Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas in Korea

I have been, a touch, out of it recently for one reason or another, but now I'm not out. I'm in.

Just before Christmas I spent a couple of nights drinking it up in Seoul. Now I know why I don't do this very often. There isn't much of me left over, that's why.

It was a disturbingly short holiday; December 25, sing happy birthday to baby Jesus; December 26, go to work. Luckily I'm enjoying my midweek day off and I am as always in the midst of a major dirt renovation of my room.

I meant to call most of my friends and relatives around Christmas but found myself quite unfit for the task. Christmas day Gavin and Susie made up a wonderful roast with heaps of great dishes to accompany. Gavin had invited several of his colleagues and we had a lovely, long dinner and drinks afterwards.

The highlights of the dinner were the roast beef which Gavin roasted in an electric pizza cooker (ovens being quite rare hereabouts) and the potato salad that Susie spiked with dill pickles! The pickles took over the crunchy role of celery without inducing that bitter taste -- master stroke Susie.

Sadly, I had to put up with the childish behaviour of one of the dinner guests, granted I am no longer a patient man. Let's call him Mr. Ha, they all want to be called 'Mr.' and they seriously expect that we will call them Mr. even when we introduce ourselves as 'John', or 'Jack' or 'Gavin'.

So, Mr. Ha suggests that we go to a Karaoke room (Noraebang) for an hour or so to end Christmas day with that special kind of finesse. He goes around the room asking the 5 or so people that remained if they want to go. To be perfectly honest I was not paying attention to the other responses, I was simply, just then, deciding I would turn in very soon considering that I had been out drinking all night for the last two nights.

So, I told Mr. Ha that I was off to bed, he had the audacity to tell me that I was being rude by turning down the Noraebang outing. I'm sorry Mr. Ha, but I do not need lessons on manners from a Korean man! Okay, perhaps this statement could be more accurate. I do need lessons on how to be polite to other Korean men, but by no means do I need lessons on how to act properly from Korean men. The idea of acting politely for Korean men is that you do anything that your senior asks, no matter how stupid cause that is what a junior is supposed to do.

I have something to say to Korean men that I may meet socially in the future, whether they be my colleagues or not. I am not your senior nor your junior -- now shut up, and act like a man!

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