How The Devil Saved Me From Indecent Exposure In Korea

A million to one odds. So many great stories start that way. One great Seinfeld episode even ends that way. It’s funny how a few seemingly innocuous, unrelated events all culminate it one pinnacle moment of either great success or shameful failure. In this particular instance it was the former not the latter when the devil saved me from indecent exposure in Korea.

Decency forbids here in South Korea
They warned me to be decent. I wasn’t.   (but in my defense this time it was not my fault)

Sure, I’ve been locked up abroad a few different times now, but that would certainly have been the most embarrassing reason of them all. (And simultaneously the most entertaining.)

How The Devil Saved Me From Indecent Exposure In Korea

๐Ÿ˜ˆ The devil in this story is very much real. He is a horny-headed red poof ball devil attached to the backpack. I wanted to take him off, she said no.

Little did he realize that this simple, seemingly innocuous act was how the devil saved me from indecent exposure in Korea
Little did Derek realize that this simple, seemingly innocuous act of leaving the devil on the backpack would save him from being locked up abroad for a fourth time

And so the devil remained on my back as we explored Gamcheon Culture Village in Busan. I completely forgot he was there….until the moment shit hit the fan and I needed a savior.

This isn’t even my backpack! It was just by chance that I had it on that day  

Yes, that's right, this little devil saved me from indecent exposure in South Korea
Yes, that’s right, this little devil saved me from getting arrested for indecent exposure in Korea

  A decade ago Gamcheon Culture Village was a poor bland neighborhood until it used a government grant program to transform it into a colorful jewel on the mountainside better suited for the artists who call it home. And it worked. Gamcheon is now a popular destination with travelers and photographers. But the entire neighborhood is full of narrow, winding alleys, staircases and street art. (Except for the one main road in the photo above.)   See More

It is also under surveillance.

With so many foreigners freely wandering around a neighborhood primarily of peoples’ homes and art exhibits, there are security cameras everywhere. Especially on the “Stairs To See Stars” which is where it happened.

As a result of all the bending, kneeling, and stretching while exploring Gamcheon, suddenly there was a   POP   as the leather strap of my belt broke and the buckle came off. My pants, three sizes too big for me, immediately began to drop towards my ankles as I frantically dropped everything to grab them, struggling to keep them above my junk.

My belt snapped while I was exploring Gamcheon Culture Village but thankfully the devil saved me from indecent exposure
Look at that, the leather just snapped!

What to do?

The simple answer is to buy a new belt. But where? I’m in the middle of a village with no nearby clothing shops or markets, a heavy backpack full of gear and several hours until hotel check-in time. (Which turned out to be a love hotel, but that is an entirely different story.) ๐Ÿ˜‚

It Turns Out The Devil Is There When You Need Him

Quick solution. Need rope. No rope. How about a clip or carabiner? Nope, my keychain was back at our temporary home in Korea. Wait…..the devil! After unclipping the devil from the keychain and removing the poof ball, I was able to use the clip to temporarily hold my belt buckle in place. At least long enough to find a mall and purchase a new belt.

And there you have it. That’s how the devil saved me.

  If I had removed the devil from the backpack in the morning as I tried to, I would have gotten myself arrested for indecent exposure in a public place.
  If I had been using my usual photographer backpack instead of that one, the devil would not have been there to save me.

There are cameras up and down the “Stairs To See Stairs” and I could literally see the one hanging above us spin to focus on me during this whole debacle. So I stepped off-camera while hastily repairing my belt.  

Security cameras at the Stair To See Stars in Gamcheon Culture Village, Busan, South Korea
When it happened I was right underneath that camera. I could literally see the camera spin inside the ball to look at me so I stepped off to the side near someone’s doorstep to get off-camera and “fix myself”

Well, that’s it, end of story. Thank you Mr Devil! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

Ever hand any embarrassing clothing-related mishaps while traveling?

See More     My Travel Fucktastrophes

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel." ย  Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

2 thoughts on “How The Devil Saved Me From Indecent Exposure In Korea”

  1. Haw! Haw!
    OMG Derek what a story!
    You were lucky that the devil was literally, on your side as tourists have been arrested for far, far less!

    ‘Nice one mate!
    p.s. Have you changed something recently, as I haven’t received any of your scuppers in the last few months…
    p.p.s. ‘Mind you, I got back from India only last month, so it could be that!

    • It’s funny how a small series of events works out into a bigger event, right? Butterfly effect without the time travel ๐Ÿ˜‰

      In response to your question, spent a month in the hospital — but you just found that out on Twitter so guess my response has arrived a bit late lol. Thanks for everything. I have lots of catching up to do, both in terms of writing and reading. Curious to hear about your recent India experiences as well ๐Ÿ™‚


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