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Korean friends drinking Soju after work
If you go out drinking with Koreans, prepare to consume a lot of soju. Soju is that national drink, and it comes in small bottles of clear liquid. It is not as strong as vodka or gao liang, with an alcohol level of about 25%, but if you drink it in the copious amounts that some Koreans do, you'll be buzzing nonetheless.
Drinking with Koreans comes with its own set of customs, the most important of which is that you never pour your own glass. If your neighbor's glass is empty, he is expecting you to fill it (but would never ask). Once you top him off, he'll return the favor.
If you are being required to drink more than you can hold, it is possible to sneak water into your soju glass and get away with a few shots of H2O if no one is looking. But if you get caught, be prepared to drink enough soju to more than make up for what you skipped.
Theme: Eating and Drinking
Rufus charms the ladies at Geckos Outdoor
Itaewon is a very cosmopolitan neighborhood just south of Namsan mountain. It is the original foreigner ghetto set up by the Korean monarchy in the 1880's and has retained its international flavor. You can find crowds of people speaking several different languages. On my last trip, we unexpectedly crashed a birthday party of Belgians, and were treated warmly dispite our cluelessness.
Itaewon has several good options for getting good beer. I prefer the Three Alley Pub, which has a fine selection of Belgian beers, some good German beers and Guinnesss on tap. Also good are Geckos outdoors (for relaxed drinking) or Geckos (for a more active time). Woodstock's has live music. Finally, if you want to stay up until dawn, try the Lime Lite.
Just a few things to remember. The metro closes before the bars (I learned this last trip) so don't spend your taxi fare if you're staying out late. It's also interesting to observe the difference in the atmosphere before and after curfew on the nearby military base. I
Theme: Eating and Drinking
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