Thursday, June 21, 2012
I am a lightweight.
2 drinks and I feel a buzz. 3 and my whole body turns red and I turn into a circus clown trying to make everyone around me laugh.
Being a lightweight is not good for a prolonged stay in Korea. I’m a conservative drinker and have puked from drinking just twice in my life. Both times it was a mixture of alcohol and motion sickness (train, cab, NOT PRETTY). In my 2 years in Korea I’ve matched that total (stories below) and NEITHER time involved motion sickness. In Korea you drink, drink, and drink some more. It’s just a big part of life out here.
According to Wikipedia, Korea ranks 14th in per capita alcohol consumption. In comparison, the U.S. is 57th and Japan is 70th. (for those keeping score, #1 is Moldovia. Oh, those drunken lunatic Moldovians!). Common sights every weekend (AND weekdays) include girls who can BARELY STAND being helped home by a pair of jolly friends. Guys in business suits wobbling through the streets, shit talking talking the crap outta each other. And people TOTALLY PASSED OUT on the SIDEWALK, completely alone, NO ONE HELPING THEM. (For further proof, check out this link: http://blackoutkorea.blogspot.com/)
One night I saw a well-dressed woman completely passed out at the top of the subway station escalator. Oddly, her heels were perfectly aligned right next to her. Either a passerby thought it was a kind gesture (oh, how about, I don’t know, GETTING SOME HELP?!) or the woman had the bearings to arrange them herself before her asphalt siesta. Keep it classy San Diego!!!
For those unfamiliar, the usual drink of choice is SOJU, the most revolting concoction in the history of the human existence. It pretty much tastes like what one would think rubbing alcohol would. Even if you have a chaser a centimeter away from your lips, it’s still a complete and utter struggle to make that nasty shit slide down your throat. But that’s partly because of my puss-tastic alcohol tolerance. The natives drink soju like it’s water. In fact, sometimes it’s actually CHEAPER! Soju can get as low as 1,000 Korean won (about 1 U.S. dollar!).
Anyway, onto my two drinking stories. Again, I’m a total lightweight so these are not your black-out, hanging from a tree butt-naked, Justin Bieber’s smiling face newly tattooed on your ass, type of drinking stories, but more of the mildly amusing sort…
One night I decide to go drink with my co-workers on a weekday night. At the time I was working at an academy teaching English in the evenings and studying Korean at Yonsei University for 4 hours each morning. My schedule was insane, and I felt like I should have one night to have a little fun. But I brought my textbook with me to the bar to study for the next day’s quiz, which my co-workers wouldn’t stop ripping on me for. Whatever, I know an entire list of college science majors in Korean, so back off! (to this day I still haven’t used any of them!)
But it actually worked in my favor as a cute white chick used it as an ice breaker and asked me why I was studying at a bar. In a few moments I put the book away in my bag and tried to connect with the girl instead. My co-workers kept handing me one shot of soju after another. I have never blacked out in my life, but there were parts of that night that don’t exist in my brain so I must’ve drank A LOT of soju.
I remember ending up at the girl’s place somehow, but we both just passed out. After a little bit, I got up to go puke in the bathroom. But inexplicably, I went for the sink instead of the toilet. After I hurled, I stood in front of that sink for what felt like an eternity trying to get all the puke to go down the drain. I remember seeing what looked like an unusually large RED PEPPER FLAKE floating in the mix of puke and water. I eventually get it all down the drain and passed out again.
The next week I ended up hanging out at her place again. I get up to go use the bathroom and she says something to the effect of “By the way, my sink drain hasn’t been working too well lately. I have no idea why”. I did! :)
A few months later I get a new co-worker, a Korean dude that spent some years growing up in Australia. No soju this time as we only drink beer, but the tab is well over $100. It’s about $5 a bottle so I must’ve drank at least 10 beers. Again, I normally get drunk over 3 beers. So I’m HAMMERED. I’m ‘THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND’. I’m at ‘DEFCON 1’. I’m ‘ANIAHALATED’ (thanks Urban Dictionary! I can’t believe the latter is an actual term!). Well it turns out my co-worker’s a huge pimp and manages to convince two hot bartenders to go to ANOTHER BAR with us after their SHIFT ENDS.
We go to the 2nd bar and in a few moments I breezily glide over to the bathroom and proceed to PUKE MY BRAINS OUT. I return to see my co-worker getting the girls to play these little drinking games where the “punishment” is not only do you have to take a shot, but a girl has to pick a guy to make out with and vice versa.
Without hesitation, my freshly vomit coated tongue is trying it’s best to find the back of the hot bartenders’ throats. Hope I didn’t leave an unusually large RED PEPPER FLAKE down one of them!
Needless to say, a TERRIFIC NIGHT!!!!
Posted by KyopoMofo at 8:02 AM