Ant's Misadventures Through Asia

Korea Chapter 3:
Soju is Evil

Sent: Sun, March 18, 2012 11:28 pm Subject: Korea Updates v1.3

I've been sporadically writing throughout the weeks. The times and dates are probably a bit off now. Just been jotting down stories when I feel the urge.

There is an ongoing joke here. The people Anthony meets in Korea. Ranging from someone that recognized me serving him coffee in Hawaii to Boeing executives that invite me out drinking. White people are attracted to me like a magnet. Just last week I was at a sandwich shop and approached by a random Canadian simply because I was white and he thinks that makes us kin or something. Anyways, my newest friend comes from Tennessee. His name his J.D. and he's a good 'ol boy, complete with the accent and the southern mentality that a few rednecks still hold onto.

I really do love this guy.

He works on one of the oil rigs here in Geoje. He first approached me a week ago while at a local bar my friends and I turned into a dance club. We talked a bit and he invited Max and I out to dinner next that next weekend. Dinner of course meant not a speck of food all night, but plenty of drinks. Max works Saturday until 11:30 so J.D. wanted to meet at her work around 10:30 and go out after. I show up to him winking at a table of all Brazilian guys and exclaiming loudly how he would love to beat their queer asses in. I am a bit confused. He informs me he has been drinking heavily since 11:00am. I am no longer confused. He orders me a double long island ice tea. We are at the Samsung hotel, one of the most expensive places to drink in Geoje. A shot of Hennessy whiskey is $35, to put it in perspective. A double long island is probably around the $25-$30 price range. I tell this to J.D. and say I'll order a beer and be fine. He goes off about how they pay him so much and he has all this money that "ain't doin' shit for him". I of course, being a gentleman, obliged his wishes and kept at the double long islands. The first time we met and I explained that I met my girlfriend at a bar where she works and he kinda of gave me an eye. Also he dropped some not-so-subtle hints that I should "be careful". Now that he saw she was a singer at an upscale hotel lounge, he changed his tune. Our conversation went a little something like this.

J.D. "Oh man! I thought you meant she worked "at" a bar. I met 'dis girl my first week here, I thought we were in love. I dropped six grand on her in two weeks, turned out she was just using me. Yer like a brother to me, I meant no offense to yer lady. I just wanted to watch yer back."

Me "It's all good. I can read people pretty well and can tell when I am being used or not. We've been dating for three months so pretty sure it's not like that. Plus I have no money. It's a shame you got used like that, where did you meet this girl?"

J.D. "At a place called de Play Boy Bar (see my first story). If you see a girl there with some nice jewelry, that was from me. I am wary of gals now, been burned bad already."

I stare blankly for a second or two. "Yeah...she was a hooker. They are hookers there...."

J.D. "What? Well shit. How was I suppose to know? Anyways I still didn't want you to fall into the same trap as me."

Me "I won't. I can tell a hooker from a girl interested in me. I'm not retarded."

J.D. "So what, does that make me retarded?"

Me "Yes... yes it does."

He laughed after that and said something along the lines of "we are gonna get along just fine". The first bar we stop at, the Sky Lounge, is pretty quiet. We have a few drinks and play cut throat until 1am. The three of us just chatted, normal barroom talk. We decide to head downtown to a club called Bali. It's Korea, if you are in bed before 5am on Saturday something is wrong. Bali's got a big stage, live singers, many female bartenders, and a pool table. Max is friends with the woman that appears to be in charge. We all introduce ourselves and plop down at a table and order some drinks. Not a minute later a young, cute Filipina girl snuggles up next to JD. I share a look with Max, yup, she's a prostitute. JD doesn't get it. JD is happy and drunk. JD orders her a drink. The rest of the evening consisted of singing, dancing, shooting pool, and meeting some of the Filipinos that frequent the place. During a few of the slower dances JD had the Filipina girl wrapped tightly in his arms. Sigh, some people never learn. The night was winding down, JD has his arms around Max and I. He is explaining how I was his best boy friend in Korea and Max was his best girl friend in Korea. He then profusely apologized for hugging Max, then told me she was the best Filipino ever and I would be smart to remember that. Even drunk JD is a good guy. I inform him that the girl interested in him is a prostitute, He informs me that he is staying. Oh well, can't help them all.

