Tom wanted to check out the nightclub we saw and I had nothing better to do. We met up around 9 by the subway and Karissa joined us. I met her a few times and she's pretty cool. She ended up not being able to find the group that was meeting in Seomyeon so she decided to join us for some bar-hopping.
The club was on the third floor, above a run down noraebang and who knows what else. It was pitch black aside from the dance floor, which actually had live music! The speakers blared Whyyyyyyyyyyyy Em Cee Ay at us as we were lead by a smiley man in a suit to a table. Tom did a great job translating, but it turns out that they did not have Soju. During their conversation I noticed that there was nobody on the dance floor less than twice my age. I mean they were having a great time and stuff, but I just wasn't interested. On to the next one.
On the way there an ajumma (older lady, in this case, just old) yelled at Karissa while walking by us. It was pretty aggressive, and we have no clue why. Karissa was wearing a conservative jacket and doesn't look anything like a prostitute. It really kills me cause I have no idea what she said or why. Maybe she just doesn't like white women.
We tried two more western style bars but all they had was liquor for 6-7k and expensive stuff. I guess Korea likes to keep its national drink of choice separate from their Western bars. I don't know why, it seems like a lost opportunity.
Of the bars we did enter, most were quite dead. I guess the young people like to travel for clubbing and such. We ended up doing shots of soju at a Noraebang for an hour. The process of discovering how bad you actually are at singing is surprisingly fun. The staff was great, they gave us “service”, meaning free stuff. In this case it was a plate of fries, some bing-su and nachos with a dollop of queso. Bing-su is shaved ice, topped with stuff like a vanilla powder and some red beans. I wouldn't call it delicious, I mean it mostly tastes like ice chips.
From there we bar-hopped until we finally found a place that served Soju. Perhaps the reason many Korean bars don't serve soju is because it's too cheap for how much alcohol you get. Because you don't have to tip with each drink, you can order a bottle of soju and be drunk 2$ later. There were two groups of Korean kids having a good time, and only one barkeep who didn't speak a lick of English. He enlisted the help of the Korean guys who jumped to the occasion. They were just so many kinds of cool, and pretty soon we joined tables and started drinking and talking and picture taking.
Now, a year ago, if you had told me that in a year I would be eating Chicken Assholes with Sauteed pepper and onions with a guy from LA and a girl from Portland and half a dozen drunk Koreans, I probably would've said, “yeah, I could see that.”
Koreans usually eat snacks while they drink. So Barkeep brought over a menu, and with it a photo album of his past accomplishments. I understood that he was quite the skilled cook, but I don't know why there were so many ice sculptures in there, or what that had to do with his food. Through mime and Konglish, the Koreans recommended the Chicken Assholes to us. Tom happened to have tried deep fried chicken assholes the night before, and said they were delicious. Karissa was unconvinced. Me? I'm always down for eating ass, just ask my ex.
The assholes were fine! I mean the veggies on the plate were more tasty, and I'm a meat-eater. But it tasted like gizzard, but less rough. The Koreans were so enthusiastic about it that we convinced Karissa to try one. I think she winced a little. Tom said that they are better deep fried.
Quite honestly I was quite impressed. If a dude can stir up a plate of chicken assholes, I'm curious to see what else he can do. I'd come back on that basis alone.
At this point I'm fucking wasted. It's an interesting “wasted” though. I don't feel sick at all. Just incredibly drunk. I seriously underestimated the magical elixir that is Soju. I guess the fact that it's only around 50 proof makes it easier for its imbibers to control the rate of the drunkening.
On we go. Karissa just wants to dance, and I'm all for a dance party, but Deokchon's prospects just don't look too good. The bottles of soju ordered were 3, the chasers, none. One of the Koreans had passed out and was being tended to by his girlfriend. The other three were going hard with us, dancing and singing. They, two guys and a girl, were SO much better than us at singing. I hope it's just cause they do this every weekend, because I aspire to achieve a level of mediocrity at Karaoke/Noraebang in time.
I'm not sure what else happened, I kept doing shots but wasn't feeling any drunker. I cabbed it home while Tom and Karissa just walked back to their apartments in Deokchon. I don't remember the ride home at all. The last thing I remember was one of our new Korean friends stopping me from hailing a cab and hailing another one for me saying, “I, cheaper!”.
chicken assholes, soju, and singing...That's one way to make friends in this country.