Thursday, January 25, 2007

Soju will kill me someday

Training in Korea was taking its toll on me. I usually woke up at 5am and chatted with my co-workers in Dallas to fill them in on Korea good fun. Their lols and funny remarks made me miss them immensely. Most of my classmates were Korean, so after class, they would disappear with their family and friends while I putzed around alone entertaining myself. Our day starts off at 7:30am and its all day of Korenglish lessons on bugged software and lots of coffee. Usually the lessons would stop when an error occurred and the teachers would rush to the back to fix it. So I usually sat around drinking coffee and wondering when I was gonna shake my illness. My Korean counterparts at the company started their days off at 7am, worked until 6pm, ate dinner, come back and work until 10pm, then go out all night drinking Soju. And you thought I was an alcoholic! I watched my classmates doze off and I quietly took pictures of them. Hilarious!

After a hard day’s work I decide to explore more of Seoul, sick or not. I managed to navigate the subway and made it the shopping district of Meyong-dong. Everything was brightly lit and it was very crowded. I poked around the Louis Vuitton bags and the open street meat vendors. I was tempted to eat some good street meat, but in my current condition, I felt it not wise. I found some guys making wedding cookies and singing, some neat socks for my sister, and laughed at a $200 pair of Levis.

I thought I would try a bottle of Soju since I had been drinking a lot of Korean beer for the past 4 days. The waitress came out and brought the bottle of Soju, happily. I took a sip and I felt like throwing up. It tasted like ethanol. At least, it was what I imagined ethanol would taste like. I drank as much as I could so as not to offend the nice waitress. I began to think about the repercussions of drinking alcohol, sick as a dog, and on antibiotics. Not a good idea. So I grabbed a cab and stumbled back into my hotel room.

I felt a little better after a good Soju night’s sleep, so the next night I headed out to Itaewon. Pete, the army newscaster I met a few days before said he would be at one of the bars with some friends if I wanted to join them. I was dying for some human interaction, so I headed over. Pete was there along with a few Americans and some Singaporean students. One of them worked for LG, another for the Navy, and a teacher. I indulged myself with a beer and watched as the Korean girls lined up to talk to these guys. It seems that Pete was not lying about the popularity of foreign men in Korea. I spent my time that night laughing at the guys and giving the LG dude hell. It’s only natural working for the competitor. I had a great time that night, a first for my time in Korea so far.

No comments: