Tuesday, April 14, 2009
David's Birthday and another beach to boot.
Well, here we are. Tax Day. Luckily I'm not going to bore you with the facts about my 1040EZ or anything like that. What we're here to talk about today was David's birthday. For those of you that don't know, David is a good friend of mine here in Korea. I like to joke that David is the whitest guy in Seosan. I say this in total jest, not because it incorrect, but because it's entirely possible. David is a 교포 (gyopo) or a Korean who lives abroad. He was born in Korea, but raised in Bloomington, Illinois. This just happens to be about 40 minutes from where my parents currently live, and needless to say is still a little weird. Well, it was the old man's birthday. We like to kid around and call him an old man because he just turned 35. I call him 할아버지 (haraboji) which means grandfather. I know I'm soon to be less then a decade away from that age, but still that's what he gets for hanging out with a bunch of 25 year olds.
Alas, David's birthday was an absolute success. We met over at our friend Seung Hee's apartment and cooked up a Mexican storm. We had some delicious Mexican food and polished off a bottle of Jager, Patron, and Tanqueray. We also had about 36 jello shots made with soju. Before too many of you freak out this was consumed by 12 people between 7 and 11:30 PM. After this epic feast and drink, we headed off to David's true Korean love, the 노래방 (norae bang). A norae bang roughly translated means singing room. That's right, David loves him some karaoke. When we arrived at the norae bang we were quickly ushered into a room that included Seung Hee's mother and friends. Now these older ladies, well, they were rather drunk. Several of them were very insistent about pouring alcohol, even when there was no cup to pour it into. Drew had to tell one of them at least seven times that she couldn't pour him alcohol because he didn't have a cup. This did not deter her from attempting to pour the Whiskey into his lap.
After the wonderful cougar maulings that repeatedly happened during the norae bang, of which somehow I escaped unscathed, we headed off to CC Bar. CC Bar is one of our favorite bars here in Seosan due to the fact that the staff are pretty awesome and they are our friends. Nevertheless, after spending a few hours there playing pool, darts, and generally just being obnoxious towards each other it was time to move onto RnB. RnB is probably our second favorite bar in Seosan, for more or less the same exact reasons. We arrived at RnB at 2:30 in the morning and quickly got back down to the business of playing darts and drinking. During this time I started watching David's older brother Mark try and work his game on some of the female companionship we had with us. What I hate to say was so funny about this whole thing was that it was like watching a carbon copy of David. David, I love the guy, but once he's had a few drinks in him, he tends to loose some of the subtleties that are required when wooing the opposite sex. I almost wanted to grab David and have him sit down and watch his brother work, just so he would know the type of things that he did.
We meandered out of RnB at about 4 in the morning and then walked across the street to get some late night 갈비탕 (Kalbi Tang) or awesome beef soup. This stuff includes huge chunks of beef on the bone in a spicy broth. It's epic, I mean absolutely epic soup. Most people I know who have been to Korea and went back home are dying for this stuff. I know that when I return home I will either have to learn to make this, or find a place I can buy it. It's that good. Finally, around 5 in the morning we disbanded our little party and went home to get some much needed sleep. The next day would involve a trip to go walk along a beach.
After waking at noon I started organizing the second half of our weekend. This involved going to one of the local beaches which I cannot remember the name of. Honestly, the beach was not that impressive or at least not till I walked out to the point. The thing that I've found I love about the beaches here is that they are more like very large coves. If you walk to one end of the beach you can go climb out on some rocks and actually place yourself in a pretty serene environment. It's something I look forward to doing more of in the coming months. We returned from the beach and all went our separate ways. The only plan was to meet later in the evening for a few drinks at RnB and then have an early night.
Well, that was the plan. Needless to say it didn't happen that way. Andrew, Myonghwa (Andrew's GF), and I met for dinner at 9:40. After eating some good Korean BBQ we strolled our way down to RnB. 30 minutes after arriving there, all hell broke loose. A swarm of 외국인 (waygookin) or foreigners descended upon RnB. We're talking around 40 people here. It was nuts, they completely took over the place and we partied hard. We had people dancing on tables and just English everywhere. I can say with quite a lot of certainty that never before had something been seen like this in Seosan. There have been foreigner gatherings before, but this involved almost the entire foreign community of not only Seosan, but the surrounding towns. We danced and talked and drank our way into the morning. After terrifying my friends behind the bar, the swarm moved on to Roma. Roma is the local nightclub, and if you've ever been to a nightclub then you know what this is like. Loud music, warm temperature, and bad dancing.
Roma is quite surreal. Add the standard nightclub vibe back home, but add in bad Korean pop music, stage shows that are ok, a DJ who stops the music every 30 seconds to shout something in Korean, and ohh yeah, synchronized dance moves on the floor. It reminds me so much of high school when you had the boys who thought it would be cool to memorize the dance to BYE BYE BYE. Then, when the song comes on, bust it out and think they'll get girls that way. Yeah, this has happened several times I've been at Roma. I turn around and there are three or four Korean women (sometimes men, but normally women) doing the exact same dance, regardless if they are on beat or not. This time, I turned around and saw two women, practically River Dancing. I laughed, audibly, and noticeably and then walked off the floor. Once again 5 AM rolled in, and I took off. Home to the wonderful feel of my bed, and the knowledge that I could sleep as long as I wanted.
That was till construction started on my building at 8 AM. That however is another story, for another time.