Banner design by Helena, portrait by Eva


Saturday, December 09, 2006

WON 60 bucks for singing "You Are My Sunshine."

I just got home from the Christmas party. It's only 1:30 AM but considering I arrived at the party around 6PM, it's been a long night (7 1/2 hours!)

Koreans sure know how to throw a party. We sat at silk wedding chairs. There was enough food for like a thousand people! And the drinking was ridiculous. The head of the hogwon (4 campuses and probably millions of dollars) kept filling our glasses with everything imaginable: whisky, soju, beer, as he made toasts! He acted like he was my best friend.

There were about 200 people at the gathering. Koreans are fond of karaoke. They call it "noraebang." I thought I'd be meeting foreign teachers from the other campuses, but there was only one overly friendly black guy and two old Canadian men, married to Koreans.

I got called up to the front of the hall, in front of 200 people! The guy hired to be the entertainer chose me to sing a song. My light hair must have been a bulls-eye target. Oh great! "What do you want to sing?" he asked. The first thing that came to mind? "You are my Sunshine!" I gave a horrendous performance and forgot the words, but laughed at myself.

I got called up a couple more times to dance with Korean teachers. For my humility, I won a prize. The school gave me a photo album and an envelope with $60,000 in it (more than $65. Canadian!) I'd say it was worth it!

Afterwards, the head honcho, my boss, Jacques, Ludwig and a bunch of others went to a noraebang club. In a more intimate setting, singing was fun. I belted songs like "I WILL SURVIVE" by Gloria Gaynor. Dried octopus was passed around the red-lit norebang room.

While getting fresh air outside, Yuno: a new friend whose classroom is next to mine, told me I have to experience the communal bath. Women bathe with women and men with men. This is very common in Korea. He said it's the ultimate Korean experience. I told him I was too modest to disrobe in front of other girls. He laughed at me and said I had to learn Korean culture.

In the end, I ended up at a small, traditional Korean restaurant with a few of the teachers. I felt burnt out and, knowing I had the ball game tomorrow, I called it a night before they put their order in.

I felt emotional walking home... maybe just a little overwhelmed, missing The Hora Homey and others back home. It was a big day between the amusement park and Christmas party.


Anonymous said...

You must try the bath. It is just so great. I miss it so much that I'm in Canada. There is hot water and cold water flowing everywhere. When you let the water fall on your back and massage your entire
All the dead skin on your body is melted away. A brand new person.

Eva said...

Ahh, that sounds glorious. I'm sold. I'll just have to find a good place to go.

Josh said...

wow, do I miss you.

Somebody pay this woman so I can hear her voice! I'm a poor man; I'm not asking for a hug or a kiss..just my girlfriend's voice.

Melodie said...

Sounds like a pretty fun Christams Party. I'm not sure if I could handle the staring at the communal baths..I mean it's okay with the clothes on, but imagine the looks with your clothes off!!!

ryan said...

Hi Eva! Great story, sounds like you're having an experience of a lifetime. When you come back we ought to throw a kareoke suggestion is "The Jitterbug Song" by George Michaels

Eva said...

hahaha, true enough Melodie.

Can't wait, Ryan! Jitterbug Kareoke sounds great. Say 'hi' to Paige for me.

Beg me, Josh ; )