Category: Clubbing


May Club Day

Texting KaJin Friday afternoon to tell her it was Club Day, it was pretty obvious that I would return to Seoul to see her, even though I had already traveled there and was exhausted.

On the subway, some Western girl laughed at my jeans—like gray (black and white mix), skinny, skin tight—maybe they’re worthy of laughter. The first and hopefully final time I’ve received such a reaction though. KaJin text me in Korean, “I’m with an old friend so come slowly” and I thought, “Damn, the games for the night begin.” It wasn’t at all bad, as I had time for a snack and wandering Hongdae.

I couldn’t make out what a text later meant, so I asked some Koreans at a stand selling clothes. I showed them the text and explained that I wanted to know what club she was at, and when they didn’t understand, I did so in Korean. One of the dudes starting typing what I said as a text and asked for her number… yeah, right! I’m not gonna give her number to some stranger so he can text her something I can say myself.

Told her, “Q*vo,” her favorite club, and she said she’d meet me there. Waiting outside for what seemed like an eternity, she ran up to me, said her friend got her in, that he had free Club Day tickets, and the guard was a little skeptical when her friend told him to let me through. Some lady involved with organizing Club Day gave us each a wristband and drink ticket. She left to see her friend, saying we’d meet in an hour. So I sat with him and one of his buddies and we spoke Korean. Her friend (현준/Hyeon June) told me he studies English everyday and wanted to practice, to we spoke in English. We then went down into the club and danced in the back. His friend was such an outrageous dancer it was quite hilarious—moving his feet and dancing everywhere with a slick smile.

Dancing got boring and I suggested we go to another club, as M2 was packed. Went to some basement club for about two seconds (absolutely dead) and then to NB1, which wasn’t too busy. Danced for a little, than sat next to현준 and watched videos from the TV above the bar. Finally around two-thirty I convinced him that we should get some food, and we were able to find 해장국 (sunrise/ox tail stew), my new favorite.

We talked about life and I asked him about KaJin. He met her in Busan at a festival about a year ago and he told me a lot about her. As I complained about her heavy drinking and other, minor things, he laughed, “Yeah, you really know her!” She called and said she wanted to see me, asked to speak to him. We weren’t finished yet, and he explained that she had to come to NB1, not NB2, as she wanted. She kept calling and he got annoyed every time I gave him the phone. “I want to locker,” she text me at four am. We were supposed to meet at 10—six hours later is better than never, right?

He danced near where we had sat and I hung around her at the bar as she devoured her Black Russian, spilling some of her next drink down my shirt as she gave me a sip. On the dance floor, she took off my suit jacket and told me to put it in the locker. They made me pay another $2 to add it to her purse in the clear plastic bag on the stairway that served as a “locker.”

So difficult to get a good dancing position, we left for Q*vo, 현준 hugging me and telling me to take good care of her. I promised him I would and was a little sad to say goodbye. Earlier I’d tried to get him to talk to various Western chicks, but he was much too shy.

KaJin was very excited to be at Q*vo, the first club she had ever been to when she turned 20, and she asked me to buy her one drink. “ONE!” I told her. Heineken, of course, what I got her when we met. She was still apologizing for making me wait so long to meet her. It was fine—she had met an old high school friend.

She was quite physical on the dance floor, which is unusual for her, and then she asked, “Why don’t you play? There are lots of girls here. I’ll find you a new girl.” She left and came back. I let her suggestion vanish into strobes and smoke. She asked me to buy her another drink, just one, and I shook my head. I insisted, but knew I would lose. So I bought her another drink, and she promised it was the last one… a promise she kept.

Staying until the club closed, they gave me a problem when I turned in the locker key to retrieve my ARC (alien registration card) because KaJin gave them a single sheet of paper (some chemistry paper—they’ll accept anything from a girl—perhaps). They said they didn’t have the card. She was upset; I wasn’t. Why should I be? When right, I’m immovable. Finally they found it and apologized profusely.

Bright outside, we were both surprised and excited and I told her we should sit down and talk. So we sat on a stoop and talked for a long time about things I care not to share. I suggested we go to Jeju Island and she told me how she’s been twice—once on a high school trip getting drunk from some of the alcohol she got for her teacher. Then I heard, “you die, you die,” and when I looked to where the voices were, it was young kids, who, seeing me watching, said, “Beautiful.” When I looked back at KaJin, they said, “Hey, teacher, kiss my ass.” She was pissed, standing and shouting some choice swears (words I was a little surprised to hear). We got up and say some random band surrounding by quite a few fan girls and she said they were terrible. Sitting on a bench nearby, we talked a while longer.

