Work Dinners and Other Observations

I love Saturdays – I can sleep in, do whatever I want, go out for dinner with my friends and go dancing. Basically Saturdays are perfect! Friday nights are okay but you have to work on Fridays – don’t get me wrong, I generally enjoy work but Saturdays are still better.

Last night we had another work dinner – which are always fun. This time we went to a Samgeopsal restaurant that specializes in doenjang samgeopsal. I had been there before with some friends and it’s good – fatty as all samgeopsal is but delicious. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any doenjang samgeopsal (spicy soy bean paste marinated thick, fatty bacon-like meat) but they had green tea samgeopsal which was tasty as well as spicy samgeopsal, regular samgeopsal and thin samgeopsal – we tried them all. Hey, when work is paying… you eat your weight in gold! It’s a little awkward at work dinners now because while most people understand when I say I don’t drink soju (especially if I am drinking beer – having something alcoholic makes other people who are drinking feel more comfortable) but there is always one or two that think that it’s okay to have a shot or two. Unfortunately soju messes with my head – I have wondered if I’m allergic because no other alcohol makes me crazy like it does. But back to the story I was able to fake my way through with a shot of cider (that’s Sprite in any other country) with my female boss (her husband – my male boss never comes).

After gorging ourselves with food, we moved on to Korean karaoke room – not to be confused with the more popular noraebangs or singing rooms where you rent a private room to do karaoke in – this was a bar with karaoke. Strangely enough I had been to that one a few weeks ago. I have sung more in public this year than I had in the previous 30. But a good time was held by all, especially by the more drunk of the teachers and I have pictures to prove it. Because I only have 5 weeks left – my last day of work is officially October 2nd – I have been carrying my camera around with me everywhere. It’s funny how you don’t think to take pictures of friends and co-workers until you are faced with the possibility that you won’t see them again. I am planning on keeping in touch with several of my co-workers, many of whom I consider friends, some of whom I hang with on the weekends too – but I don’t really have pictures of them. Hence the camera accompanying me everywhere. Check my Flickr link for the pictures.

I decided to leave around 3:00 am – until I looked at my watch I had no idea it was that late (it is going to be hard trying to switch back to normal time when I travel and come home). Things were starting to move from drunken funniness to the ‘you’re so drunk I feel sorry for you’ so Lena, Lainey and I decided to go to Benchwarmers for a change of scenery – hey, 3:00 is way too early to head home on a Friday. It was Jamie’s last night – all my foreign friends have either left or will be leaving soon, me included – which is why we headed to Bench instead of dancing. Didn’t stay long – I was actually home by 4:00, wow!

And I’m getting ready to go out now – meeting friends for some galbi and dancing – like I said, I love Saturdays!

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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