Six Months!!!



It's hard to believe it's been a month since I've posted anything. And even harder to believe that I've been in Korea for 6 months already...

To update everyone on the past month:

First, I had a cast on my leg for about 3 weeks. When the doctors took it off to see how the healing was progressing, I was given a good prognosis. They said that I may only need 2 months of rehab instead of 6 and I was given a hinged brace to wear. I'm much more mobile now and can do pretty much whatever (walking, dancing, etc.) as long as my knee doesn't twist. The brace keeps it really stable so other than being achy it's not that bad unless I stand on it too long or do something like slip in the shower.

So... what've I been up to in the past month then? Well, most of the time was just going to work and coming home, but I was able to do a few things for fun.

Last week, I told one of my Korean friends that I really needed to just get out and do something, so I wanted to go somewhere in town I've never been before. He asked what kind of things I like and I told him I like good music, dancing, meeting people... so he took me to a "booking club".



"Booking clubs" are a very unique thing in Korean culture arising from the lack of (or differences in) socialization skills. One of the first things you notice as a teacher is that it is EXTREMELY difficult to get boys and girls of any age to interact at all. Now, while it may seem normal in the U.S. for kindergarten boys and girls to think the other sex "has cooties", here such actions are not limited small children. Even as adults those behaviors are still ingrained in many.

As a result, a type of night club developed that force interaction. At these clubs, there is usually a band or DJ and a dance floor, but most of the club is actually tables/booths set up for small groups (4-6 people) to drink and talk. Men go to a club with their male friends, are seated at a table, and buy a "set" of drinks and appetizers. Women go with their girlfriends, are seated at their table, and order a drink or two. Then "table managers" (think hosts in a restaurant) go around, take the women by the hand (or sometimes almost drag them by the arm) to tables of men. If the women like the men they will stay and talk for a while getting to know them. If the women don't like the men, they will have a drink and get up and leave after a couple of minutes. Both the men and women who go know exactly what to expect (well, the Koreans know what to expect even if Americans don't--lol).


The women put up a pretense of not wanting to go to the different tables to meet the men. There were two women in their late 20's at the table next to us who actually would act like kindergartners every time the table manager would come get them to go to visit another group of men...making faces, digging in their feet as though they didn't want to go. Yet, they came to the club knowing it was a booking club, were there when we arrived and were still there when we left a couple of hours later.

There were probably 1000-1500 people at the club and it had a great show with a variety of DJ's and good music. The sets of music rotated between dance music (where everyone would get up, move to the dance floor, and the men would dance with their friends and the women with theirs) and more "low-key" sets where everyone would sit down again to mingle. I didn't realize it was a booking club that my friend was taking me to, and really wasn't looking to meet anyone there, but I'd heard about booking clubs and had been curious to see what they're like since they're such a "Koreanism".




My friend and I didn't have the managers bring any girls to our table, since that's not why we were there but I did have girls approach me 3 different times on the dance floor to talk to me. My friend told me that's never happened to him or any of his friends, so I'm assuming that's because I'm a foreigner so I don't fit anywhere in the Korean hierarchy of social structure and therefore the "normal" rules of behavior don't apply.


Post a Comment

About This Blog

Rick is an English teacher currently living and working in Seoul, South Korea. If you have any questions about life in Korea, feel free to email:

  © Blogger template Foam by 2009

Back to TOP