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March Club Day in 홍대 started with a snack (떡볶이) and getting a text from 가진 asking where I was. She was just a single subway stop away but said we couldn’t meet, that she’d be with her friend all night, asking what I was doing there. I explained that it was because of Club Day, then wandered a bit before settling on Club Saab: dead. Sat at the bar with my beer, and the bartender instantly loved me, gave me a shot of tequila and had me sit next to the two girls positioned at the far side. They gave me tequila, and the one with short hair told me she was 34 and left to dance alone, the bartender telling me if I talked to the younger one (21) maybe I could have four girlfriends (as I told him I had three).

It was a little awkward: me asking questions in Korean, and then I asked if she spoke English, and she said, “Yes, a little.” Told me she was a medical student and wanted to be a doctor. I asked when she was free (holidays only) and if I could be her private English teacher—she said yes. Getting her number, I stole the bartenders’ attention and they were oh so happy.

We left together to go to NB2, but it was a ridiculous line (two hours), so we returned to Club Saab and the original bartender notified me that there were foreign girls there and he didn’t like them, just foreign guys, so I told him I’d talk to them and find out what they’re all about. Kelly and Tabitha, Army girls who had had their IDs stolen and wanted to go to Club Day (how they got in without a ticket is beyond me) and I told them I’d help. The Korean guy (their chaperone?) got a bit defensive until I talked to him and explained what I was all about.

Returning to the first two girls, the older one told me to go away (perhaps mad about what happened with her friend’s sister, the young girl), who was still very nice but very drunk. So I accompanied the two Americans and their Korean friend to get Club Day tickets. They did, upset they spent the money, saying they were going to meet their friend for a birthday party and to go with them. I sat next to the Korean dude (Justin) and advised him on Western women. I said, “Kelly, what’s…” and the other girls said, “That’s not her name.”

Oh, that game, ok. I left. Met some random Koreans and went to a club with them (stupidly paying 15,000 for some small ass club when I had a Club Day ticket). Didn’t drink, just took pictures of girls at the bar for them (they took one with me) and wandered, left. 가진 text me to meet her at 3: when she called and hearing how drunk I was, told me not to drink for an hour.

Meeting her, going first to the bar where we had our first date, then to the club where we met, me buying her a ticket (“you will pey?”). Some random girl appeared, started talking to me in Portuguese, and told my girl 가진 that she would make out with me if 가진 didn’t. She had already been pecking me all night on her own, but was nervous. We made out, then the girl said she would kiss 가진 if she didn’t kiss me. So she kissed me again, then the girl said she would kiss her friend who she hadn’t seen in ten years and they did.

We held hands after, her saying she didn’t like “skinship,” holding my hand because I asked and squeezing it so hard. Earlier at the club, when I was being a little bit too touchy-feely, she knocked the wind of me. I deserved it. Especially when I told random girls to smile while we were walking through the streets holding hands. Later, she was about to jump in a cab and I told her I’d never talk to her again and she got in… I answered her texts anyway. Had breakfast at KFC and didn’t throw up… met a new, good friend.

She called me Saturday night… unfortunately I wasn’t in town!  Next time.

Final Friday in February, Hongdae, Club Day.

Looked first thing for Club Mansion, while not a part of Club Day, had excellent reviews online and the pictures of chandeliers and talk of an older, sophisticated crowd had me hooked enough to ask ten strangers and even go to the Police Station for directions: talked to six or seven officers, each new one more skilled at English, all clueless as to its location, saying it was new. They were friendly and appreciated my ever improving Korean, nodding and smiling when I answered, “Yes, I am alone.”

Decided fuck it, get a Club Day ticket and start drinking and dancing. Went to Q*vo, real hip hop, above M2. Only foreigner there, leaving after three Heinekens. Entranced by some pulsing underground house music, I was lured into a basement club—six or seven people including two people working the dancefloor, the dj and bartender. Introduced myself to the two foreigners, two Irishmen teaching English, one here two and a half years, the other six months. We each had another drink, then left together. Ended up at another club with a similar situation, some tall Irish guy yelling, “You guys are from Ireland?” I may be intense, but he was intensely CRAZY.

