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Friday, August 27, 2010

Dinner with the gambling boys!

Remember this place?  It's the "gambling shack" near my apartment!  

I walk by it every time I go home, and usually wave hello to all the old Korean men, congregating outside, waiting for their turn at the table!  Well, tonight, I waved, as usual, and then thought... Hey, I'm gonna ask if I can come inside!  I've always been intrigued!  

Getting the chance to enter "the gambling shack" was easier than I thought!  They invited me right in, as if I were one of the guys, and even invited me to take a seat and join in on the poker hand!  I kindly refused, and watched for the next 10 minutes or so, until one of the old men asked if I liked Cola!  "Sure" I said.  He then motioned for me to follow him to the tiny neighborhood Korean restaurant next door.  We sat together, sharing a bottle of Coke and speaking Korean to each other... which was pretty limited, considering I'm not quite fluent yet!  I did learn that he was a chef at a Korean restaurant in Hawaii for 10 years!  It was funny, because he thought he was speaking English at points, but he was actually speaking Spanish! haha  

After we finished the Coke, I said, "Okay, Kapshida" (Let's go) and figured we would go back to the gambling shack... but instead, he said, "Ee dee wah," (Come over here) and we went to the makeshift bar next door.  When he opened the door to the bar, I was immediately met, and welcomed, by 6 of his friends:  3 women and 3 men in their 60's, who didn't speak a lick of English either.  I sat and hung out with them, eating raw fish, cooked fish, boiled peanuts, garlic, corn, peppers, and cucumber, while they indulged themselves in the unending bottles of soju and beer on the table!  By the time I left, they were VERY tipsy, and had been feeding me right and left (a very common act done between friends in Korea) for the last hour!

I feel like I'm always saying, "It was the coolest experience!"  Having dinner and drinks with the gambling men and their cougar girlfriends was definitely one of those experiences!  It's funny where a simple Hello, Can I come inside your gambling shack will get you!  I love this country!

1 comment:

  1. Only in Korea!!! This is why I love this lovely country with its amazing people too. Where else would you even consider trusting random strangers around a gambling table!!!!

    Love your blog and loved this post. You just reminded me how very very lucky we are to be in such an AWESOME country