Magickal

Part 2. Here’s Part 1.

The other rich guy I recently met is a film producer for Noori Pictures. I had the chance to chat to him on a magical night somewhere in the less condensed areas of Seoul, a coffee bar bistro near some street art we saw on the subway – the only legitimate type I’ve seen so far, and by legitimate I mean illegitimate.

We were three, Nic, a South African girl called Cindy who we’d just met that night and I. Connections come easy in an English no-mans land. We were out to meet Caroline, the South England poet who came to our audition gig at Roofers the week before, and was apparently making a bold plan on getting everyone’s attention and reading that night.


Caroline in her element

Caroline is friends with David, the producer, and his partner Aeran, a jubilant, outgoing Korean woman who had met Caroline at her fashion store around the corner a few days earlier. Caroline’s Polish friend from London Joanna was also in town for a week and joined us. Cobbled together across a few subcultures, we hunkered in the corner under some incredible canvas artwork for a mysterious success of an evening.

David is interesting for a few reasons. He’s old enough to have lived the stories I’ve only read about. He’s surrounded by young folk but he’s not some eccentric curiosity. And by his own admission, he has a credit card you could use to buy a house. Sensing a scoop, I spoke to him directly.

“So, David. Lemme ask you something. Does having a lot of money change the way you see people?”

He responded in a yes-no way, but through his explanation about how he prefers guest-houses to 5-star hotels, it was clear he wasn’t filled with self-importance. I guess the fact that I was even in his social circle on the night, however wildly eclectic, was enough to prove as much. I’ve literally been attacked by someone in the past for challenging the assumption that he was more important than me because of his money, so it was hardly a disappointment when he didn’t give me the typical “modesty pitch” that people like Bono get off on in their attempt to appear sincere. Besides, I speak freely as if I have no money – an assumption in itself that may be challenged by the 1 billion people who live on under US$1 per day.

I focus on the taboo of money talk because it strikes me as an interesting game people play. Never reveal too much, or too little.


Take a marker pen when you go out.

The night ended with us inventing a cocktail (“White Korean: 1 part Kahlua, 1 part milk, 1 part Soju”). Cindy ducked off early, luckily avoiding the carnage. Some of us ended up with shirts missing tattooing each other with a thick permanent marker. The whole thing was an unlikely smash hit. I’d like to thank the money for making it possible.

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