Tag Archives: Drinking

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.

Ciao,

Kimchi Dreadlocks

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