I told my co-teacher about my homework bar adventure and she was so surprised: “you went… alone? You like drinking?” The surprise seemed unwarranted given that South Koreans drink more liquor than any other country in the world: twice as much as Russians, four times as much as Americans. You don’t know drinking culture until you see a man urinate himself in broad daylight outside of a major metro station which is an image that continues to haunt me.
As it turns out, she has never been to a bar. She made me fist bump promise that we will go together one day. More importantly she told me the proper way to say Cass Beer and we cracked up in the lunchroom saying ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ which is the Korean equivalent of grimacing after a shot.
En route to dinner bus 273 passed the landmarks of my summer life and I stewed in nostalgia: There’s the library, there’s the restaurant where the cashier gave up speaking English to us, there’s the store where the lady yelled at me for trying on a dress…
Waiting for my friend J, a Korean native, I wandered the Kyunghee alleys which are incredibly dense with restaurants and cafés. I had a moment where I thought, can I just move here right now? There was a kid walking alone absolutely going to town on 떡볶이, sauce all over his face. He glanced at me only briefly before regally continuing on his way, much more important matters at hand.
Dinner was Indian curry but the naan had honey because Koreans cannot eat any form of bread without throwing some form of sugar on it (Sweet pizza, garlic honey bread, and even sweetened scrambled eggs are the norm, which I find absolute blasphemy). I also tried mungwort (am I a wizard now) and received a Chuseok gift.
My eyes hurt but things are good. A restful weekend scheduled ahead.