Musical Koreans from Hell

They came marching into our beautifully quiet hotel, an army in baby blue. A hundred singing automatons goose-stepping through the lobby singing a series of bizarrely militaristic tunes.

Grand pronouncements were made by their supreme leader. The army clapped in wide-eyed jubilation. The females squealed and bounced in titillation at their leader’s perfection. Euphoria.

Hotel guests retreated to their rooms and watched in horror as the musical Koreans from hell gathered in formation in the hotel courtyard. They burst yet again into song, and sang and sang and sang late into the wee hours of the mourning. A concert of Korean pride forced on the unsuspecting neighborhood.

But the troop’s musical movements had just begun. Gathering at sunrise, hotel guests were awoken by the sounds of robotic clapping and manic laughter followed by a nationalist opera set to the rhythms of the streets of Kathmandu.

Singing at night, singing at dawn, the invasion lasted for days, eventually driving sleep-deprived guests from the hotel. And with all the nationalistic euphoria, there was no flip-card show that North Koreans might have provided as some slight compensation for the suffering they caused.

Yes, the hotel emptied quickly, but they couldn’t drive Tony and Thomas from their citadel featuring cable television (with BBC and CNN), boiling hot showers, and a beautiful sun-filled balcony. Nope, they couldn’t drive us out.

2 responses to “Musical Koreans from Hell”

  1. avatar laurelle says:

    Ahhh . . . memories. I remember my first days after moving into my “professor” apartment in Korea; I was perplexed and a little frightened to be awoken at 6:30 every morning to what sounded like militaristic barking over a loudspeaker somewhere in my neighborhood. I’m talking LOUD. I thought for sure that the North Koreans had invaded and we were being ordered to assemble for evacuation. And then I would be left behind and kidnapped and brainwashed and then I’d turn into a North Korean spy and, and . . . . (Tony’s Charlie’s Angels fantasy can fill in the blanks).

    Naturally, the whole thing was clarified for me by my English-speaking colleagues as simply being neighborhood calisthenics broadcast from the rooftop of our “Dong” (neighborhood) headquarters. The whole idea was to keep the community healthy and limber! Communal living in action.

    So guys, maybe it’s all intended to be for your own good. Perhaps you ought to join in?

  2. avatar Tony says:

    It may have been intended for our own good, but I wanted to jump off our balcony just to land on a couple of them and shut them up. (And that’s from four stories up!!!

    At least do the flip cards – give us something.

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