Monday, March 24, 2014

Happy Spring (ish?)

Look at all that food!
Technically spring started already, and yes it actually is a bit warmer; I don't have to wear my heavy coats anymore. I'm excited to start up on warm-weather activities and shenanigans that come along because everybody is anxious to get out of hibernation. Some friends and I actually just had our first picnic this past Saturday, and next weekend we will be out of town to see the Moses Sea Parting down in the south. I love this season, but the only thing missing is my Peeps, care package anyone???

And finally a couple List items:

84. Booking clubs*. I told myself I wouldn't write about this until experiencing it first hand ...well, I really doubt that's going to happen. I haven't asked my girlfriends whether they'd be down for it, but I think by now it would've come up. Also, we would need to have one of our Korean girlfriends take us because I've heard that those places are not very foreign friendly. 

Anyways, so what is a booking club? (And as usual, what I know is purely from what people have told me.) First, we have to understand that socialization for the purpose of dating here is somewhat different from western culture. Meeting a potential boyfriend/girlfriend seems even harder here. One option I've written about is blind dates which are arranged by a common party. Also, people don't have as many friends of the opposite sex: women have mainly female friends, and men have mainly male friends. I'm not sure why this is, but I'm assuming this comes from somewhere in Korean culture. Anyways, young people don't find it easy to meet people of the opposite sex, so booking clubs I guess came out as a solution.

Groups of men and separate groups of women will attend booking clubs with the goal of meeting someone and to just have fun. What happens is that when you go inside and take a seat, the waiters act as matchmakers. If you're a woman, the waiter will match up with a guy and take you to his table -or maybe they take the whole group of women to the men's table? From there, it's up to you whether to stay and have a drink or leave. If you leave, I'm guessing the waiter could come back to you and take you to a different table (?). I want to say that the waiter acts as the "common party" making the introduction much easier and comfortable for both the guy and the girl.

I asked a friend who's been to one about how the waiters make their matches, and she said that it just seems random. For the purposes of a social study, I am super curious to see who they would match up with a foreigner like me since it's supposed to be mainly Koreans in the club. If I do end up going to one any time before leaving Korea, I shall immediately report back the experience hehehe.

WOW I just googled "booking clubs" and wikipedia has an entry for it! 

*I write this from observation and assumptions about Korean culture. I'm not claiming to know exactly why these exist. Therefore, if anybody can shed a light or suggest other guesses, be my guest :).

86. Tea. Never ever did I think I would have this many types of teas in my house. Now that the bitter cold weather is ovah, I noticed just how much my pantry had grown. I've never considered myself a big tea person because I've always loved coffee; seriously, I luuuuuv coffee. Back home I think I only ever had chamomile (for when I was sick) or Tazo passion tea in my pantry, but look at it now!! Where did it all come from? ...Korea what have you done to me? I blame the cold weather. As much as I love coffee, I can't keep drinking it constantly throughout the day to keep me warm, so I guess I resorted to drinking tea ...lots of it. 

In the picture you can see Lipton peppermint tea, chamomile, ginger and honey tea pods, chrysanthemum, and the red stuff in the clear bottle I want to say is jujubee tea. A friend gave it to me when I was sick because she said it was good for my sore throat. And not pictured is the huge citron tea jar I have, a must in Korea during winter. 

I haven't been too adventurous when choosing teas. Supermarkets will have one whole isle stocked with many types of tea that it's a little overwhelming ...and I don't understand what the flavors are. I hate buying something that looks good and having to throw it away if it's not good, so I just stick to what I know. If you have any recommendations, shoot!


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