, mixers and ice were set out on every table.
Somewhere along the way five break-dancers materialized and cleared out the dance floor. Flips, spins, slides and tumbles ensued, all without anyone getting kicked in the face or losing their lunch.
One member of the Japanese delegation, no doubt inspired both by the performance and the copious amount of free vodka he had consumed, stripped off his shirt and tied it around his head. He then began "moshing", an aggressive style of pseudo-dancing that I was sure went out of style in the late 90s, along with Reebok pumps and side pony tails. But if break-dancing could make a one night comeback, why not moshing?
Our Japanese friend found few mosh takers. Hoping to inspire a compatriot, he took a more direct approach to his solo dance problem: he body-slammed a friend to the floor. His friend must have been equally drunk, because his response to the body-slam was to laugh, pick himself up off the floor and start dancing.
The moshing probably wasn't a great idea, given all the vodka the Japanese guy had. His shirtless self spent most of the shuttle ride back to the hotel puking into a garbage can. His friend sympathetically rubbed his back while he was doubled over.
All in a good night's decompressing fun here on the APPT.