Soju and Home Pride Don’t Mix

22 Aug

Usually when I embark on a new adventure or take an extended trip to a new country, I try to wait a while before I go about making an ass of myself.  Most of the time I can keep a lid on the craziness until I can decipher what’s appropriate and what could potentially get me arrested. Unfortunately my dear readers, this has not quite been the case for me in Korea, and I have Soju to thank for that.

For those of us who don’t know, soju–often referred to as “toad juice” by good old Mr. Wonderful–is a popular type of booze in Korea similar to cheap watered down vodka. The only difference is, the shit is mucho strong. Now in all honesty I should have known better. In my research before coming to Korea I read plenty of blogs that outlined in great detail the horrors of a night spent drinking soju. I know how it can make even the most experienced drinker beg for mercy from the killer hangover it causes. How it can make you toss your cookies all over the street, pick a fight with a complete stranger, then pass out in an apartment elevator or some other random location. I knew all this, and still proceeded to soju it up all night with total disregard for its power. Here’s the story.

With the medical exam and drug tests out of the way, all the EPIK trainees (myself included) were feeling the need to cut loose a bit and go out for night of drinking and socializing. Up until this point none of us knew each other very well and it seemed only right that we get better aquatinted  while knocking back a few adult beverages. Plans were made and slowly we left the dorms in hordes of 10 or 15, heading for the tiny strip of bars and restaurants down the street from campus.

Things started out great. We found a place called Hop Chicken (or something of that sort) that had 10,000 won (roughly $10) mammoth size pitchers of beer, pizza, and all the fried chicken you could handle.  The scene was beautiful. You had Brits, Aussies, Americans, Canadians, New Zealanders, Irish and Scotsmen all drinking merrily under one roof, at least until the soju got flowing. What started out with one shot turned into several bottles and at no point did I hold back on the beer (actually there were times that I simply combined the two to make–you guessed it–soju bombs. I hadn’t realized how drunk I was when I walked up on a table of a few brits and a couple of Americans. One of the Americans was wearing a Chicago Cubs baseball cap on. That’s when all hell broke loose.

From what I can remember, it didn’t take much–if any–provocation before I was pounding on my chest and screaming at the top of my lungs about how the Minnesota Twins are the best fucking team in all of baseball. Reports from those present fill in the blanks: I wasn’t being mean or aggressive, just overly proud and obnoxious. Apparently I would scream about the Twins, sit down for a bit then stand up and start the whole thing over again. One of the fellows was so fed up that he told me to shut my fucking mouth, to which I responded, “but I’m talking bout the Twins man!” Even after a girl I met earlier asked me to shut up, I kept going.

The next morning I barely remembered a thing, my t-shirt and one of my socks (yes, only one) was soaking wet–still don’t know why–and I had the worst hangover I’d ever felt in my life. It felt like a group of midgets was practicing Riverdance on top of my skull.  I asked my roommate what happened, but all he knew is that when he got back to the room I was passed out on my bed. In fact, I woke up to him tapping on my chest telling me I had 20 min. to make it to the first training lecture of the day. Great.

As I was walking/running through the halls on the way to class, I couldn’t help but notice the weird looks I kept getting from people. I instantly knew I had done some dumb shit. After the first lecture, one of the guys stopped me in the hallway and asked if I was less rage-filled than the night before. Right away I began apologizing. He told me that had it not been for one of the girls explaining to him hat I was actually a pretty mellow person, he would’ve hated me for life. A bit harsh if you ask me, but then again I don’t remember much of what happened. It could’ve really been THAT bad. Really, I was lucky they didn’t decide to kick the crap out of me that night.

For the rest of the day I made it my mission to find everyone who was at the table, or even in the vicinity of the table, so that I could humbly apologize. It wasn’t that hard. All day long people kept shouting “MINNESOTA!” at me. I knew instantly that they were one of my victims. On the bright side, a few people thought it was jovial, and I did get a good nickname out of the deal. One that I will never be able to live down.

That night, we went out again and I apologized once more to the fellas I offended, and bought a pitcher of beer for the table to seal the deal. I think that was the icing on the cake. I would like to say I stayed away from soju that night, but I put down a few shots then stuck to beer and stayed off the general topic of sports.

So there you have it: in just a few days in Korea, I made friends, made an ass of myself and all I got was the nickname of “Minnesota.” Home pride is a bitch.


Kimchi Dreadlocks


21 Responses to “Soju and Home Pride Don’t Mix”

  1. Light Bright August 22, 2010 at 10:17 AM #

    Hey Minnesota, howz it going??? Look, don’t get your ass kicked when you haven’t even been there a whole week, yet. Pride is great, on occassion. When it comes to sports and politics (and religion) you just stay away! Well, while you’re beyond intoxicated. That could have you cashing checks your ass can’t afford, and your friends can’t bail you out of bc you happen to be millions of miles away from home. Not saying you can’t hold your own, just saying Soju (sp?) seemed to be holding on to you a little tighter! Good story nonetheless, and I look forward to many more 🙂 🙂 Thanks for the morning laugh Jer!

