Monday, 10 May 2010

Korea - The first children's day

Hello everyone!

The week of my midterms meant that I had the joys of sitting in school doing nothing for a week. Can't complain, really. In the midst of much procrastinating, however, was Children's Day. Wednesday May 5 is a national holiday in Korea. No jokes. Everyone has a day off. Even people who work in Hagwans, who never ever seem to have time off. One day off - on a Wednesday. Mental.

So what to do on our day off? Well, only one option really. To embrace our inner child. To do something that every child dreams of doing. Well I suppose there is another option. You could just get hammered on the Tuesday night and spend Wednesday in bed cursing alcohol. Take a wild stab in the dark as to what we did.

We went to Bucheon to try and find some new places to go. Key point about the watering holes of Korea first. There are two types: bars and hofs. In bars, you are able to only buy drinks. In hofs, you have to buy something extra. Hofs can then be sub-divided further. In some, you have to buy food. Nice and innocent. In others, you have to buy women. Not so nice and innocent. The problem is these three types of drinking establishments aren't easy to distinguish from the others. As a result, when trying to find a new bar in Bucheon, we often opened the door to find dimly-lit spaces with curtained-off sections.

We ended up in a food hof called Noblesse. I would say insert joke here, but we tried for quite a long time and failed to come up with a funny one. It doesn't seem to work when men are present. With the food hofs, you normally have to order the food straight away. Obviously Noblesse wasn't used to hosting Western men (I'll get my coat), or Westerners in general. The menu was entirely in Korean. I'd had a couple of beers, so was once again trying my best to convince the world that I could understand the entirely Korean menu. Once again, I was failing. The guy started reeling off the menu - in Korean. Luckily for us (except Deb, being vegetarian) he said chicken, which sounds the same in both languages, so we snapped up that choice and got on with our night.

Until the drinks order, anyway. It's always dangerous to veer off the beer-or-soju road in these joints. Ellen tried to order a vodka and cider, cider being lemonade. They looked confused by this bizarre combination. The congregation of bar staff then decided that they understood, and went off to get this, as well as the other five beers. They returned with a bottle of cider and a bottle of a vodka-oriented alcopop, called KGB. Not quite. Cutting her losses quickly, Ellen took the KGB. We'll keep hunting for alternative bars, I think.

That was the plan after all, to find new places. So naturally we ended up in a bar called Namu, where we have been numerous times, before heading to Jailbar, where we have been numerous times. The former sells towers of beer - much more productive than the Sourz Tower or Robbo's fame, the joke that that thing was - and pressurised soju cocktails. The latter? Well I seem to go a bit crazy on the soju in there.

It was a really good night up until I spotted a Korean man sleeping in Jailbar, and zoomed in my camera to take a photo of him. Damn flash. I attract the attention of the rest of his table. And him, as the bright light awakens him from his slumber. Uh oh. I go over to, well I'm assuming to apologise. And they end up giving me lots of soju. LOTS of the stuff. I had to be told the next day how we got home.

So Children's Day was spent being hungover. Not very childlike. That day I also was told that my proxy vote for the British general election hadn't been processed, so I couldn't vote. Wasn't happy, especially as I'd been moaning to every Brit out here about the importance of voting.

In the meantime, during my week of having no lessons, I got absolutely no school work done. Not very productive, you might think, but I spent most of the week researching and planning our summer vaycay to China. Tokyo in less than two weeks as well, can't complain about life!

Love you all


1 comment:

  1. Denise is coming to Sillypore next week.. then we're going to fly out to Cambodia for a couple of days!!!