Left and went to another place, decided to settle there, hovering near the bar/tables/chairs. Met some guys from India and got their emails (not sure if/when I’d hang with them again) and then was rejected by every girl I asked to dance (in Korean, of course), two hands waving—just watching the action. Settled into a groove, talking to whatever girls approached. Really laid it out for one girl, telling her I’m a gentleman and she had to trust me because I’m always honest, until she said she missed her ex and showed me his picture on her phone—some blonde American—said he was too busy to see her.

“When did you break up?”

“Three days ago.”

Next! The Irish guys were like, “Yeah, man, you were talking to her for a long time, and I was, I don’t know, maybe forty minutes. Drank some more, talked to another girl, a third, I think, and then finally convinced the last girl to come outside so we could talk in private. Had her hold my beer as I pissed behind a car in the alley, then we talked for a while. I remember touching her face, which was when she didn’t think she was beautiful, said, “But I’m fat” which was not true at all. Asked if we were girlfriend/boyfriend and she said, “Maybe,” then yes (not like that really means anything), because, like last time, both of us were stupendously drunk. So drunk I couldn’t finish my beer before returning to the club, met some guy, her saying it was her boyfriend, then her brother, which is what I believe as he was extra friendly and liked me a lot. Then she said it was time to go and they got their stuff from a locker and left.

The Irish guys were gone, the Indians, everyone I had talked to, and I had no reason to stay. Got some juice from Family Mart and sat before the store, talking to a Korean girl who told me how utterly terrible Korean chicks are to foreigners, that they like the guys for a little while, merely fun for them, and they end it and break the guys’ hearts. Then these American guys came by with one of her Korean friends, and they were being nasty, “C’mon, baby,” and all kind of bullshit talk, one saying, “This kid’s about to pass out,” about me and that’s when my RAGE took charge: I stood up and told them to fuck off and get the fuck out. They left, and I told her I’d smash my bottle on the ground and no one would care and I did, I slammed it down hard, and nothing happened. She left with her Korean friend, wrote her name down to friend her on facebook—she’s already given me the inside perspective I’ve been sorely lacking.

Went to one more club and danced with absolutely every person on my Smile Crusade: motioning and telling them to smile as we danced, and they all smiled and I made the entire club’s night. Continued the Smile Crusade on the street to much less success, yelling, “Hey girls, smile,” and getting harsh reactions, some girl yelling at me in Spanish as we neared the subway, her friend translating (in case I didn’t understand, but I knew the majority of what she said), “I am smiling, mother fucker! (etc.)”

Happy to sit on the subway and relax and wear away the still-killer buzz. A few stops later a really attractive girl sat across from me and her friend beside me. I was looking at the girl next to me, extra concerned, as she seemed really out of it almost to the point of vomiting, and I said, “Is your friend okay?” and the first girl was nasty, “Why are you staring?” and I explained that I was worried and she said that her friend was just drunk.

Maybe it was the failure of the Smile Crusade 2: Street Edition, or maybe it was lingering sadness over some past crap, but my eyes suddenly swelled with tears, so much so that I had to take off my glasses and cry right there on the subway, silent-like, gushing.

The girl’s face displayed concern as her lips mouthed, “What’s wrong?” I dried my eyes and shook my head, getting off at the Express Bus Terminal stop, and her too—secretly ecstatic yet trying to be cool. She asked why I was sad and I explained it was about a Korean girl, and she said, “You were thinking about a Koren girl you liked?” and I said yes, and she seemed too pleased. We bought our respective tickets, and seeing that my bus was leaving in four minutes, asked the woman when the next bus was and she signed and stamped my ticket for the next bus half an hour later. The first girl, the one who spoke really good English got some money from the ATM and we went for a snack.

I said that the food had no taste (in Korean) and Angela was like, “Don’t say that,” because the worker ladies weren’t too pleased, but it was true. I told her how beautiful she was (which was true, stupendously gorgeous) and she said she thought I was beautiful too and she used my phone to call hers, told me to call her anytime. Told me she was 21 Korean (19 US), which only means trouble, and she hugged me, asked the bus driver how long it took to get from my town to hers (two hours) and hugged me again.

SUNDAY UPDATE:

New “girlfriend” called Saturday night at 1:30 AM, asking, after ten seconds of silence, “What are you doing?” and when I told her, “Uh, bed,” she hung up. I called back and she didn’t answer, then texted her to call me later and she did, ten minutes to be exact, only letting it ring once, so I couldn’t answer, nor was I inclined to do so. Since then she hasn’t responded to my calls or texts.

I called today Angela at one: “Bryan? What are you doing?” She was eating and said she’d text me when she available to talk, and she hadn’t by almost eight, when I called again. “Bryan. I miss you. Do you like me? Do you love me?”

