Part one

So I actually started this post on Sunday night and this week has been such a gong show that I’m only now getting to post it. My life is insane right now. I realize this post is roughly the size of the Bible….and it’s not even finished☺.

Ok, this past weekend was possibly one of the most random experiences of my life.
Our story begins on a Friday night which accidentally turned into Drunk Fest ’07 courtesy of Melissa and Amber, 2 of the functioning alcoholics currently employed by YES Youngdo, teaching future leaders of the world how to speak English so as to enhance communication skills and bolster international relations between the west and the east.
Functioning alcoholics. But I digress……
There is no such think as one quick drink on a Friday night. Do yourselves a favor and write that one down. I promise you it will come in handy.
What do you mean you don’t have a pen? No you won’t remember it……trust me…..alright then fine. But don’t come crying to me when you find yourself stumbling home at some ungodly hour hammered as hell, painfully regretting your decision to partake in something called “Kettles”, a horrible creation of the previously mentioned “ladies” that involves shot glasses, a little bit of mix and WAYYYYYYY to much Soju…trust me on this one….

Suffice to say that waking up at 8am to be in Seoul by 10am involved a kind of pain I imagine is regularly experienced by those burning in the depths of hell. Why was I going into Seoul at a ridiculous hour after killing half my brain cells off the night previous you might ask? Because I had made plans to go to a Pig Roast that day of course.
Yes, that’s right.
I have mentioned before how a friend of mine, Ashley and her boyfriend Jamie made the decision to move to South Korea and teach for a spell. Ashley “I AM the party” Adamson and Jamie “The Man” Sisler invited Dave and I to this blessed event a few weeks ago. Dave had already made other plans so I had been looking forward to making a solo journey into Seoul and doing something I sure as hell wouldn’t be doing back in Canada. I had no idea what to expect or what was going to happen, which at the time the invite presented itself seemed exciting and oh-so-adventurous. Now that I was suppressing the urge to vomit while trying to see through the blade of the axe someone had lodged directly behind my eyes, the whole thing seemed more then a little dubious.
Nevertheless, I arrived (mostly) unscathed and we set off into the depths of Itaewon to rally the party people and get this show on the road. It was at this point I remembered I had forgotten to bring my bloody camera. *@%#!!!!!!!
Fortunately, Ash’s boyfriend Jamie had remembered his and promised to take pictures like it was his job, which it now was, and send them to me. Unfortunatley, he has yet to send them to me. Bastard. I will post when I receive.
The subway ride to the pick-up spot…..this is already sounding like a bad movie plot…..and I just rhymed…….was crowded, hot and full of names I can’t remember. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that I had begun drinking again….because I hadn’t destroyed my kidneys sufficiently the night before.

Let me just take a second here to comment on drinking in public in Korea. The fact that EVERYONE DOES IT was a bit alarming to me at first, but I’ve quickly grown used to men my fathers age swaying on street corners with banana grins on their faces, or the shrill of drunken laughter coming from a gaggle of twenty-something girls skipping arm-in-arm down the street at 6pm on a Tuesday night. Booze is sold for pennies every five feet in the place. Nuts.
So a large, and growing by the second, group of foreigners drinking alcohol on the subway at 1pm was only the beginning. Once the pick-up point was reached, a rather disappointingly boring bus stop, and a sufficient waiting time had passed we (a group of about 60) clambered onto the array if vehicles that had finally arrived and off we went. I was hung over as hell, drunk (again!), on a mini-bus full of people I didn’t know, on my way to a pig roast somewhere in the mountains of South Korea. I gotta say…I really didn’t see this one coming.

We didn’t drive for long, and a good thing to. Koreans seem to love windy roads and barley staying on them. The whole “Devil May care” attitude most Korean drivers seem to possess kinda scares the living crap out of me. Plus, I was still feeling nauseous. After passing through a couple small clusters of houses/apartment buildings, as well as a few amusement parks and random castle-like structures seemingly sitting by the side of the road, we arrived at what appeared to be some sort of resort/camping site complete with a running stream, various bridges, roaming roosters, a bug collection, swings, and a couple of Siamese cats in hanging out in a chicken coop. Another cat (White Persian) leashed to a rusted and abounded telephone booth by the front door of one of the buildings. Next to the white kitty cat sat a couple of aquariums holding various snakes, beetles the size of my fucking hand. Oh and a couple of caged chipmunks were dancing around in a cage that was next to coolers filled to the brim with beer and bottles of Soju.
You can’t make shit like this up.

After wandering the perimeter and congratulating myself on keeping it together after seeing a spider whose body was the size of BOTH of my thumbs put together… not kidding…..I joined the others in one of the main lodges. Loud music, copious amounts of alcohol, and some hours later, it was time to eat. Nothing like excessive amounts of pork combined with various side dishes including marinated bean sprouts, potato salad, seaweed soup and fish pancakes to help settle your already churning stomach. Better make sure you wash it all down with a healthy glass of Soju…….good times.
The party that had basically started at noon, kept going until around 9pm, when everyone decided it was time to leave and the busses began arriving to take people back into Seoul. It didn’t seem to occur to anyone that we had already been drinking for 9 hours so we bribed the bus driver to drop is off in Hongdae, one of the university districts in the city and I somehow found myself walking up to a pub with a huge Canadian flag on it’s door. Apparently I was going to the Rocky Mountain Tavern, a chain of pubs started by a couple of canuks who were living here. It was packed with, what else, foreigners and the DJ was playing an eclectic mix of tracks, including WHAM!, Jennifer Lopez, Eric Clapton, and random techno. I have to say, of all the places in Hongdae to party, I was a little disappointed to be where I was. We must have passed a thousand cool little nooks and taverns unique to this district, and I was not at all interested in paying five dollars to drink Molson. We left forgiener central after a while, thankfully, and to my delight took up residence in a lounge/bar called Oi, The elevators opened on the second floor of the building and all I could see were candles and never ending white. The floors, the walls, the ceiling, all white. A sign indicating we should take off our shoes hung above the door seemingly carved out of the wall. We did so, placing them in the plastic bags thoughtfully supplied by the staff and walked into one of the coolest rooms I’ve ever seen. It was like walking into an ice cave, paths had been carved into the floor, stone tables and tree stumps littered the raised portions of the ground, and cushions had been placed around them for people to sit on. The menu was hand written on thick black cards, they had alcohol, of course, and an extensive tea menu with a few munchies offered as well. A chandelier of white feathers hung from the centre of the room, and lasered lights roamed the walls, coming to a rest at times on the massive DJ booth placed high up in one of the far corners.
Spectacular☺. There are a thousand details I’m missing, I know it……the whole place was off the freaking hook.
An hour or so later, it was time for bed, and curling up on a couch never felt so good.

To be continued………


Anonymous said…
I'm afraid for Part 2 - I hope you don't die or get alcohol poisoning - a distinct possibility. I think you've past Josh (and me!)


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