This will be somewhat out of order but I must start with the Russian dance club story.
I went out to Itaewon (the crazy, foreigner, party part of town) with fellow American girls Meghan and Laura last night. Our friend, Vlad, who is from Uzbekistan and speaks fluent Russian, recommended some Russian bars near Hooker Hill (no explanation needed for that one, huh?). We thought it would be fun and interesting to check one out and it was… but nutty!
As soon as we turn on to the street we started to get a lot of attention and as we went up the stairs a group of older Russian men tried to join us entering the club, trying to take our jackets and such. We try to politely blow them off but they were apparently in it for the long haul because it took us hours to shake them. One man took a particular interest in me (god knows why, I didn’t even speak to him) so he seats himself in the empty chair directly across from me, his friend pulls up a stool and proceeds with “My friend, he thinks you are beautiful… My friend, he wishes to know where are you from…. My friend, he would like to buy you drinks…..” All this with his friend nodding and smiling to me. It was amusing for about a second but it got old real fast. They got more and more aggressive even though we totally ignored their existence at our table (we did move a few times but these guys were like the Borg, resistance is futile). Then, loverboy starts trying to feed me peanuts from his hand… his hand! And getting angry when I spurned the offer, I also rejected the drinks he set in front of me and the bouquet of flowers he procured. It was nuts. I told his friend they needed to go away and leave me alone, he basically said no. I said I had a boyfriend, they said they didn’t see him around, so they didn’t care. I’m sure you’re wondering why we didn’t leave but other than these two creeps we were having a blast. It was a sea of men from Russia, Korea, and Central Asia doing something along the lines of the Electric Slide to techno music. There weren’t many women, definitely not other American ones. An Asian/Eurasian cultural thing is that men and women don’t mix much on the dance floor. It is very fun and exciting for them when clueless chicks like us try to join them in dancing. They were loving it. When we sat, the men danced for us, like it was a show or something. So weird! I managed to get a song played by my favorite Russian band (yes, I’m a weirdo and I listen to Russian music), I even tested out my tiny bits of Russian on the bartenders. I didn’t dance much as loverboy would always try to join me. We were poised to ditch the place at any point if loverboy got out of hand and sadly, it did come to that. I stood by the dancefloor to pose for a picture when a man literally whisked me on to the floor for a dance. He did not bother with the niceties of asking if I was interested or offering his hand or anything. We danced for a bout two seconds (my friends kindly photodocumented this event) when loverboy tried to fight him! It was awful, we grabbed our stuff to go and loverboy actually grabbed my arm and tried to keep me back! I flipped. It was a bummer. We went to another Russian place and proceeded to spend the rest of the evening dancing with Pakistani businessmen. We actually started out the evening at the Salsa club with the Peruvians, way too exciting a night!
Friday night was the company Christmas party which was just a nice lunch before work and then endless treats throughout the day. It’s very Christmasy here. About 30% of Koreans are Christians and of course lots of non-Christians celebrate Christmas for fun. There’s decorations and music everywhere. After work Kay, Meghan, Michael, and I went to see the new James Bond movie (good stuff) and he showed us his favorite hangout, Bar Anderson, nearby. It was a cute bar with a flair show, when they’re all throwing bottles around and setting things on fire. It was a good time. Besides being incorporated into the show we also got free scarves and t-shirts. I have no idea why but people are always trying to give foreigners things here. Works for me!
It snowed last weekend! It only stuck around for a day but it was fun, about 3 inches.
Some bathrooms here have an “etiquette bell” it’s a button you push in the stall that makes a fake flushing noise to drown out any embarrasing noises. Haha!
My Korean lessons are going well but they’re tough, 70 words a week! I succesfully called in a food order by myself the other day and when the delivery guy got lost and had to call me, I understood him and directed him! Yay!!!!
new pics are up on flickr, I’ll update this again soon.
Merry Christmas everyone!!!