Friday, December 04, 2009

How To Drink Like A Korean Businessman, or Don't Be A Nerd

My cousins Bumjun and Jungjoon work hard and play harder. Jungjoon works in marketing. Bumjun is an investment banker who regularly entertains international clients. They decided to teach us the rules on how to drink like Korean businessmen.

1. You must drink or else you are a nerd.
2. You've got to match everyone glass for glass.
3. After your host does a shot, they'll pass the glass to you and you're supposed to use it. Sharing the cup is important. When it comes to germs, again - don't be a nerd.
4. When you "cheers" ("gunbae!" or "weehayo!"), watch the other person's glass. If they "do bottoms up," you should do the same.
5. When someone pours you some booze, you must lift your cup with two hands to accept respectfully. You can do the physical abbreviation, which is holding the cup with one hand and putting the other hand to your elbow. This sign of respect and is a rule for absolutely anything, not just getting wrecked with Korean bankers - you cannot give or receive anything from someone with just one hand. That's ruuude.
6. When someone pours you a drink, accept, then reciprocate and pour one for them.
7. Bonus: "Poktanju" or "The Bomb" is something these guys all do. You start by mixing a shot of soju into a beer (which we did, and it's actually pretty good) but then gets crazier and crazier until it involves whiskey and RED WINE, too.

The drinks were flowing so fast I had to pretend I was drinking by the end of it. Everything was downed like a shot, including our soju-fortified glasses of beer. For someone who is silly at half a glass, I really should have stopped drinking around, oh, 7:30 pm.

After a kalbi restaurant with soju and beer, we went for more food and sake at an izakaya. We didn't go for the "third car" ( like in a train) which would have been noraebang, or karaoke. We wisely called it a night. Well, we didn't have a choice. Jungjoon fell asleep at the table and had to work in the morning. And I just couldn't drink any more.


Blogger Michelle said...

And, if you're younger than the person you're drinking with, you must turn away while you drink. My cousin kept pouring us drinks respectfully and then turning away to take the shot! I miss Korea! Love the blog!

12:43 AM  

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