Monday, November 10, 2008

Having a social life in Korea and what happens when you start speaking Korean...

I decided to take it easy Friday night since I knew that Saturday was bound to be crazy (more on that later). After work I trailed one of my coworkers toward Itaewon, the foreigner hot spot in Seoul so I could replenish my book supply. 'What the Book' is my favorite book store in the whole wide world. They have a great selection and it's tailored for the Engilsh speaking audience in Korea so there is a huge ESL teaching section, kids books and travel books. Not to mention they will get any book you want--so long as it's in English. I'm starved for books in French and Spanish but it seems impossible to get them here and I'm not sure where to buy them online since an American site would have really expensive shipping. None of the Koreans I know speak anything but Korean, English and maybe Japanese or Chinese. If I could do my move all over again from NY to Korea, I would have brought 3 English books with me and 15 French and Spanish instead of the other way around. Anywho, so I bought Rousseau's Discourse on inequality and an Anne Bronte book that has two novels in it, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Agnes Grey. So far I am loving both books though I have the sneaking suspicion that I've read the Rousseau book before, possibly in French. It's still a good read though.

Saturday was interesting. It was supposed to be a prolonged girly day with my Korean friend (my birthday present to her) but we ended up spending a few hours tracking down a piece of wood for the party that night before getting our hair done. I love being able to afford getting my hair done when it actually needs a trim, deep conditioning, whatever instead of scrimping and doing it every 6 months. Even at a cheap place here they bring you coffee, magazines, pillows and do everything to make sure you are comfortable and happy while they pamper you. It's a really nice treat every 6 weeks. Saturday night was...crazy.

I never played drinking games in college. I was always too busy studying, working or something to go out much and I never had much money for it anyways. To give you an example of how little I drank:

Senior year, fall semester my dad helped me move into my apartment. Then he took me for our traditional 'let Daddy pay to fill up your fridge for the start of term' shopping trip. That year he bought me a case of beer too since I was finally 21. A case has 24 beers in it. I never drink except with other people. By the end of the semester, I still hadn't finished the case. Needless to say, my parents have never been worried about me partying too much in college. They usually had to persuade me to stop studying and have a little fun.

Fast forward to Saturday night: The 2008 Beer Olympics at Psycho. I was on a team with 3 other people playing beer pong, flip cup, hurdles and chug-a-thon. It was entertaining to say the least. I registered myself as a 'cheap date' meaning I can't drink very much so I had a handicap which is the only reason why I didn't have a hang over on Saturday. I have no desire to binge drink ever again. I can't believe that at some colleges, kids do this sort of thing every weekend.

In any case, I took Sunday easy. I read, watched a movie, and talked to some family in the states. It's really hard to catch people with a 14 hour time difference since Korea doesn't do daylight savings time.

Today I'm still in lots of pain. I hate stairs with a fiery passion. I'm tired of the slow shuffling walk I do everywhere. I just want to be better already. Tylenol and I are having an affair. The pharmacy knows me well, since they only sell you a week's worth at a time and I've been taking it for a month now. On the plus side, I no longer have a cold! Hopefully, that will continue though with winter approaching, I doubt it. I also miss being a tourist in Seoul. There are so many museums and temples to see but they all involve walking! Soon, I tell myself, soon.


meili_lo said...

hi... Korea is one place I hope to visit someday since a lot of my students invited me to come over and see their place. =)

i saw you on One Minute Writer so I figured you like answering stuff. i have a survey that I hope you can answer, it'll just take a few seconds to do so:

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Chris said...

I dont know, the first time i ever experienced drinking games, albeit as a concerned bystander, it blew my mind how much people could drink. Thats pretty much all I got out of that experience. That and people thought i was from another planet constantly asking what the rules were for beer pong and what an Irish Car Bomb was.

Nancy K said...

An update would be good Al

Jessica said...

I know it won't get there for a while but if there is a French/Spanish book you really want I can send it too you. Beer Olympics huh? I've never been one for beer pong but I guess it's like a right of passage, you have to play it at least once in your life. I hope you start getting better this painful walking thing is kind of scary. Rob and I are doing BCL on Thursdays and I'm still frigging sore its like back to the very beginning when we'd climb and be sore for days. Let me know if you want me to send you a book or two.

Alex said...

hey jess,
i might have found a book store that carries French books so hold that thought but thanks for the offer!