Always seems to be daylight on the walk home.

Sadly I don't have a good ending to this story. JD works a month here then heads stateside for a month. I have no idea how his night ended, he left the next day. I'll have to finish the story come April when he will undoubtedly want a repeat weekend and he can fill me in on the details. I have always been curious how much a hooker costs, I've never asked.

Today, March 14th, is National White Day. There are a few versions of it. One is where girls give guys they like something white, usually chocolate or marshmallows, one month after Valentine's day. The other version is where chocolate is given out to white people, by social obligation. Either way I get chocolate! Korea also has a Black Day, April 14th, where all single people go out and eat white noodles covered in black bean sauce. I suppose it would be easy to spot someone single that day if you were on the prowl. They could of came up with a better way to celebrate their singleness then eating black bean sauce. Oh well, chocolate for me suckers!

Yeah, laugh it up. You are buying me chocolate.

I went to bed, and bumped my head, and couldn't get up in the morning. No more soju, not for a while. It was a typical Saturday, drinking with a few friend at home then heading out to the bar for a few beers and some billiards. Only this Saturday involved me consuming a lot of soju. For those not familiar with the drink, it's a staple in Korea. A rice wine that goes down a little too much like water. Did I mention it's 20% alcohol? Oh, and $0.90 a bottle. It has danger written all over it. After shooting pool, meeting a few random English teachers, and having a shot of a florescent green liquor served here called Agwa (made from the Bolivian Coca leaf), a group of six of us head back home a bit more drinking. This is where I should of stopped drinking. This is where I was told to stop drinking. I kept drinking. I woke up the next morning fully clothed, doused in baby powder (Philippine hangover cure), with a mini unicorn horn on my head. I can barely move, my mouth is so dry I could of easily just finished the Ocean of Fire through the Arabian desert, as the horse. When I finally had enough strength to ask Max what happened I realize I am getting the silent treatment. Anthony do bad, very bad. When the story was given to me later that evening the silent treatment made sense. When we got home I chugged my beer, the guest's beer, my girlfriend's beer, and when those were empty I went straight to the 1.6L bottle [Vyst's Note: This sounds oddly familiar to a camping trip at Hood Canal when we were 19...]. I was in full on Anthony-drunk mode. I was screaming obscenities at the television for blurring out the alligator mauling some animal. The welt on my head came from the table when I fell into it. From a sitting position. I wasn't able to sit, I bet you can guess how well walking went for me. Not my proudest moment, luckily everyone found it more hilarious than anything else. When I finally left bed to try and eat around 5pm the next day I was greeted by the same group laughing and offering me shots of Johnny Walker. They were probably serious too, Filipinos are awesome. [Vyst's Note: At least he kept his damn clothes on this time.]

Wrap up time. Went to a prisoner of war camp,

Some old buildings left from WWII.

very interesting and bloody history. Like all countries I suppose.

Yeah! Everything needs to be in statue form. Everything!

Still job hunting, no big leads yet. Got my feelers out and friends asking around. Roughly outlining some big plans for next year. Though nothing ever goes to plan. Moved apartments, the one I was staying at with Max and Juna was a three bedroom. New workers at the Samsung Hotel arrived from Indonesia. Due to their religious beliefs they required the entire floor for only them. Moved to a smaller two bedroom apartment three buildings away. The floors and walls were redone and counters replaced. So though cramped, it's comfortable and clean. So here I am, living in Korea. The disadvantages seem to wanna pile up on me while here. I've always liked a good challenge, this is shaping up to be quite an interesting year.

Damn I love this city.

With a bit of luck and never ending support of friends and family, both from Korea and back home, everything will come together as planned. 2013 is going to be a big change. Stay tuned.

Chapter 2 Back to Ant's Stories Chapter 4