    • Jaywoodseyo August 22, 2010 at 12:25 PM #

      Leave it to you to leave the most insightful of comments. For sure I don’t have the goon squad here to back me up, but for now on, I’ll make sure to keep the pride in check. Glad to read one of my favorite writers is checking up on my blog. It’s an infant that needs to be nurtured, but I’m sure she’ll be good. Spread the word when you get a chance. I’m trying to keep traffic high…… obviously, and make sure you let me know the lowdown in Minneapolis. I’m always in need of the hometown news.

      • Light Bright August 23, 2010 at 10:18 AM #

        LoL! You know I got you. I am very interested in reading one of my favorite writers comical yet intellectual and penetrating blogs! Plus I know how being in a different country can bring about feelings of lonliness, and so the more readers and comments from friends are much needed. So I’m here for ya Jer… plus this keeps me posted on how you are doing and progressing… I’m so excited for you!!

  2. Flyrobotics August 22, 2010 at 10:40 AM #

    “stayed off the general topic of sports!” Laughing too hard. Classic. You are usually great at holding yo liquor. Soju must not be no punk!! Keep up the awesome writing homey. I’m following but I ain’t got no Twitter.

    • Jaywoodseyo August 22, 2010 at 12:21 PM #

      I assure you, soju ain’t no punk. I respect it to the fullest. And while I haven’t quit drinking it yet, we’ve asserted our right to exist as individuals. Kimchi? I’m still getting used to it, but I scarf it down at every meal. I’m hoping to develop an affection for it. Spread the word on the blog and keep the comments rolling. I for sure will need your advice on graphics coming up soon. Drop links whenever you want to your art and I’ll pimp it on my site. Always and forever.

  3. museophelia August 22, 2010 at 10:53 AM #

    It is quite an evil thing, but fortunately for my first experience of it I made it home before I got to the black out phase. It’s surprising how quickly it becomes bad considering it’s only 20% while vodka is 40%. It’s awesome how cheap it is here too. I send my family some 1 liter bottels of it every once and awhile for fun. Try it with Saum-gap-sal…SO DELICIOUS! Welcome to ROK!

    • Jaywoodseyo August 22, 2010 at 12:17 PM #

      Yeah. No bullshit, it’s damn near poison. I’ll continue to read your blog, and most likely link to it on my sight in the future. I link you, you link me, that’s how I work, if that’s fine for you. Keep the comments coming and hopefully you’ll enjoy the ride.

  4. Michelle LaRose August 22, 2010 at 9:42 PM #

    Too funny J it happens to the best of us (making an ass out of yourself)! Im glad we have social networking sites to keep us connected. I was sad to see you go but I know you’ll be back soon enough and I’ll be keepin up with on your blogs. Love ya!

  5. Drew August 23, 2010 at 1:00 AM #

    Whew! Sounds rough! Keep up that home town pride, and remember minnesotans have a rep to up hold- we work hard, are dependable, and above all genuine. All of which you are my friend. Looking forward to following your posts.

  6. a squizzle August 23, 2010 at 10:02 AM #

    lol you pulled a Snooki the first night out drankin! i like the blog, your writing is real smart, informative and funny and i can’t wait to hear more about these adventures, korea sounds like an interesting place. have fun, we gon miss you on sundays when favre starts beastin out. peace!

    • Jaywoodseyo August 23, 2010 at 11:17 PM #

      @ Squizzle, you ain’t lying man. Know that I will be watching the games from Korea. Can’t miss out on a possible super bowl season!

  7. michelle browder August 24, 2010 at 5:05 PM #

    Sounds like you’reivin it up. Thank-you for being humble. Continue to write and keep me posted on your antics. I’m passing the word to friends and family.
    luv ya

  8. Jimmy August 26, 2010 at 2:22 AM #

    Hi Jay,
    Don’t worry about the soju effect. We’ve all succumbed to it at some point. I had my head over a toilet seat for nearly two days after drinking it.

    God knows who I offended but you live and learn.

    The site looks great.

    Good luck for the year ahead.

    • Jaywoodseyo August 31, 2010 at 11:04 PM #

      Thank You. That means a lot. I enjoy your site as well an will continue to send readers your way. In the meantime, don’t let the Yankeenom rattle your chains too much. He keeps his blog stats healthy by picking fights. It’s just what he does. Keep doing what you do man.

  9. Jessica August 29, 2010 at 1:28 PM #

    Awesome. The Minnesota Twins. I love that. (yes, we are 4.5 games ahead of CWS with 32/33 left to play.)Glad to hear you are doing well over there. Holding down the fort over here. Love the blog and looking forward to reading more.

    • Jaywoodseyo August 31, 2010 at 11:00 PM #

      Thanks Jess. I’ll continue to pull for all Minnesota sports from Korea. Is it true the Vikes and the Twins play on this coming Thursday? A double treat!

      • Jessica August 31, 2010 at 11:22 PM #

        it is TRUE! and i just got home from the Twins game tonight, we won, naturally. keeping the CWS at bay with 4 games in between us. 1ST PLACE AL CENTRAL BITCH!

  10. 3gyupsal September 7, 2010 at 10:22 PM #

    I’m pretty sure that soju is just watered down ethanol with sugar.

  11. Don't Do That September 8, 2010 at 1:45 AM #

    Be careful in the future.


  1. Dreadlocks on the Roks - April 13, 2011

    […] the type of fandom I can respect and ultimately want to be a part of (some of you may remember my soju infused Minnesota Twins rant from last […]

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