Published: April 6th 2008April 6th 2008
This pic doesn't do it justice-its much bigger than it looks and there were (a few) more people. You can see the 50 Cent video on the wall.
As I write this blog, Dan is sleeping next to me, which means that he is (yay!) home from being away for two weeks. While I hate that he was gone for so long, I’m proud of myself for my attitude about the whole situation. I’d like to think I’m not one of those women who falls apart when their husband can’t be home with them every night. And given my unique circumstances being that I am so far from home, I am really happy that these two weeks seemed to fly by, and since I kept myself busy with working and hanging out with new friends, it really wasn’t so bad.
Friday Dan and I went to Uijungbu (WEE-jong-boo) with Dyer (one of the guys in his unit) and his Korean girlfriend. She owns a car, so we drove the 30 minutes. (She is married to a Korean man as a result of an arranged marriage and has a ten year-old son. She wants to divorce her husband, but can’t because her mother won’t allow it. Apparently, in Korea, a woman must get permission from her mother if she wants to divorce, and since her husband is very wealthy,
her mother won’t allow it. I’ve come to see that in Korea, appearance and status are everything.) When we got to Uijungbu, Dyer and his girlfriend checked into a hotel, then we all walked across the street to a club Daniel had heard about from a Korean army soldier. The club is called “Shampoo” and it’s pretty big. There are rows and rows of booths, a dance floor up front, a stage, and two large screen TVs, which play American hip-hop videos that doesn’t coincide with the music they play. It looks like a place that could have a stage performance since the tables are all over the floor and the stage is sizable.
When we arrived there were a few Americans, but mostly it was all Koreans. The Americans left soon after we got there (they have to make it back to the base before curfew, but we were considering staying there, so we didn’t rush) and I had my first lesson in Korean club dancing. All the club-goers danced as if they were in a hip-hop video, but with no expressions on their faces. They hop back and forth in a line-dancing type fashion, and all seem
It tastes MUCH worse than it looks, I assure you...
to know the same dance. Dan saw a serious similarity between their dancing and the popular video game “Dance Dance Revolution” which you might see teens playing at video arcades in the mall. We also realized the DJ’s (every hour or so there would be a new DJ) would play the same 5-6 songs over and over (Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back” is pretty popular) and weren’t just spinning music, but also did some dancing and MC-ing for entertainment.
At one point I noticed one of the ushers/waiters pulling a young woman by the hand and then gently pushing her down at a table. I wondered, “maybe she had too much to drink and the usher is bringing her back to her friends” but within moments she stood up and walked away, without an intoxicated sway in her step. I finally realized what was going on: the ushers would find a single girl, grab her, and drag her to a table populated by single men. I was both amused and horrified with this system of blind dating. I equate it to a primitive practice, in which the caveman dragged his conquest into the cave by her hair. Of course Dan
This cooler had veggies, salads, and dressings
and Dyer thought it was great, and even pointed in my direction when the head usher walked by, urging him to pull me away as well.
In this club there are no individual drinks. Instead, you are given a menu of liquor bottles. The menu was in Korean, but luckily we had Dyer’s girlfriend to interpret. Unfortunately, there were no vodkas, Captain Morgan, Jack Daniels, or Crown Royal, so we settled on a bottle of J&B. We purchased a “set” which is like a combo meal at McDonald’s- you get the bottle of liquor, soda, and two trays of food. The first tray was all fruit and some cherry tomatoes- delicious, nutritious, and identifiable. The second was not familiar to me, nor did it smell at all appetizing. It was dried squid, and although I’m a huge seafood fan, it had a very strong aroma, and I couldn’t figure out why you would serve such a potent dish at a club in which you are perpetually being fixed-up. Who would find the smell of dried squid on the breath to be sexy and enticing? Well, I tried the squid, because I’ll try anything once, but I politely passed on
The Meat Selection
There were 10-12 different kinds of meats, some marinated, some plain. There was chicken, several kinds of beef, intestines, swine, and ox.
it for the rest of the evening.
We stayed at the same hotel as Dyer and his gf because it was way too late to try and make it back to Dongducheon (DONG-doo-CHON), and for $50 we had a really nice room with a hot tub, large flat-screen TV, cooler, air purifier, heated floors, and computer with internet.
Saturday we took the train to Itaewon (EE-tay-won), a hot spot for shopping, diverse restaurants, and clubs for foreigners, wandered around, and found a great sushi restaurant called “Roll In”. We ordered a $30 set and got two inside-out rolls (tempura shrimp, tuna, and scallop), a salad with tempura seafood and spicy mayo dressing, two cups of Ungdon, marinated mussels, and green tea. Definitely can’t beat a deal like that. We then walked over to Baby Guiness and met up with Kelley and her husband Corey, and a few other officers. We then walked over to B1, a hookah bar, to partake in some Strawberry tobacco, which was really good (I know I said I wouldn’t do it again, but it was so good, and everyone else was doing it…). We didn’t want to get stuck far from home, so
There were a dozen kinds of seafood- squid, scallops, mussels, oysters, tuna, crab... but the shrimp were able to LOOK at me!
we left at 10pm and caught a train back.
That’s all for now… in the next blog I’ll talk about the palace built by the Joseon Dynasty in the 1300’s that we saw today. Take care all!
There are more photos below