I had this excellent idea for a Valentine’s Day post today but alas, my schedule was blown to pieces by that thing which drives most foreigner teachers in Korea a little crazy.
I’m talking about the Teacher’s Dinner.
I remember you telling me about such an event that you experienced with your hagwon staff recently and how inebriated you were after leaving the dinner. I don’t think I was quite that drunk, but much alcohol was consumed. And not just any alcohol but the Korean fire-water of choice: Soju.
And not just any soju either! Oh no. My Principal introduced us to something I have never heard of before in my nearly 4 years of being in this country, something so foul it hurts me just to remember it.
Imagine, if you will, a kettle. Then imagine that kettle is filled with slices of raw onion. And then imagine pouring an entire bottle of soju into that kettle full of onions and mixing it all together before pouring the resulting concoction into shot glasses.
ONION. SOJU. SHOTS.
Just take a second to let that sink in. Even if you *like* onions (and I do not) I can’t imagine any possible way that this drink could be enjoyable. Why would anyone drink this? WHY HEATHER WHY???
The dinner was in appreciation of the three foreign teachers at my school and our recent efforts to help the Principal improve his English before he moves to Vietnam to be a guest professor at a college there. It was sweet of him to do this, and even sweeter of him to order a box of fried chicken once he learned that I don’t eat seafood. Naturally the venue was a raw seafood restaurant. I was touched that he would do that for me. And also extremely grateful considering how much worse I would have been had I drank so much on a nearly empty stomach. >.<
There were 16 people at the dinner and we drank 15 bottles of soju and 8 bottles of beer. I’m a little surprised that we didn’t end up going to a noraebang after. That would have been fun. Especially since once the soju started to flow everyone became silly and more approachable. ^_^ And more inclined to sing.
It’s interesting: I work in a language center and we’re not really part of the main school culture. We get invited to staff events and dinners, and the Principal and Vice Principal will come over to our far-off corner and do the obligatory shot with us, but to be honest I’ve never been so involved in a teacher dinner before. This was my first real experience of drinking with the Principal and V.P. of my school. And aside from the fact that we were shooting onion soju I had a lot of fun.
I was exhausted the next day-because I didn’t go to bed until nearly 1am to avoid being hungover-but it was a lot of fun and I’m glad that our Principal likes us foreigners so much. I just hope that the new Principal who takes over in March is as adventurous and kind.
I still plan to upload the Valentine’s Day video on Saturday!