“I don’t know you enough to love you, but I like you.”

“Then you need to see me.”

We made plans to hang out Monday, then she said, “Uh, hello?” and the connection was lost.

I called back a few minutes later and a guy answered, said he was her boyfriend and asked who I was (a friend), telling me she was sleeping and that I could call later.

Haven’t decided upon the next course of action regarding her, but did send January’s Club Day girlfriend a text, who I haven’t spoken to in almost a month, and she responded within seconds, “Bryan?” in Korean letters. A war of texts followed, but hers were hard to understand because they were in Korean.

Lesson from all of this ridiculousness: Nothing. Absolutely nothing, and I’m not against seeing any of these girls again, in all honesty. Especially Angela (and I’m sad I don’t know her Korean name, her actual one).

Can’t ask why people play games—I’m playing games now too (albeit my own versions).

All day Friday I couldn’t think about anything but dancing, couldn’t concentrate on teaching at the kindergarten or the hagwon. Once in 홍대 I asked the staff at the piercing parlor for hip hop club recommendations and they said NB2. I got a Heineken, danced on the floor and inhaled the next two, deciding to leave before I got too drunk too soon.

Once outside I showed some random guy my Club Day bracelet and asked him where to go. He said, “You like Korean girls, right?” and I told him I had a girlfriend and just wanted to dance, and he said, “FF,” explaining that it was older and quiet. I didn’t like it at all, packed with foreigners and a decent live band, but I decided to have one beer before leaving. I asked the Korean girl on the stool beside me a question and she said she didn’t speak English, so we spoke Korean. (My 10 hours of study this week definitely paid off). She introduced me to her friend Emma, and a little while later she said they were going home. I downed my beer and went upstairs, ready for another club. Emma, holding a cake, smiled and said we should go somewhere together. Her friend said it was Emma’s birthday.

(It ended up that her friend was married and spoke good English and Emma didn’t speak English very well at all, that I had to pass some rudimentary Korean language test with her friend before I could talk to Emma. I told her friend that she was the trap and they laughed and said I was very smart ).

The wait at NB2 was 2 hours, so I suggested we go to a bar, and they wanted me to pay. (Passing the bar earlier in the night, my intuition told me I’d visit it later). They got apple martinis and I got a Heineken, Emma sitting across from her friend who was sitting next to me. She said she wanted something for her birthday and I tried to kiss her hand, but she told me not to touch her and showed me her phone-dictionary: “Boundary.”

One drink later she said she wanted a boyfriend who had money and was Christian. When I gave her my phone-dictionary: “Taosim,” she immediately called her phone and explained that my looks made up for it and that maybe I could be her boyfriend but showed me her phone-dictionary: “Popularity.”  She put her feet on my lap and I said I was a gentleman so I was asking permission to massage them, and she said ok., so I did. Then I sat beside her and massaged her back and her legs and she said that she wanted me to be her boyfriend and we made plans for a date the next Saturday with her Canadian friend as a translator and the third Saturday just her and I.

“Bryan, Korean study hard,” she said as she rest her head on my shoulders, repeating that and “Call me” so many times. We were very close afterward, going to a machine game gun, her attaching the white fluffy thing to my phone so I can remember her. She had trouble with hers and some nerdy Korean guy did it at the snack place, me telling them the girls were trouble and them not divulging what I said, thanks bros! She fed me the 떡볶이 and then had to take a taxi home and it was sad.

I wanted to go home but it wasn’t time yet so I met some random French guys visiting from China and accompanied them on a search for a bar with no cover, talking most to the one who knew French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Chinese. I drank with them for a while: they were impressed when I danced with some Korean chick and bought her a bottle of water because she was thristy. I went back to NB2 alone and it was semi-packed at 5:30; my night was over anyway: I found a girlfriend, unexpectedly, a most excellent first Club Night. Same time next month? Most definitely!

Yesterday I went to 홍대 (Hong Dae) to scope out the area, my original plan to go clubbing this upcoming Friday for Club Night (which is still the plan). I arrived at  the 동서을 (East Seoul) bus terminal at 4, then a thirty minute subway ride to Hongik University. I wandered, went to Quiznos. A Westerner and his Korean girlfriend sat next to me, her saying, “Bryan, my Bryan.” Strange.

