drinking

The Long and Savage Story of Soju

 

Words by David Volodzko

There are three things you should know about soju: your options, your manners, and your limit.


Baseball Top Ten: How Busan Does America's Game

Our first adventure to Sajik Stadium was just that, an adventure. The songs, the food, the cheers, and the pageantry were all on display. Here's my top ten list of things that make Korean professional baseball (Busan Lotte Giants specifically) great.

Mine’s a can of ‘ass, please!

Today, I am at Incheon International Airport – a wonderful place full of coming and going and, I imagine, Korea’s proud welcoming mat to the world.

 

It’s quite a lovely place and has been recognised so by some shower of cowboys  for its wonderfulness. I’m sure most people who read this who are in Korea are familiar with said ‘ness. Lots of glass and steel and luxury shopping (because everyone who flies wants a Fendi handbag).


All my lovin'

Well here it is, Sunday afternoon, the sun is shining and its a beautiful day to be alive! But here I am, sitting with the shades drawn on the window (which is honestly pointless since no sun can get past the concrete building it faces) eating boxed mac and cheese and drinking a coke, watching the first season of the L word, which seriously has me contemplating switching teams (not really seriously, but its a damn good show) nursing what could be called a post traumatic stress induced hangover, while wearing a pair of left behind sweats that are far too big but still have the faint smell of his skin. 


12 Rules for Expat Life in Korea Contd.

Today has seen the Korean blogosphere dancing in the delights of this recent article of sorts on CNNgo.

Shocking stuff altogether.

Fortunately a few bloggers have jumped to protect Korea because Korea is such a wonderful perfect place that has never done anything wrong and shouldn’t be criticised for the realities its society presents. Grrrr. What I couldn’t get over was the general belief that this post was taken so seriously and the defence of Korea was so patriotic. So in defence of decency I will try to add my own flavour and sense of balance to this debate.

But first take a moment to read what has already been said:

Roboseyo: CNNgo Trolls Bloggers; 12 ACTUALLY useful tips for Expat life.

Re: 12 rules for expat life in Korea | Chris in South Korea – Travel and life in Korea.

12 Rules for Expats in Korea | David S. Wills.

Of course, no one here is right or wrong. It’s just … well… so what? As David S. Wills makes the point, anyone who reads the CNNgo post will – hopefully – realise that this is a little bit of jolly finger-pointing…at least I think that’s the point he made (I only had a few minutes to read so I read quickly, as in quicker than ‘scan’ reading).

Anyway, the balancing act courtesy of me. Drum rolls please!!!!

1. Learn to Drink Like a Fish – Yes, do! You’ll have a great time. Forget about how much Koreans drink – I don’t think most of these other bloggers have ever seen how much English teachers in Korea drink! And, on that point, I am assuming that the people who move to Korea are adults and can make their own decision as to how much they drink. My personal preference is to drink as much as I can and learn from your mistakes (I always try to smile and say please and thank you). I am assuming you, the reader, have strong enough self esteem to make your own decisions. 


Korean Hangover Cures: A Review (숙취해소음료)

If you have ever been in Korea, chances are you have been out drinking. And if you have ever been out drinking in Korea, chances are you've been offered a miracle hangover cure by one of your Korean drinking buddies. Now there are very few things in this world which I like more than a good old binge drinking and during my time in Korea, I've had the opportunity to put several of these remedies to the test.

7 Things About Korea: Drinking Culture

Much like the neighboring Japanese, the Koreans have a rich drinking culture to go along with their near suicidal work ethic. But hey, if I worked as hard as the average Korean did - I'd be driven to drink copious amounts of alcohol too. I barely work half as much and I'm already borderline.

 

If you like a good drink, Korea is going to feel like a welcome homecoming to you. Not only is the stuff both cheap and readily available, but a large part of being a part of the foreigner crowd is getting out and socializing at the many bars, clubs, and... well... anywhere. Korea has no open bottle law, so you can roam the street with a 1.5 liter pitcher of Hite (Korean beer) and nobody will say boo. I wouldn't advise it though. We foreigners already have a bad enough reputation in this country.

 


Day in the life of...

It is amazing how simple life has become here in Korea. I am 8 months into my 1 year contract and my daily routine can be the same as it was at home some days, mundane and boring. Wake up, take the bus to school, check my email, teach some classes, have lunch, teach some more classes, fuck around online/lesson plan, walk home, go to the gym, eat dinner, shower, sleep, repeat. (Sometimes spruced up with a little Woodstock Wednesday action but I keep it real during the week, real being I cannot function hungover and teaching the last thing I want to do after a night of booze.) That is the true life in the day of a English teacher in Korea (hey MTV, you should do that one!) During the week that is .

Stoked to Get Soaked: Making Infused Soju


Practical Tips for Foreigners Living in Korea

Banking: The single biggest problem for non-Korean citizens living in Korea is banking. You cannot just open an account at Kookmin Bank (KB) and then take your ATM card to the U.S. and withdraw money at the Citibank ATM in Los Angeles. It doesn’t work.

I must recommend KEB, Korea Exchange Bank, which has a global banking account, where foreigners can open accounts, which have the same online banking capabilities as the other banks in Korea. In addition, with the global banking account, you can with withdraw money when you are back home (assuming that is not Korea).

VITAL POINT: You need to designate a foreign exchange bank with a form at KEB. Without this, you will not be able to withdraw money in a country outside of Korea, even if you have the correct acccount, and ATM card. This is a VITAL POINT (the phrase native Koreans love is “key point”). I cannot stress how important this is!.


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