Last night I cheated. I’ve been so good these last 2 weeks but last night I had a lapse. Okay, maybe there was some peer pressure involved. I swear it was for a good cause though!
Let me back up a minute. I proclaimed December to be a special month, one that I dubbed “Don’t Drink December.” Feel free to read more about it on my previous post but basically instead of drinking I am collecting funds to donate to the Philippines Red Cross for Supertyphoon Haiyan relief. I’ve been going strong so far and raised $70!
Well anyway back to last night. I was supposed to get dinner with some Korean friends but plans changed after fencing practice and I found myself meeting Brian and Susan (2 coworkers) at a Makeoli and Pajeon restaurant down the road. I sat down and had a bite of the delicious Korean pancake ignoring the bowl of yellow rice wine in front of me.
Susan commented “Oh I totally forgot you aren’t drinking! Sorry I poured you a bowl.”
She grabbed the bowl and asked “What would it take for you to drink tonight?”
I laughed. We’ve been down this road a few times this month and I tell her I’m fine not drinking and the conversation goes back to how delicious the pajeon is and how excited we are at the new jobs & apartment. A few moments later Sara joins us as we pay and I’m struck by a brilliant idea.
“I tell you what. Since we are celebrating all four of us signing a new lease tonight I think I can make an exception. But there’s a catch. I will drink tonight if you donate to the Philippines Red Cross.”
I guess I must be a fun party-goer because I immediately was presented with $20 in donations as we walked into a Korean Barbeque. Sara had been here before with Sejun and we are assured they have excellent Samgyupsal (pork). I declare that I want to try a new cut of meat as we order Soju, Mekju and a thinkly sliced pile of pork.
We mix the delicious Somek concoction and toast while 3 buckets of petite pig slices arrive. A red sauce is drizzled over them and ignites the grill with a smell that lingers in our nostrils as the drinks begin to flow. Somewhere in between bites and laughs we find time to discuss the usual obscene topics and I remind everyone not to wait until the hangover hits to drink water.
We are finished eating but still have half a bottle of Soju left so I announce its time for the “soju” game. I’ve already prepped the cap and we take turns flicking it to see who will take a shot and look at the mystery number. Around it goes when Susan flicks the hanging piece right at me. She pulls out the napkin and checks the secret number while I remind everyone that its between 1 and 50. The rest of us have 5 guesses to figure it out, if we get it Susan drinks. If we don’t, we all drink.
Brian goes first and ponders his choice as I remind him to make a “good choice.” In my head I’m thinking in the 20’s Brian, you always start near 25, clearly he doesn’t read my thoughts and as he blurts out “42” I let out a sigh thinking we’re only going to knock out 8 numbers.
Susan’s jaw drops. “42!” She says. Wait a minute? We got it? First guess! No way! Must be a good sign.
“The answer to life the universe and everything! Tonight’s going to be a good night” I declare as Brian laughs, glad that someone got his reference.
After dinner we decide to head to Hyewha. Susan had a night out with a Korean friend there and said it was a blast. Sara and I have taken Korean classes there and are fair game for the 2 stop subway ride. Unfortunately all we find is an overpass for a photo op and a hilarious “I Don’t give a SHIT” hat on the bus. We sober up a little before deciding to go back to our usual stomping ground.
The evening continued as we hopped from “K-bar” to “H-bar.” K bar actually has some Korean name that we don’t know but they deliver us a massive pitcher, some soju, mandu (dumplings), cheesy dak boki and tons of pop rocks. After eating we walk around the corner to a darker lounge-club “House bar” that actually has a sign “H bar” outside.
The evening divulges into dancing and darts as we befriend the only other English speakers in the joint. It certainly was a blast and I still managed to increase my Don’t Drink December fund!