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The Public Ineffectual

For entertainment purposes only.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Me and My Cousin, Minae

At the W
Originally uploaded by Oblivia.

My cousin works in PR at Audi which is part of the Volkswagon Group. This is me and her at a work do at the W Hotel Walkerhill in Seoul for the launch of the New Golf.

The night before when we were making arrangements, she asked me if I preferred the A6 or the TT. Me: "???...Uh -you decide." I met her in front of the Galleria (department store in Apgujeong which is like Seoul's Beverly Hills) the outside of which was encrusted with round white disks that slowly morphed pastel colours. Quite beautiful really. Reminded me of mother of pearl. There she was, our little Minae, behind the wheel of an Audi A6 (on reflection, I should have said TT). I almost shed a tear. I got to meet her workmates who were quite cosmopolitan, in fact. Her boss, Janet, was the first genuine Korean hipster I have ever met.

After taking in the requisite unveiling of the New Golf (scantly clad girls and all that) and stuffing our faces at the buffet, we headed for the bar of the Hotel. They have these red and white pod like chairs suspended from the ceiling. They were really uncomfortable to sit in and engage with the rest of the group. They looked as though they might make for an interesting tryst with a lover though I don't think they're imagining quite this when they were installed.

Minae's work mates were really excellent company. Janet, of course, was friends with the DJ. The CEO is this frenchman whom people say has a "German face and a French height". Hee hee. That is so Korean. People say things about your appearance with very little sense of political correctness or censorship. To comment on my weight or the height of my forehead (serious) is not uncommon or even rude. It just Is.

Afterward, we went to a cafe called Harue, back near Apgujeong. Its one of the oldest cafes in Seoul and made up in the style of a French Brasserie (I felt like I was home again - sort of.) Cafes in Seoul are often like this. Cafes here are rudimentary restaurant-lite places, priced for daily use, relying on volume for their profit stream. Korean cafes are more like clubs insofar as they are gathering points but they are priced such that the drinks are very expensive but you are welcome to sit for as long as you like. I mean, this cafe had valet parking.

Minae is a total style maven. After ordering our drinks, she spots this woman at another table who is "the most powerful make up artist in the country". Everyone in the industry is trying to get her to say something nice about their product because they know they will have an immediate hit on their hands. My cousin also confessed to me that she has a blog and I told her about mine. We each promised we wouldn't tell The Adults. As she said, "they have secrets from when they were young too."

As we were leaving the valet said, "Were you the guest who arrived in the Audi?" It has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Fun night. Minae is adorable.


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