Hello everyone. Its is Feb. 20th and I have been in Korea for 4 days. Ever wondered how to ask for a beer in Korean? Re-read the title.
Last night I went out drinking with a few fellas from orientation.
“Wait a minute Tom! You said this blog was about travelling in Korea, about living in another culture, I thought this was serious business! And now you’re planning on telling me about going out and getting drunk!? For shame.”
First of all, shutup. Second, I had a great time out and thought you guys might want to hear about it.
…..Okay, if I promise not to let this blog degenerate into a record of the less than saintly activities I get up to during my time here will you let me recount the story of my first night out in Korea? Thank you.
Anyway, the four gents from my earlier post and I (along with a new addition – another Ontarian) head out around 8:30pm last night. Bright lights, tall buildings and hundreds of people milling about (shouting, laughing, running, walking and all the other ings you can think of) paint a fairly accurate portrait of the atmosphere in the city. We had not walked 2 blocks before a chalk board sign on the sidewalk catches our attention with one of the most effective siren songs I’ve ever been seduced by: “WTF Welcome EPIK Teachers! Beer 2,500w. 4th floor!”
How could anyone say no? (Ps. EPIK – English Program In Korea is my employer, 2,500 won = roughly $2.50 and 4th floor meant navigating a tiny staircase filled with garbage bags, empty beer bottles and entrances to another bar and hair salon)
The name of our new watering hole actually turned out to be WTF and this amusing acronym became a frequent expression employed by my companions and I for the remainder of the evening. My first beer in Korea was called Cass, a Korean beer similar to Carling in that it was cheap, watery and bland. We had 3 pints each. And for $2.50 a glass, you would too.
After WTF we resumed our wanderings until we stumble across a bar called Crossover Modern Bar Bee. With a name like that we’d have been stupid NOT to go in. This bar was significantly more upscale than the last one. As we entered the establishment the few Koreans populating the place stopped talking and stared at us –> clearly wondering what we were doing there. It wasn’t long before we were wondering the same thing. One glance at the menu and we discovered that Cass, the same O.Kish beer we’d just had was now 6,000 won, roughly $6. Yeah, no. We promptly left the bar, and on our way out the Korean patrons literally laughed at us. Apparently we have much to learn. On the other hand, it probably should have been us laughing at them since they clearly didn’t know they could get the same beer for half the price just down the street.
We finally settled at a little basement bar called Ole’55, which we later learned is a fairly popular bar with expats in Busan. In fact during our pints of Red Rock (a slightly better Korean beer than its blond cousin Cass, and retailing for the low low price of 4,000 won/pint) we met several other English teachers who, when they found out we were in orientation, gave us a warm welcome to the country and the city.
All-in-all a good first outing; managed to try a few local beers, got a feel for good and bad prices and found a few solid fall-back bars. A good little recce I’d say. Of course, like the responsible teachers-to-be that we are, we were in bed by 11:45pm, well before our 12am curfew.
Thats all for now BNBers!
Ps:Though not really in the spirit of this post, thought I’d put up a little video I made of the dorm room I’m staying in. Got a good shot of the cityscape from my window too. Hope you enjoy! Watch the video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAAgslxQhTM