What was life like without soju?

Tonight I went to a restaurant called “Dino Meat” with my colleagues to celebrate a few staff birthdays.

Despite my fears about the kind of meat served here, it turned out to be the most incredible BBQ restaurant you can imagine. You each pay 15,000 won (about 8 or 9 pounds), and for that you have access to as much meat as you wish to eat for the rest of the night. It is fabulous. They have a sort of buffet chiller cabinet thing filled with plates of raw meat, from bacon and ribs to steak and burgers to all sorts of obscure cuts of pork and beef. There is no end to it. And you just go up as many times as you like and heap your plate high with the meat, and toss it on to the grill on your table. I could live there.

It never ceases to amaze me how much my slender Korean colleagues can eat in one sitting. They are still munching on the food long after I have sat back clutching my stomach and claiming that I will never be able to eat again – and I’m about three times their size. I genuinely do not understand it. How? How do they do it? Where does it go?

Also, the fact that it’s Monday never really seems to be taken into consideration here. When you go out as a staff group, you drink soju or live with eternal condemnation. Shot after shot was poured into my glass, with toasts being uttered in all the languages that we know (we’re up to 9 now), my boss becoming more and more affectionate and cuddly with each one. All the while, she reminded me that it was Monday and I have to go to work tomorrow even if I’m hungover. “Stop pouring me soju, then!” I exclaimed eventually, swaying slightly and feeling grateful that we were sitting on the floor already. She poured me another shot. “Drink. Tomorrow is Tuesday.” she replied. You have to respect your elders in this country, even if they’re completely devoid of common sense and logic.

And then, to my utter bemusement, when I asked if we were going to a noraebang (singing room), she said that we were, but that first we had to go back to school and make a few hundred paper fans for the children to use on tomorrow’s field trip. And we seriously did. A 20-strong group of alcohol-infused kindergarten teachers, back at school at 10pm, cutting out and laminating and gluing on lollipop sticks while singing 60s hits and giggling hysterically. I had the scissors confiscated from me after approximately 5 minutes, so was relegated to playing DJ and searching for upbeat k-pop tunes on Youtube, but I like to think I played my part.

This is my first drunk blog post. I hope I spelled everything right. Stoopid soju. Luvvit.

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3 thoughts on “What was life like without soju?

  1. I have been learning about soju through painful personal experience and am now wildly curious to know: how’s your head this morning?

    As far as the Dino Meat name goes: I do not know what I’m eating about 95% of the time anyway, so I were to be served Dinosaur, I would probably just cheerfully throw it on the grill, dip it in something, and eat it anyway….

    • A late response, but important enough to post anyway: my head was fine, because I have learned the painful way (the *excruciatingly* painful way) that after a night of soju drinking I need to force myself to drink water until I can physically take no more. I dutifully went home and drank from a 2-litre bottle until my stomach felt like it was going to explode. Woke up in dire need of the bathroom, but with no headache – just some mild fuzziness that was gone by lunch time! :)

  2. K8 says:

    Yaaaaay for drunken posting! Welcome to the club :)
    Soju sounds proteinerific, just how nature intended I suppose… all that chewing must make for great teeth. So much better than Buorgor King, that’s fo sure.

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