Round 2: We’ve made it through round 1 with barely a scratch on our sobreity, or so we are aware. We’re here to drink, not to count bevvies! We move on up in the world and decide we’re still feeling somewhat classy and hit on another bar. In here, as in most bars natives frequent, you must buy food with your alcohol otherwise you definitely have a drinking problem. We could exempt ourselves as we are foreigners or waygookin as we are co-called in Korean, but we’re still fitting in and trying to keep in with the culture.
Here we get more soju to accompany our delightful platter of: steamed octopus, raw beef which is to be mixed through with raw egg, pear strips and red pepper strips… Delicious. We’re fitting in remember? One must not turn one’s nose up at food no matter how unusual or downright incomprehensible it seems to our Westerner palettes.
How does it taste? In truth, I’ve only had this once and the beef was tender yet tasted somewhat like what I can only describe as a rare steak and sawdust. However, the sauces on the side did something to temper the sawdusty taste of the beef. The octopus, red pepper and pear was all very delicious.
Round 2 also features games played with the caps of the soju bottles which we’ve ploughed through like a John Deere through slurry. Each person takes a turn to attempt to flick the metal coil from the cap and whoever succeeds is the king and selects two other members of the party to drink. GUNBAE! Whew maybe we are getting drunk. By the way is it just me or are those silkworm cocoons looking more and more delicious?
Round 3: We’re feeling happy, undoubtedly the best kind of drunk. Where to next? Well we whiled away many the hour with the soju and beef so our next choice could be Chicken and Beer but I can’t drink beer so we’ll opt for the most popular form of late night entertainment in Korea: The Norebang.
“Emmet, are you quite sure?” “Oh definitely the natives go there all the time!” “But what on Earth is a norebang?” Well, I’m glad you’ve asked, because they are wonderful. A norebang is a building in which there are many private rooms with couches and TVs and karaoke machines, as well as more soju, just the ticket at this hour! So we sit for hours warbling along to the dulcet tones of Sinead O’Connor and Enya and even brave the gravelly tracks of U2 just to remind everyone that we are Irish! Lest they have forgotten it after our evening of assimilating.
Maybe it’s the three bottles of soju we’ve already drunk, maybe it’s the thirst worked up from belting out The Cranberries Linger for the fourth time but the soju goes down much better in this place.