Monday, November 21, 2011

Drinking in Korea

It seems that NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, and No Shave November are not the only things going on this month. 30 Days of Indie Travel is happening too. The prompt for today struck me as appropriate, considering my recent adventures, so here goes:

Just as the cuisine of a place reveals clues about its culture and history, so does its signature local drink. What’s the best drink you had on the road, and did the drink have any connection to the place where you drank it or the people you drank with?

I've been in the midst of a marathon I never intended to do, and it just finished last night. My tolerance, as most of my friends know, is low. Like, super low. If I drink on Friday, I usually won't drink on Saturday. Once a week is enough for me, so right now I feel like hell. Why? 


The culture is such that drinking during dinner is normal, so when I go out with large groups of people, we automatically order a few bottles of soju. Soju, for those of you who don't know, is a kind of rice vodka. It is extremely cheap, as in, a dollar a bottle. The bottles are about the size of a twenty ounce bottle of soda from the states, and the liquor is a little less potent than vodka, but still. Still, that's cheap as hell. 

Let's recap the insanity, shall we?

On Wednesday of last week, I went out with two of my three fellow teachers, and we got quite inebriated. It wasn't intentional, but it happened. I'm not proud of it. After the bar, we stumbled upon some guitar teachers jamming out drunkenly in the park, and they let me play a song. I'm quite proud that I managed to not drop the guitar, but for some reason, they were impressed. We scheduled a sober-ish jam session on Sunday night.

On Thursday, I ventured out to a Billiard Bar for pool night to meet some new people, and ended up drinking a few beers and a Long Island Ice Tea. Friday night was Karaoke, so you can bet the majority of the group had at least one shot of soju. 

Saturday I planned to stay in, but was coaxed out of isolation by my coteacher, who wanted to show the other foreign teacher and I a traditional Korean pub. It was divine, by the way. We drank a sort of creamy beer, which actually tasted like ambrosia. For appetizers we had some sort of sea food fried batter pancake thing, which was crispy and yummy. Also we had a soup with sliced beef and vegetables. It was mildly spicy, and equally delicious. The company was great, too. 

I'd like to point out that I did not get hammered each night. But putting any alcohol in my system triggers the guilt complex, and makes me sluggish as hell in the mornings.

Sunday was the jam session, which paired with traditional Korean BBQ, ended up being the opposite of sober. But it was still fun, and I got to play my favorite song, which ended up earning a dollar in change! The other foreign teacher and I mostly attempted to sing along to their awesome guitar skillz, but my lyrical knowledge of non-angry-female singers is almost nonexistent. 

Tonight I had to stay in. I can't keep up with all of the adventure, and I know if I don't slow down soon, I'll drop. At least I have a solid supply of Excedrin.


  1. you teachers! I know someone who teaches in Japan and I swear she has the same kind of adventures. WHERE DO I SIGN UP?

  2. Bahahaha :) It's actually not that hard to get a job teaching abroad. Check out "footprints recruiting" if you're serious about it. That's the agency I went through to come here.