A Typical Night Out In South Korea
About two months ago I was drinking in a local ‘western-style’ bar with one of the other English teachers from my hagwon. This bar is a bit of a shit-hole, but beer is only 2000 won, or about £1.30, a pint so it’s very popular with the expat community, which seems to contain a large amount of loud annoying Americans. (They also serve Guinness but that’s 8000 won.)
I did something that night that I deeply regret and will hopefully never have to do again- I went for a dump in their toilet. It genuinely is the worst toilet I’ve seen in this country. What was especially bad was that even though it was possible to lock the door on the only stall in there, there was still a gap of about two inches between the door and the side of the stall so any one outside could look in and vice versa.
About two minutes after I sat down, some guy ran in to the toilet, tried to open the stall door (luckily the lock held despite the gap) then turned around and started vomiting noisily into the urinal. While he was doing this another guy walked in after him, then started shouting ‘What the fuck are you making so much noise for, you fucking nigger?’ (Both these guys were white.) At this point I instinctively leaned forward enough that they wouldn’t see my face if they looked into the stall (which meant that I was sat with my head pressed against the door).
Noisy Puke Guy (or NPG) finished puking and started shouting at his friend for using the n word. The friend started shouting back, something about how he’d once been mugged by a black guy, and ‘you don’t know what it’s like, man! You don’t know what it’s like to have a gun shoved in your face!” After a couple of minutes of him shouting stuff like that, NPG suddenly comes back with ‘yeah? Well do you know what it’s like to put a gun in your own face? You put it in your mouth? Feel the weight against your head?’ They went back and forth like that for an excruciatingly long time, before the friend shouted ‘you know what? I do know what it’s like to put a gun in my own face!’
‘Oh yeah? Well why didn’t you pull the trigger?’
‘Why didn’t you pull the trigger?’
And it went on and on. I don’t remember how it ended but I’m pretty sure I wast stuck in the toilet for at least 15 minutes waiting for them to leave, maybe even longer.
Back in the bar I hear one of their voices coming from a large group of people who were annoyingly close to the dartboard (annoying because we were having a game and had to listen to them)- telling the following anecdote: ‘My brother has not cut his hair since high school! And he’s a year older than me!’
At this point we left the bar and went to McDonald’s (in SK they start serving breakfast at 4.am- I think it was about five when we walked in.) After we got our food a different group of americans came in, took a surprisingly long time to figure out that only breakfast was available, tried to order some fries anyway, stood around complaining that it wasn’t exactly the same as the McDonalds ‘back home’ then left without ordering anything.