Well, I’ve been pretty bad about the blog lately, but that’s a familiar refrain.  It often feels like I don’t have much to report, and the last few months have settled into a pleasant routine that I’m very content to live but fairly uninspired to write about.  School is good and discipline is predictably improving as we get closer to “movie week,” and my extracurricular life is taken up by maintaining the website, spending quality time with the girlfriend, and traveling over to Geoje for baseball practice.  Our first exhibition games will be in a couple of weeks, and I’ll have a lot more to report on that front after that.

One thing of interest that I haven’t written about yet happened recently: another semi-obligatory dinner and drinking session with one of my co-teachers.  He’s a very nice guy, and always goes out of his way to make me feel welcome and help where he can.  He also likes to cut loose and drink once in awhile, a habit that I get the feeling his wife doesn’t encourage.  Since these wild nights don’t occur too often, and don’t get too crazy when they do, I usually agree to tag along and keep him company.  It seems like a bit of a strange relationship, but it makes sense when you consider that he isn’t able to vent about work frustrations or talk about his study abroad experience way back when with many of his peers.

Dinner will be usually be something Korean, which is a nice way to expose me to food I have still yet to try, although there’s not much outside of sketchy fish product left in that category, it seems.  We’ll have a combo of beer and soju, a clear rice liquor that packs a punch beyond its 20 proof status, as well.  Then it’s off to the noraebang, a Korean tradition, and if you can sing, a good night out.  I can’t sing.

I wish I had her skills

I make the most of it though, and with a little liquid inhibition-killer I can stumble through a rendition of “La Bamba” with the best of them.  How it works is you rent a small room for a period of time, usually a half hour or hour, and pile in with your friends.  Each room has a karaoke machine and a couple of microphones for you to abuse.  You’re expected to drink as well, and can purchase beer by the bucketful.  This always comes along with a mandatory platter of snack food, usually fruit or a mix of savory items like peanuts and fingerlicking dried squid.

That was mildly sarcastic

I actually fairly enjoy these experiences when all is said and done, and the one sour note involved with them that doesn’t limp out of my poor, cursed voice box is the occasional company of a “hostess”.  Her job is to get you drunker by always ensuring that your beer is filled, as well as pad out the time you’re using by singing a song or two.  I’ve never seen one smile or indicate in any way that she’s having a good time, which could be explained by how she sometimes becomes a grope-target towards the end of the night.  That’s invariably my cue to leave, although it’s thankfully not a concern with this co-teacher.  Instead, we usually stagger off by ten or so- enough time to get home and get some rest before the next school day.  I wouldn’t want to make a habit of it, but a night like this every month or two is a pretty good way to blow off some steam, especially for him.  And if a little extra consideration comes my way when it comes time to settle vacation days, I won’t complain about that either…

Confucian… or Machiavellian?


About zijerem

I spent two years neglecting my Peace Corps blog in Peru ( and now I've relocated to Korea (teaching English) and promise to get off my ass and write something every once in awhile...
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3 Responses to Noraebang

  1. darin stanford says:

    Hello Zach, What I really find interesting about your blog is that after I finished as a PCV in Peru, I was drafted by the Army and spent six months in Seoul, South Korea. Of course this was back in the mid 1960’s. Good luck to you. Darin

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