Yesterday, March 1oth was my very first snow day experience. Having grown up in the not so snowy part of California, snow days to me, have only existed in the movies. Stating that, you can imagine my excitement waking up to white rooftops outside my apartment window in a place in which it hasn’t seen snow for 5 years! Amazing! I immediately threw on my rain boots and ran outside, camera in hand. Now it wasn’t the blanket of snow I dreamed, but it was still worth the paparazzi shots.
I ran, actually, walked very carefully over to the park to see the Korean kids in snow day bliss. They were even more ecstatic than I was and with good reason. These kids go to school 5-6 days a week from the time they’re 4 to the time they’re 18. Days off of school do not exist in this culture so it was amazing to see the excitement on their faces of not only snow, but a day without the classroom.
As I strolled through the park watching and taking notice of the Korean’s interaction with snow, I came across my very first 4 bodied snowman who happened to be wearing a cape.
I asked the boys who were constructing the masterpiece if I could take a picture of them with their snowman. One of the boys immediately took off his mask and they screamed “KIMCHI” as I took their photo. This was the highlight of my 4 bodied, cape wearing, snowman experience.
The snow melted by 2pm. This was a huge bummer for me on my first snow day, but still, a day without work is definitely worth a celebration. My bosses Sunny and Brian (Soju Devil as I like to call him) called Alex, the new foreign teacher /American ally, and I for dinner around 830pm. Sunny’s excuse for dinner and drinks (as if she ever needs one) “Snow day is good Soju drinking day”. I couldn’t agree more.
We headed downtown for dinner and once again ate and drank our body weight. Funny Korean/English dialect led to the idea of Alex’s first noreabang experience and before we even finished the last bottle of soju we were being rushed out and directed to the nearest Karaoke room.
Having grown accustomed to the Korean way of meal after meal, I wasnt the least surprised about the countless dishes being carried into our Norabang room. I must admit I enjoy watching Alex’s reactions to things I would have been shocked about 5 months ago.
Alex:”Really? More food? What? Really?”
Sunny: “Yes its good for Soju. Try it, its good.”
Me grabbing my stomach in pain: “I’m spent.”
The food is actually the least entertaining factor at the Noraebang. It actually usually goes unnoticed, which is rare when Koreans are around. The real entertainment is the song choices and intensity that follows a couple more shots of courage.
After listening to a few Korean Pop songs, it was time for Alex to face the music and lose his Noraebang virginity. “Initiation into the school” is what Sunny likes to call it. I like to call it, “Find the easiest, quickest, fastest song the Koreans would enjoy.” I’ve definitely learned from my first time and the whole “Born in the U.S.A” racist lyrics fiasco. But I never got any warnings so I let Alex choose his song and grab the mic. His choice: a Queen song; which, in the U.S would be a legit one. Lets just say Koreans aren’t all that interested in Queen. On the other hand, Alex is a good looking, white male, so the Korean girls didn’t care what was coming out of his mouth and cheered as if he was Justin Timberlake privately serenading them.
I sang my usual “Dancing Queen” duet with Sunny and you know there was a tambourine involved. Its amazing how into karaoke one gets and I’d have to say Koreans may be the best people in the world to experience it with.
All in all, it was another successful Noraebang session where male bonding happened, drunken Korean/American relations improved and everyone left full and drunk. Perfect ending to my very first snow or “snowju” day.