School is out! You know what that means? Well time off, and in my case an overnight drinking fest with my coworkers to celebrate the retirement of my principal. Now the journey to Gunsan was long. We traveled from Tongjin and made some stops in the Gimpo area to pick up the rest of the staff. By the time we arrived in Gunsan it was 6pm and everyone was hungry and tired.
For me the journey was quite comfortable and it was nice to see more of Korea. We made some stops for the principal I assumed. During these stops we saw the coast and some old military vehicles, as well as a short stop in a museum. Like everything in Korea, BBALLI BBALLI! Loosely translating to hurried. I have no idea why everything needs to be rushed all the time but it is an aspect of the culture I do not enjoy. People walk so slow but then when a nice view or activity presents itself you need to take a picture and leave ASAP. Very confusing…
We arrived at a small group of traditional Japanese houses, our accommodation for the night. We checked in, sat on the tatami floors for 30 minutes and moved right onto the restaurant. I saw a blow fish on the outside of the building… Uh seafood. Not my favorite but I am willing to try anything. The teachers and I laughed over the word blow fish, as they quickly went into Naver to translate the Korean word for it. I walked in and it was everywhere, raw everything. My co-teacher and I are not the biggest fans of seafood so I knew I was not going to be eating to much. We sat down, the teachers that were leaving gave short speeches, and the principal shared a few words.
The table was covered in food, and it must have been very expensive. The teachers were pretty excited to eat it because they do not get to this style of sushi very often. I tried a bit of everything, I am a texture guy, so some stuff tasted alright, but damn it was chewy. As soon as the first Soju bottle opened there was no stopping it. What seemed like 100 bottles later everyone was pretty drunk and friendly, especially the teachers who have hardly spoken a word to me out of fear of having so little English. The soju hangover is something I experienced before and never want to again. It is like no hangover I have every had before. Rather than a general headache the soju fairy stabs your frontal cortex continuously the next day. I was avoiding this by chugging gallons of water in hopes of not ending up like the ajashi’s (older man) in Tongjin I see hungover daily.
We traveled back to the motel and in that time a few teachers were already puking on the bus. I knew it was going to be a long night. My co-teacher and I went to bed, and I felt surprisingly good, yay water and eating a ton of rice. Now some of the other teachers kept the booze flowing into the night, this resulted in a lot of puking, and then some more. Quite comical hearing annyeonghaseyo (hello) in the middle of the night as they pass each other on route to the bathroom.
The following morning most of the staff was hungover, with my teacher proclaiming “I had to much”. We went out for breakfast had some red bean paste bread from a very famous bakery and hightailed it back to Tongjin. The bus ride was silent.