Sunday, March 18, 2007


a couple of days in Seoul with my colleague Scott from Nashville (the dude who looks like John Lennon) and Sal (the other guy, who came in from, um, I'm not sure where)

The top photo was taken at approximately 4am at a soju tent n Gang nam district. To fully appreciate that simple statement you need to understand Soju and understand Koreans.

Soju is Korea's national drink. Soju is the 2nd most consumed liquor in the world after vodka. Now, nobody drinks soju outside of Korea, a country of 50 million people. Vodka is enjoyed all over the world. This means people in Korea drink A LOT of soju.

They drink soju all the time. Many bars are open 24 hours.

They drink soju everywhere. My favorite is the ''soju tent''. Literally a tent erected in random street alleys with power generators and run by some toothless older woman called ''ajuma''. To chase the soju you can get fried fish, eels, squids, soup and other delicacies.

Have I mentioned these tents are open all night?

In the middle Scott buys a waffle stuffed with ice cream

Bottom: rolls of golden pigs celebrating Lunar New Year


Blogger toner_low said...

I need to check your blog more often. Sounds like the trip to Korea was soju-riffic--when you say that vodka and then soju are the most consumed spirits, you're omitting wine from that category, right? Seoul is probably one of the few places in Korea where there's more to do than just drink, but everywhere else, it's soju time all the time; When I first came to Pusan, I had to walk a mile down a wide main street to get from the apartment complex where I lived to the school where I taught and on Monday mornings nearly every inch of that sidewalk was covered in vomit. I remember eating lunch in a tent market in Kumi where you'd routinely see laborers and construction guys getting stumbling drunk on their lunch breaks. Korean cuisine is basically a whole bunch of hangover cures. It's probably changed a little now, but back in the day, if two or more Korean males got together anywhere--even at a bus stop--a bottle of soju would materialize. Not that I'm critical of this--I tend to regard the two years I spent in that country as a kind of extension of my senior year in college.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Ku said...

Vodka & soju are referred as the best-selling clear liquor. It's like saying Fall Out Boys it the best-selling emo pop.

It's very normal to be piss drunk in Korea and no one is offended. I've been to many business function where a client would simply fall over drunk. His/her colleagus would simply shift seats, ignore the person, keep drinking, then eventually throw the person into a cab. Next day in the meeting everything is normal. Then next evening it happens all over again, but maybe another person is passed out this time. The first time I saw it I was shocked, now it's business as usual.

8:02 PM  

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