Champagne Birthdays

(reposted from my original blog entry on Tickets To: originally April 2014)

Golden Birthday. Champagne Birthday. You have my attention

The day when you turn the age of the date of your birth. It’s supposed to be awesome. Of course I didn’t know what that was until about a year ago… but that’s cool. I love champagne so it’s a great excuse for a theme. It’s also a great excuse to drink champagne every day for the week leading up to my birthday.

Champagne1

On Friday, my coworkers on my floor (there are three floors to my school) surprised me with a classic Korean cake and some streamers.

Cake2

On Friday night we had Korean BBQ (beef) and drank soju with pineapple Fanta. Then we went to our local bar and drank a bit. On Saturday I woke up early-ish, pre-cooked some food for my Sunday picnic (visit www.anotherfoodthing.wordpress.com for great recipes!), and made my way to Busan. I met some friends from Seoul and Ulsan there and we drank a bit. The day wasn’t sunny enough for the beach, but it was warm enough to appreciate. We had an amazing BBQ dinner, went to another bar, went ‘clubbing,’ and then, my favorite part, we went to the noraebong and sang our hearts and voices away! Seriously… how much soju and singing can a girl handle? It was fantastic.

karaoke3

I looked hot in my little black dress with my teal dream shoes (see wittylmt.com for more info on that), I was with great company, I ate and drank well.

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I got back to the motel at 5 am and was sleeping by 6am. I left at 10:30am and was back in Ulsan by 12:30pm. I had a party starting at 2pm I had to get ready for. Because the weather was questionable my outdoor picnic became an indoor picnic: blankets on the floor, drawn park on my whiteboard, paper plates, etc. The good people showed up and brought many bottles of bubbly. We drank mimosas and sangria for a few hours and chatted merrily. A few gal pals stayed after everyone left and we chatted and watched Bad Teacher (excellent sitcom. Get on it). Today, I came to work and the teachers on the 6th floor bought me a Larva cake.  I will go home and drink more champagne since I now have 5 more bottles and chillax on my patio smoking hookah. All in all…it was a great birthday.

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The Arrival

My plane landed at a tiny airport. There may have been 2 gates. I’m not unused to that. Suratthani was practically a dirt runway. But who cares?! I’m in Korea, Bitches!!

Quick history: Ben and I have known each other since Kindergarten. We have had countless classes together from Kindie through high school. We live minutes away from each other (on bicycles). I made sure to keep in touch with him through the years.

Naturally, my excitement was building. I sipped on the only 5 hour energy drink I brought with me. I knew this was going to be a long night because 1. in order to avoid jet lag, one should stay awake late to adjust 2. it was ben’s last weekend with everyone

I got my luggage and as I was about to sit down outside waiting for my familiar friend, I saw a skinny white guy walking

into the airport. I called out and he turned. We half heartedly ran to each other (neither of us like to run) and embraced as old friends do. He brought his Scottish friend Tom with him. And both were drinking a beer. And I’m pretty sure that was not the first. Or second of the night. They helped me with the luggage and we laughed and drank to Mugeodong. They helped me get to my ‘Sheraton.’ The motel sheraton. The “love” motel as many would call it. I took a quick rinse and freshened up my makeup. Ben took me to his apartment where about 15 people were eating and drinking. They were quite far ahead of me. I met a few south africans (!!!!), some scots, some canadiens, some americans. It was a lovely mix of people. Of course, starving, I grabbed a quick bite from the potluck sitting in front of me and then was shuffled out. We were on our way to my first noribong experience. ((noribong – music room – karaoke sort of))

We stopped by a bar called Purple Haze and drank. We took pictures and chatted. I met new friends.

Old Friends(Ben and I at Purple haze).. we got ‘photo-BOB-bed’ until we realized that it was jimmy hendrix behind us. not bob marley. but

there is a bit of bob marley behind me.

After some festivities there, we moved on to a place that I hav

e no idea what its called. We got a private room and started singing.

Singing

We started around midnight. We sang our brains out.

Ben and Tasha

We sang til our throats were sore. I watched these ridiculous Korean music videos that had nothing to do with the song that was being sung.

Terrible video

We drank beers bigger than a microphone. I was introduced to Soju.

Max beerWe sang. We danced. We laughed. I got tired for a minute. Natasha took me to get a quick bite. I grabbed a couple of bottles vitamin waters. We sang more. And then we finally wore down. I watched as Ben and his friends embraced and felt the heaviness of his departure. I felt a little sad because that was nothing like the departure I had from Thailand. I dont know if I even got a hug from anyone. But that is past. And now I hope to build new friendships with people here.

Anyway, we finally left. It was past 5am. We walked back to the apartments and motels. I said my goodbyes. I saw pictures of Korean girls on the floor near the elevators. A ‘love’ motel indeed. I went upstairs and wrote an email. I went to sleep at 6am.

Now that’s the way to start a journey over seas.

 

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