Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Sketchy Korean Clubbing Scene

Scene: Saturday

As always, I woke up early to play some soccer with the Saturday Mornings Korean Boy Mafia. In the afternoon I judged an English speech contest for Kosin. I had to rate students on how well they delivered a memorized a famous American speech. More on that later, but mostly you should know how hilarious it is to hear Korean high-schoolers say, “They said, they said, they said this day would never come” in an Obama accent.

In the evening I went swing dancing! As always, my meager dancing skills remind me of how little time there is available. In my second, third, and fourth lives I want to become proficient in several languages, an excellent dancer, and a ninja—but probably not in that order.

After that we went to a club—but don’t worry, mom and dad, Korean clubs so straight-laced, they make Baptist church services look like the devil’s work. Well, yes, we did have a beer, danced without being led by the Holy Spirit, and I did give out my number to a cute Korean boy. But aside from that, it was infinitely less sketchy than even the cleanest of American middle school dances.

Rules of Clubbing in Korea:

       1.      American girls get a discount on their cover charge.
And said cover charge includes the aforementioned mildly good beer. Double win.
       2.      Face the front.
No joke: The dance floor was as organized as a CRC service, minus the pews. Everyone stood in rows, respectfully facing the front of the room and dancing in a small square foot of personal space.
       3.      No touching.
The odd thing is, that during these precious moments of freedom from the grind of school and work—in their wildest moments of Saturday Night Bacchanalian Revelry—Korean men and women alike are apparently less likely to touch one another (sling an arm around one another? link arms?). No touching. No grinding. No close dancing. Not with strangers. Not with your girlfriend/boyfriend. The most scandalous dancing I think I saw all night was when a couple held hands and he moved her arms around through the air. I have to say, it was the oddest dance party I have ever been a part of.
       4.      Dance like it’s the 80s.
Koreans are good dancers, but this does not apply to their clubbing style. I reference here rule #2 and #3. Combine this with their natural enthusiasm, the current popularity of the shuffle, and perhaps a lack of creativity and you'll have some idea of the hilarity that ensued this Saturday night.
       5.      Smile at the foreigners
We made friends quickly on the dance floor by virtue of being 외국사람. Within seconds of our arrival near the front, a group of girls giggled a “Hello!” and started dancing with us. One asked me—screamed at me, more like, between the furious techno beats while the strobe light distorting her face oddly and her friends flailed around her—“How do you like Korea?”

It’s great, thanks for asking! You guys are nuts! *thumbs up*

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