Every place I visited was empty when I arrived and packed when I left. The hamburger place, the stationary shop, the music store. I bought two deluxe editions: Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On and Let’s Get it On for 14 each–an incredible deal. One final task before I left: get my ear pierced. Information directed me to a place, and it cost 4 for everything. Returning to Info to show off the earring, the girl and I started flirting, her wit matching mine and the tension rising, then some stupid Westerner interrupted, crushing the mood.

Arrived at the Terminal at 9:43; last bus for Pocheon left at 9:40.  Stranded in Seoul I could find a place to sleep or go clubbing. Option B! I asked two gay guys nervously watching the crowd where to go, and they suggested M2 (House Music), adding that there was a hip hop club above it. “Real Hip Hop,” as the sign said.  I got lost following their directions and had to use my ever increasing Korean to ask for help; the women were very helpful.

Entry cost 25, and bag check an extra 2. It was 11:30, and an older Korean playboy encouraged me to start touching and dancing with random women. Practically every Westerner used that approach, but that’s not my style, and it was funny to watch the girls reject them. I got a highball with my drink ticket and it was the weakest drink I’ve ever had, so I only had juice for my six hour danceathon, having fun without alcohol. A while later a Korean girl and her friend started dancing near me, the girl extremely nervous, staring at me then whispering to her friend then staring at me. They spoke in English (for my benefit), her friend saying, “Later.”

Upon returning she was more nervous than before. Why? Her beauty was too stunning, probably the most gorgeous girl who’s ever shown interest. She fanned herself and said she was hot, her friend leaving first, and when she turned to me, her sumptious smile said, “Follow me,” something I didn’t realize right away (sometimes I can be such a fucking idiot). I don’t know how much time passed before I went looking, but it was 4 AM. She wore a sleaveless blouse unlike what every other girl was wearing, so I thought it wouldn’t be hard to find a girl with exposed shoulders. It was impossible. When the club thinned out at 5, I searched high and low. Twice. Alas, she was gone.

clubing in Itaewon

Yesterday I hung out in my town with Chris and Edward, two fellow English teachers, before leaving for Seoul at 9:20 and not arriving until after 11, going to the Loft in Itaewon. Tons of new friends and drinking, great racial diversity, and Korean chicks desperate to get Western boyfriends. “You’re the most beautiful girl here,” may have been flattering, but it isn’t a working line. I signed up for pool so I could play the African goddess who was dominating the table.

She lost, as did I, to a guy who went by a Diamond symbol and had no clue how to play. Anyway, this Nigerian guy told me that she was interested in me and that I should go after her. I was intrigued—more like baffled. We chat and Salsa danced (she was an incredible dancer).

“Oh, I want to bite you.”

“Go ahead,” I said.

It got strange when we went back to the pool area. I put my hands around her waist, and she said, “Please don’t touch me,” with a smile that she didn’t mean it, just because her “trainer” was watching us. Then she sat on his lap and he wasn’t very nice. I used this time to walk around, compliment some Korean girls, both knowing no English. Then, getting ready to leave, I told this girl I liked her jacket, and she was so drunk she was almost asleep in her chair, and this guy gets in my face and says, “She has a boyfriend. He doesn’t like that!” So we left.

KFC for breakfast, the only place open. My body couldn’t handle the chicken/hash brown burger, and I threw it up. Outside, a Korean girl crossed the street with us and said, “I saw you in KFC, did you see me?” She was strange: her face kept having tics, sad, then happy and smiling, sad again, then smiling. She said she had been partying all night, and wanted to take us to The Old Town club. After standing and talking in the cold, we accompanied her past Hooker Hill to a bar above The Old Town, Friends. I told her I had a gun and legal immunity as Edward got the beers.

She was scared, explaining that no one in Korea could have guns, not even gangsters. I told her I killed gangsters. She said she wanted a Western friend, “only friends” to party with and that she liked Western men because of their faces and their whiteness. I was very serious, it being nearly dawn and the alcohol worn off, continually asking, “Why?”

She told us that she was thirty-four, unemployed and living with her mother in Incheon, coming to Itaewon every weekend to party, even if it was usually boring. I told her I’d be her friend so that she’d drink her beer, but she said she had been drinking all night, and I said she was lying.

When we left Friends she wanted to go the club, but we said we had had enough partying, Edward already descending the hill, leaving me alone with her. I ordered her to stay behind, telling her I lied when I said I’d be her friend. She was very upset, “But you said you’d be my Western friend. I won’t get to see you again?” I definitely didn’t break her, nor was that my intention, as she’d been broken before, and I have no remorse for how I treated her. How could we trust this girl, or even know what she wanted?