I wasn’t sure what I was seeing at the time, but after my first few months in South Korea a reality about life here made itself clear: Koreans like to drink. Even more, many like to get drunk. Like any and all observations based solely on one’s own experience, it’s biased, and I accept the fact that I may be totally wrong in this generalization. But I don’t think so.
When I first came to Korea there were a few things I noticed. Firstly, I’m strange and deserve to be gawked at. Secondly, Korean women dress half naked, at least their bottom half. Anything short of showing pubic hair is socially acceptable. Third, Korean kids are damn cute.
My summer vacation was fun enough. I went to a beach; I drank apple martinis; I spent time writing; I slept late; I got really physical with a Korean woman in a damn sauna of a place called Club Maktum down in Busan on a night where I was a good wing man to a sexually frustrated friend, but slept alone. It was fun enough, but it wasn’t what I planned.
It was a totally new building with glass walls and a wonderful view of the woodsy campus behind the main school building. I sat inside this new cafeteria with six other teachers who, because of the new lunch schedule that accompanied the new building, weren’t used to eating with me – the foreigner. I ate kimchi and occasionally sniffed the queer smelling chemical scents given off by the building materials.