The Beav according to Beav

Still crazy after all these years.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bad boys! Whatcha gonna do?

Last night, I volunteered for Town Patrol.

Basically, what happens every weekend (and random other days) is the Security Forces from base just wander around the Songtan area, ducking into bars all night. Their presence helps to keep things from going awry and, in the event that things do, they are around to handle the situation. Several of the NCOs in my unit went with them last night. It was actually a highly interesting evening.

First order of business for me and the guys I was with was to jump in the car and check out the Glass House. Glass House is an area of several streets where prostitutes hang out in these rooms that are essentially window boxes and if you want one, you just park, head in, and she'll take you back into another room behind that one. Prostitution being illegal, the Town Patrol does a quick drive by looking for Americans. I think the funniest thing about that part of the night was watching the girls lean out to wave us in and realizing it was a police car.

After our brush with the land of the sex trade, it was back to the local Songtan area and the bars that earn their living off the military. We wandered up and down the main drag, through alleys I had never noticed before, and in and out of bars for the rest of the night ('til roughly 2:30 A.M.). It was a lot of fun. It was mostly quiet. Stopped a few various folks doing stuff they weren't supposed to: taking a glass from a bar, taking an open bottle of something down the street, flipping an empty table belonging to one of the street-food vendors. Then came the final countdown. 3 o'clock is when curfew begins. You must either be on base, or in a residence/hotel room. Around 2:45, the exodus (inodus?) is getting into full swing. We just stood around the main drag watching everyone sweep by, making sure that everyone made it - even the guy who stood there puking for a minute.

As we stood there, just about curfew time, the NCO who had organized our involvement was chatting up (yet another) bar girl, as she made her way home after a long night of serving drunk Americans. One of the other guys in our group (who had been with a different patrol as we had) teased him for being recognized. He explained that he shot pool with her all the time. My reply: "He apparently shoots pool in every bar we've been in tonight."

One final story for you kiddies. Perhaps 10-15 minutes after curfew, we are slowly making our way back to the gate, keeping an eye out for stragglers. A call comes from the alley to our right. "SP! SP!" We all turn to see several Koreans exiting a bar, looking back toward their entryway and urgently flagging us down. We jog the 30 meters to where they're standing and find that there is an American passed out in his own vomit in their little alcove. The Security Forces get him to his feet and into consciousness. They ask for his ID, he replies mostly in Korean, obviously pretending that he does not speak English. Unfortunately for him, he's 1) obviously not Korean, 2) slipping in and out of both languages, 3) only carrying dogtags for identification. After some cajoling and badgering and several different tacks from both the security guys and the Senior NCOs in our party, he finally fesses up to his name and the fact that he's an Army PFC (Private, First Class). He still cannot produce an military ID (which is punishable by the Uniform Code of Military Justice), so the group leads him unsteadily to the gate. As we outsiders say our goodbyes and thanks, we can see them preparing to search him in the laundromat behind the gatehouse.

If there's one thing I learned (and I learned a lot), it's that cooperating with the security guys will help you much more than trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

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  • At 1:21 AM, Blogger Devyl Gyrl said…

    Sounds like it was a good way to tuck away some silly stories to tell in the future.


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