Saturday, October 21, 2006

The fun ratio...

Last night takes the prize for being my most fun outing since I've arrived here in the R.O.K.

I left work with Dong-sik (my male co-teacher) and went to Seoul National University of Education to meet some of his friends. This university pumps out 500 elementary teachers a year it is solely an elementary education university.

Me and about 10 of his buddies went to a restaurant and ate some pork. We then headed to the university to watch the guitar clubs annual performance. Dong-sik and his friends played one song.

Because the university is only for elementary education, the females greatly outnumbers the males so well over half of the performers were females.

It was such an entertaining show to watch even though I didn't understand anything the MC said and 90 percent of the songs were sang in Korean. They were mostly Korean pop songs with a songs with only guitar.

Nearly all of the songs were performed by at least eight people, some requiring a dozen players. Bass, two acoustic guitars, two electric guitars, a drummer, keyboards, back-up singers, a lead singer, and a couple of random percussionists. Like I already said, most of these people were girls so that made it even better for me.

The music was usually upbeat and happy and it was exactly what I thought typical Korean pop would be. One of the male singers was so into it that I was nearly busting out laughing the whole time, and many of the Koreans sitting around me couldn't hold in their laughter.

I think most of the musicians were beginners, or maybe just really nervous because much of the playing had very little soul. I like my music to be loose, but this was quite the opposite. All I can say is that the gigantic smiles of most of the musicians kinda evened out the lack of feel.

All in all though, a great show that was run very smoothly and everyone there had a great time.

When the concert ended, everyone headed to a nearby bar for drinks and once the Koreans finally loosened up, due to English Juice (AKA alcohol), I had no trouble finding people to talk with. Everyone there was either a university student or a recent graduate so they all studied English for their degree and many of them had an impressive grasp of the language.

I met so many people got the phone numbers and emails of many, many people, though mostly girls who could speak English. Most of them were typically very interested in talking to the "foreign guy" but their brains can only handle so much English before need a break. Thinking and drinking are not two things that mix very well, and in order for them to talk English I believe it requires a great deal of concentration.

So after a while I decided to keep my conversations relatively short and keep moving from table to table. I also met a lot more people like this and I didn't give people English exhaustion.

I drank A LOT of booze last night because with every new table came new people, and new people meant more shots of soju. I was down with this and I think a lot of the Korean dudes (the few that were there anyway) were quite impressed with this white boys drinking skill. It pay to be a Newfy.

Another thing that helped me, and everyone else there, drink all night is that food keeps getting brought to the tables throughout the night. The were bringing sausages, cold spicy spaghetti, corn chips that have a fishy flavor, boneless chicken pieces with a delicious hot sauce, and a bunch of other shit that I decided it was probably best for me to stay very far away from in order to avoid having to go toilet hugging.

I had so much fun that now I only want to hang out with Koreans and I'll probably tag along with Dong-sik quite often from now on. At the end of the night things got a little confusing though. Korean culture showed her face and I was in the middle of it.

Dong-sik tells me he's going to meet some of his tae-kwon-do friends and he says I can go but I wasn't really interested. I was much more content to go where ever his other friends and all the girls were going. So myself, Dong-sik, and another Korean dude take a quick run to a convenience store and the other Korean guy, who I think said his English name was Josh misunderstood the situation.

Josh is older than Dong-sik so the whole hierarchy and respect thing is just a part of the way they interact and Josh thought Dong-sik was ditching me. Dong-sik was trying to explain that I was fine to go on without Dong-sik but Josh thought this was really rude or something. The two of them are arguing in Korean for about five minutes while I stand next to them drinking my bottle of water.

After they finish their conversation Dong-sik says he will stay with me but I'm like "No man, you go meet your friends and I'll just go with the flow here. I'm fine."

Dong-sik was well aware of this but I think Josh thought I needed to be babysat by Dong-sik. I explained that I had been out many nights in this city and I can manage on my own. There's nothing to worry about... blah blah blah...

This takes another five minutes and finally everyone is in agreement, at least I think we were. So we walk around the corner and head back to the bar and everyone is gone. Dong-sik's phone was dead so he had no way of calling anyone so because of this whole "Don't ditch Richard, you must take care of him" thing I missed out on the extension of the party.

I was kinda pissed and jumped in a taxi and went home. The cab only cost 10 bucks though (the Korean's predicted 20 bucks) so by the time I got home I wasn't angry because I was feeling pretty shitty anyway

Judging by how terrible I felt today, staying out any later definitely would have a been a really really bad idea.

And this brings me to the fun ratio.

Last night I would say was about a 9/10 in terms of fun. Great supper, great concert, a load of girls (this is very important to the fun ratio, maybe the most important criterion actually), a great bar, lots of drinks, lots of English speaking, made some new friends, and got a cheap taxi ride home.

But the problem with the fun ratio is that a 9/10 only leaves you with one "fun point" remaining for the next day. The fun ratio lasts for at least 12 hours, so when I woke up this morning (well, this afternoon really) I only had one fun point in my pocket. What I'm trying to say is that this morning I was had about 1 out of 10 points for the fun department.

My head hurt and my stomach hurt because, yes, I had much too much fun last night. And everything in this world eventually evens itself out so I had to slowly restock my fun point potential.

Oh and one more thing I forgot to mention about why last night was so great. I never paid one cent for anything. The Koreans wouldn't take my money even though I offered.

So although the Korean culture ended my party time short, it did save me a bit of cash in the end.

Once again, things even them self out.


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