man, one thing i quickly realized once i met some other foreigners, is that these guys and gals do not play when it comes to partying and drinking. korea itself seems to have a very strong drinking culture so i guess they’re just trying to fit in, right?
well, right or wrong, these muthafuckas go hard! i guess since they make decent money and have no real expenses you have to find something to spend it on. why not spend your whole check on jack, johnnie, and jameson? whiskey is big in korea. every one loves it and every one can drink unlimited quantities of it.
i met some really cool people in bars tho. i even met a few of “my kind”. that’s always a good feeling when you seem to be the only one. since i have been here, every time i go out i have gone home in daylight. i don’t know if i can hang.
the night usually goes like this:
start off with some food and of course, drinks. then it’s off to a bar, then another, then some street food, then another bar, then a club, then some more food with a drink or two, then you end up in a nore bang (karaoke bar), and when you come out, it’s day light. and then you have the option of going home or sleeping on the street.
that’s actually what happened to me the very first time i went out. it was after the first day of training and my new training buddies wanted to hit the town that night. we started the night off light in a bar that we heard about, played some darts, chatted a bit, then left to find something new.
as we are wandering the streets, this dude holding a poster advertising some sort of party motions for us to follow him. we do. we end up in this more upscale bar, with no one but the bartenders and that guy there. we decided not to be rude and just stay for a few.
one of the bartenders, who wasn’t on duty that night, kept staring at me. i stare back and say hi. she was very attractive and spoke little to no english. she looks at me and says, “can i?” as she reaches out for my chest. i say, “sure why not”, she doesn’t understand. i say “yes” and nod my head, and she goes for it. she feels me up. it was innocent enough, but when i try to feel her up, she pulls away and giggles.
that shit aint funny. i want mine too. anyways, i let it go and try to have a convo with this chick. this proved to be impossible as i knew no korean and her english was just as poor. i ended up buying her a drink and leaving her a note on a napkin before i left that said: “i love you. i will return for you”. i didn’t and i didn’t, but i thought it might make her feel good when someone translated it to her.
we left there and ended up in one of the many tents that line the streets of busan at night that serve food and soju. we order some rice cake, dumplings, soup, and a bottle of soju.
i never tried it before, nor did i want to, cuz i have heard the horror stories. i actually had stopped drinking hours ago, as i am not a heavy drinker and have outgrown getting drunk. but they insist that i try it so i have a shot or two. wasn’t too bad, but it also wasn’t too good.
while in the tent, in walks this portly korean dude and has a seat by him self. he orders some food and just wolves it down. he stops and looks at us and asked if we were from america. there were three of us, two americans and a canadian. we say “yes” and of course the canadian had to clarify he was from canada. he wasn’t too impressed with the canadian. he says, “america, number one!”. “what about canada, eh?” asked the canadian. “canada” takes a second or two “number 5”, replies the korean. sounds about right. anyway we offer this guy some of our soju and he graciously accepts. we have a new ally.
as we are reaching for our cash to pay our tab, he suddenly jumps up and takes out some of his own cash and paid for everything.
once outside of the tent he tells up to follow him, so we decided to see where this would take us. we ended up at an actual restaurant, where he ordered a platter of pork accompanied by several sides and diverse dipping sauces. and of course, a few more bottles of soju.
we finish eating and the owner comes up to our table and has a word with our friend. they step outside and have a long conversation. are we in some sorta trouble? were we too loud? no, it turns out that our new friend and the owner are brothers. our meal was on the house.
now we are off to our next destination, and we ask the owner if he wants to join us. he does. he leaves his place of business to come hang out with a group of strangers. he takes us to another bar. i just order water. the canadian falls slap backwards out of his bar stool. not once, but twice. hilarious and embarrassing at the same time. at this point we don’t allow him to drink anything else, but water.
we finally leave that bar and as we are ready to part ways. oh, not so fast. the two dudes lead us into this karaoke bar. i am completely exhausted at this time and announce that i will not be singing anything, but rather laying my ass down. i still had training to go to in a few hours. next thing you know i’m singing “smells like teen spirit” by nirvana, followed by “street spirit” by radiohead, and also threw in a little frank sinatra, “my way”.
by the time we exited the building it was already daylight outside. we had to be at training in a couple of hours and we didn’t get a wink of sleep. fuck! i need my sleep. well here in korea it is nothing to find full grown business men in suits laying on the streets, drunk from the night before. it’s not that uncommon. so, when in rome… yes i took and hour nap on something that i can’t even remember, but boy did it feel amazing. all i need is a crust and a corner and i’m good.