Last night I went out to a club, only my second ever and the first time in 4 years–my first was my now-sister-in-law’s bachelorette party at a club in Vancouver, B.C. This time, however, I didn’t make a phone call to the Dean of Men (my boss at ORU at the time) from the bathroom saying “I hope it’s ok, but I’m going to have a drink since it’s summer and, well, someone bought me one!” Had there not likely been long distance charges, maybe I would have…
I worked some OT yesterday, and after my 6th day in a row, I was ready to curl up in a ball and relax the rest of the night, maybe prep a little for this upcoming week. Of course I’d just started my period, and all I wanted to do was get in sweats and do this:
But that wasn’t gonna happen because that would be boring and this post wouldn’t be entitled “In da club.” Annie came in around 4 and convinced me that nothing would be better than going out with people, getting dressed up and dancing. Cue the montage! I had no idea what to wear, it was still 85 degrees out, and what the heck does one wear to a club?! I Project Runway’d my American Apparel circle scarf into a top with some black leggings and flat sandals, threw on some false lashes and headed out.
After grabbing some food downtown, we (Annie, Carrie, Melissa and I) met up with Carrie’s Korean friend Gabriel. And then we proceeded to eat and drink more. Koreans are known for Soju, their drink of choice. According to Roy-Gene, it tastes like soapy alcohol water, and I kind of agree. At 18% alcohol, it’s not like the booze back in ‘Merica. Anyways, the Koreans like to do lots and lots of shots of this, coupled with cheap beer in small glasses. We played some drinking games and went out to DANCE DANCE DANCE.
Sidebar: I know my mom (and some other people) really aren’t fans of hearing about drinking and clubs and dancing and things. That’s okay! I don’t mind! Here’s your warning that a lot more of that is about to happen and a disclaimer: We were in a big group with English and Korean speakers, no one drove (thank you big cities and taxis!) and no one got drunk–aka this story ends well. Sorry for the spoilers, everyone else. No deaths. Also, I’m 97% sure that my mom had a fake ID at some time in her life…so… now that I’ve revealed that I probably won’t get any care packages.
We go to the first club–nope, too expensive. We hit a second club, and a 30-minute debate in 2 languages ensues about money and covers and who cares? it got resolved eventually and we went in. We descended 3 flights of stairs into the lighting scheme from Jay-Z & Kanye’s video for “N—s in Paris” (sans panther/tiger/leopard/liger), where there was a central catwalk splitting the middle of the dance floor, and it had 4-5 metal poles going ceiling to floor. There was an equal amount of people on the floor to the catwalk, all of them Koreans, and a healthy mix of guys and girls. After purse planting at a table, we all jumped up on the catwalk and had us some fun.
Let’s talk about Koreans dancing. They have no rhythm and I love it because I have no rhythm. It’s all from the waist up, a shoulders-bouncing, head-banging thing with no hips or feet. Interestingly, there’s very little touching. Almost none. It wasn’t until…well. You’ll see. Here’s an example of Korean dancing:
We danced to Macklemore, Annie Lennox (Sweet Dreams, timeless), Daft Punk and I’ll say, the DJ did a great job. Seamless transitions. We danced and hopped and swung around the poles and tried really hard not to fall off the 2 foot catwalk. Photographers kept coming over to take pictures of the 4 foreign girls laughing and having fun in the club, great PR–I’m positive I’ll look like an idiot in those–but I really was having a blast. Around 1:30, Carrie and I decided to step down from our pedestal and take a breather by dancing on the floor.
Creepers, enter stage left. The old guy who had been standing and smiling at us all night (not dancing, by the way, just standing and smiling) moseyed over, as did a guy with an honest-to-God green glowstick who decided that he was the raptor and Carrie was a–what do raptors eat? Geese? extras from Jurassic Park?–rabbit. Carrie was a rabbit. I DON’T KNOW I’M NOT A PALEONTOLOGIST. I laughed and high-fived Carrie for attracting such a stud, and then a guy in a white button up arrives, puts his arm up to signal to the bros and decides that this white girl (me) is going to be gifted with getting all of his business. Read: ALL. HIS. BUSINESS. There are no secrets when it comes to Korean boys and their skinny jeans. What a gentleman this guy was: just walks up and grinds himself on me, not even a hello. At least dogs who hump your leg lick your hand first. You want to just walk up and molest me? You think because I’m dancing with my friends that I want that? You want a power play? I will emasculate you with no words, sir. I didn’t need to speak Korean to pull “the bro” down a few rungs. I actually look up at his friends, who are hooting and hollering and shoving each other at his success, roll my eyes and yawn, yes, yawn up at the wolf pack as this guy is grinding up on me. I had hearing loss from the bass and yet I could clearly hear the audible “oooooooooo!” of the bros sensing my diss. It was tangible. That dude is never, never going to live that down. It’s 2am and the foreign girl is done with you and your stupidity. Good luck finding someone with your attitude, asshole.
Gabriel got us a taxi home and we were safe and sound and in bed by 2:35, smelling of cigarettes and peeling off my eyelashes. I gotta say, I think it’ll take another 4 years before I feel like clubbing again. I had a blast dancing with friends, and I appreciate that it took 2 hours before I got half-groped (which would have taken 20 seconds in the states), but I think I’m ok to stay in bars or my bed, thanks.
It’s now September 1st here in Korea, which means that I’m now 3 months into my contract here at DGEV, aka a quarter complete. It has flown and it has crawled. I’m having a lot of fun playing volleyball and teaching adult students, dancing with friends; and some nights I miss people so much that I just think “fall asleep, fall asleep” as the only escape from sadness.
In everything I’ve done, I’ve surprised myself that I can not only survive, but thrive. I can get a good job. I can move across state lines. I can do an apartment. I can’t really do a dog alone in said apartment, but I can find the dog a better home with amazing people. I can pay all of my bills: phone, car, insurance, student loan, etc. by myself. I can live in a foreign country. I can create lesson plans. I can say words in at least 8 languages, and tell a taxi driver how to take me home in Korean. I can occasionally cook things that won’t poison myself or others. I can do this. I am doing this.
Sometimes when I’m struggling, I strangely enough like to write words on myself. I know, it’s odd duck, but hey. You’ve read this far. You should not be surprised. Last night I came across an Arabic proverb: .الجيات أحسن من الرايحات: “What is coming is better than what has gone.” Immediately I grabbed a sharpie and wrote it in Arabic on my left forearm–I wanted to see those words, to remind myself that great things and people and times are coming. I won’t always be lonely. Tomorrow is a new day, June 1 will come again, and I’ll hug the people I miss most. I’ve always told myself that someday I’d find something worth tattooing, and last night I decided to go ahead and just OH MY GOSH, MOM, PLEASE BREATHE. BREATHE. IN, OUT, IN OUT. I DIDN’T DO IT, I SWEAR. I had you going, though, right? RIGHT?! Don’t lie. I’ll ask Dad.
Until the next time, my babies.