My First Experience at a Self-Named Korean Pub

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July 12th 2006
Published: July 12th 2006
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The back gate (just outside university property-- where all the restaurants and such are) during the daytime... (Photo courtesy of Steph Dodson)
So, I just got back from an evening out with a Korean friend (one of our conversation partners from the KEY Club-- an English-speaking club for Koreans at Kangwon National University) and two other Fulbrighters (Susie and Noelle). It was quite an enjoyable time. We went to a local Korean pub (or so it was called in its English name), and it was quite a different experience from what I'm used to in the US (or in Europe for that matter). First of all, the tables were all on the floor, and we sat cross-legged in front of them. We started the meal with Korean barley tea (very refreshing), and then our friend, Clark (his English name), ordered an appetizer and a bowl of Korean wine. Soon after he ordered, a bunch of small side dishes came out, along with our wine. I was like, oh my, how much did we order? Come to find out, the side dishes/appetizers were free-- as is the case with some (but not total) regularity at some of these places. The food was absolutely amazing. I can't name them all yet-- or even describe them properly-- but the food was fabulous. We had some spicy

For all our local shopping needs... a mix between a department store and a Wal-Mart (called E-Mart) (Photo courtesy of Steph Dodson)
rice cakes, delicious noodles, seaweed soup, kimchi, orange slices, some kind of rice mixture, and a few other things-- all very good. Then, after all that-- well, during, really-- our "real" food came out. It was a delicious seafood and vegetable dish. It looked like an omelette, but it wasn't quite-- I think there was an egg or two in the mix, but there were a number of other key ingredients that I don't remember (Clark said he'd give me the name later).

We stayed there for a little more over an hour and had a great time. Clark was so helpful in helping us understand some Korean customs (mainly what to do in order to show proper respect for our elders at the dinner table-- like when we go to our homestays). And I enjoyed spending time with the other Fulbrighters, of course. We should be going out again next week sometime. Supposedly, our next time out will be to a norae-bang-- a karaoke place. I'm looking forward to it.

This weekend I'm going on a camping trip with fellow Fulbrighters and the KEY Club. I don't remember where we're going, but KEY Club is taking care
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A bunch of Fulbrighters (me included!) (Photo courtesy of Steph Dodson)
of everything, so that's okay right now. I'll let you know how it goes. I've been going to the KEY Club meetings the last couple nights (they meet every night), and it's been fun conversing in English with the Korean students.

Korean classes are in their third day, and going well so far. There's a lot to learn, and not a lot of time, but I feel like I learned more the last three days than what I learned trying to teach myself for two months. However, the few words and phrases I taught myself proved helpful already-- as did the written words I'd learned. But I'm progressing at a fast pace so far. There's a lot of vocabulary to learn, but I'm excited with it all and excited to learn more.

Well, I have some more homework to do before bedtime. I'll write more when there's more to write about!


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