Monday, 03 December 2007

Ray's Coffee & Live

We have a little lounge type place here in Icheon called Ray's Coffee & Live. The Korean spelling written next to the name will, I am sure, cause the Koreans to pronounce it Ray-ee(without the S). The coffee mentioned in the name implies hot drinks and live is saying that they have live music performances there every now and then. Don't ask me when they have the live music because I have only seen it once before.

Ray's is a hangout for those who want to look cool, but despite that it is has a nice intimate feeling to it. It is located on the second floor above a clothing store and right next to a pedestrian crossing in the main walkway of the down town's shopping area. You can spend hours there staring at the people and in a bit I will tell you what you see when you stare at them.

The seats in Ray's are really nice. You get to slouch in wine red lounge chairs or sofas while crunching some shrimp sticks. The up, or down side, depending on how you look at it is that you can smoke there. That means you smell smoke as soon as you walk in irrespective of whether people are actually smoking. The smoke is just too deep into the furniture to clear out every day.

You can get a variety of hot drinks there from the normal coffees to speciality teas. The drinks are presented in a very nice way, but you have to wait forever for it to be served. Don't go there on your own. If you are relaxing with friends then this is a good place to go.

The thing that led me to write this post is the girl who served me my hot chocolate. More specifically, the way she was dressed. She was wearing a woollen dress that looked more like a long coat. It was really cute, but still pretty without being over the top. She wore black stockings, and get this, high heels. Not court hoes, but high heels. I know the girls here love their heels, but for heavens sake, you are busy working as a waitress. Wear something more comfortable. The shoes were not a mismatch though. They were black and ware spoiled only slightly by the big black bows on them. All in all she looked really nice.

What you will see when you look out the window at the people on the ground is another matter altogether. It is freezing cold here, but the girls insist on wearing short skirts and stockings. The stockings look more like very tight thermal underwear.

Anyway, I don't care how thick they are, they are not keeping the cold out at all. This is one time where saying "Freezing their, er, female parts off" is not being vulgar, but very realistic.

The short skirts are, of course, accompanied by high heels. More often than not the shoes are brown or red with the remaining examples made up mostly by black.

Shoes are a standard item for forgetting to match what you they are wearing with everything else. Apart from the shoes there are lots of other things that will not match and they do it in every possible way. Styles of clothing don't match. Fabrics don't match. Colours don't match. There will almost always always be something wrong.

Aska and myself don't point out the strange clothing any more. We point out the girls. or guys, who are actually wearing something practical or at the very least managing to match everything. That was the surprising thing about my waitress. Everything was actually matching.

I so wish I could see more girls just putting on thermal underwear and jeans with sneakers, but the only girls who do that are the very young or middle aged mothers. It seems young women will not be caught dead without mini skirts and high heels. At least sometimes the heels are replaced by boots, but sometimes that will then be accompanied by tiny shorts. You just can't win.

I will do my best to get some pictures of some of this and add it to this post. I will update you when this happens. Most likely it will happen next month when I don't have any school

AS a little side note. This idea of the dark stockings apparently comes from a law, social or actual, that said that you were not allowed to show skin. I'm pretty sure that doesn't exist any more.

*Please note that the statements in this Blog are not intended to make anyone look bad. I do not look down on Koreans. I'm merely describing how amusing I sometimes find people and I am mostly describing it to other westerners. Feel free to come to South Africa and tell the world how crazy we are because heaven knows, we are.

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