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The Aftermath

I have been consistently dreading writing this for public consumption as I am certain if the Kpop stans get ahold of this I'll get videos of Twice dancing along with death threats. I will preface this by saying that if you feel the urge to fight or debate, fight or debate your mother. This is not an open forum. I am not free of the consequences of my words, but I am eternally free to ignore you. That being said, Korea is the worst place I have ever traveled. As I have likely told many of you who have asked me in person, I would suggest going if you're white, if you're obsessed with the culture and its exports, or if you're going for 2 weeks or less.  Everyone else has been warned. I landed back in the United States on Sunday, June 30th, 2019, and approximately 206 days later, I am ready to talk about my 1 year in Korea. The Flight Back So, I almost died. I'm starting here because this isn't really  Korea's fault so much as my exhaustion because of Ko

Getting Drunk in Busan for Cheap

If you haven't seen my last article all about my night out routine in here in Busan, South Korea, you can read it here. As always, check out the Ultimate List of Resources for any questions you may have. If you find it hard to resist alcohol and are looking for resources for alcoholism or addiction, click here or here.

Drinking culture in Korea is a strongly encouraged part of social life in Korea. Drinking some soju and beer on a night out with friends, or a dinner with family is largely normalized, and a night out isn't complete without a drink or two. Drinking, or rather binge drinking, can get really expensive, though, and so it is crucial that you plan your drinking in a way that doesn't break the bank. The biggest tip I have? Always drink with friends, and always make a new one.

I've ranted and raved about GS25 convenience stores so many times on the site, if you're a regular reader then you already know that from my teeny little American perspective, Korean convenience stores are superior and drinking is no exception. A GS25, preferably one with indoor seating and with a deck of cards, should always be your first stop on a fun night of drinking. The alcohol is cheap, especially with 1+1 or 2+1 deals, and you can grab some burgers or kimbap to make sure you don't have a bad night of vomiting later. So grab a couple bottles of soju and some mango sparkling tropicana to mix it with, play some King's Cup or other drinking games, and relax! By the time you leave, you should have a nice buzz going and ready to continue your night.

My next favorite spot is any of the larger bars. I'm not some hyper-capitalist that doesn't want to support smaller businesses, but when the shots can be triple the price and you can't turn around without hitting someone, you have to go to one of the larger franchises in Korea- Thursday Party or Fuzzy Navel. As far as cocktails go, Fuzzy Navel has the more innovative and exciting drink choices, while I always meet the most fun people at Thursday Party and, on average, the drinks are cheaper. Even better, most Thursday Party bars aren't attached to restaurants (there's one in Haeundae of the two that has a full menu), but serve overpriced french fries and nachos, while Fuzzy Navels usually have a full service, nicely priced menu. So it depends on the kind of night you want to have.

The Cocktail Factory, located in Seomyeon, a hotspot for clubs and other nightlife, is a great option for a special night out with its fantastic color options and beautiful cocktails. For ₩15,000 (14USD) you have access to unlimited drinks for two hours in a beautiful red and pink booth, gentle lighting, and free board and card games provided. The drinks range from 10% alcohol to 40% alcohol in the form of shots. If you get too drunk there's a Burger King and a CU (CVS for U) nearby to eat something to sober up, and then of course you're super close to a variety of clubs if that's the direction you want to go in. Cocktail Factory's beautiful balloon covered ceilings and ambiance make it a must-try at least once while in Busan.
You can never forget Korean BBQ. While it isn't my favorite thing to eat in Korea, it's a really fun way to drink and spend time with friends or family. The meat and beer/soju combination, coupled with the heat of the grill, feels very primal. Beer and soju is usually pretty cheap is you buy a few for a group and you when you're eating at the same time, you are a lot less likely to get sick from drinking later on that night.

I would basically never suggest drinking in clubs unless one of the dancers are pouring champagne in your mouth or someone is offering free drinks. Don't do it! You'll walk into a club kind of tipsy, think that the bartender said "five thousand won," for a shot of fireball, but she actually said "fifteen thousand won." And you bought 10 shots. Plus the club wasn't even that great. At some clubs (looking at you, NB1 and NB2 in Seoul), a drink ticket or drink tickets are included with the cover fee, but... I don't believe in paying a cover fee so for me? That's an absolute scam. I dance at home for free and I do it without people gawking. I also wouldn't suggest frequently drinking when alone or when you're feeling especially bad. Drinking is supposed to be a fun and positive experience, so please reach out for help if you feel like you have a problem with alcohol or addiction or know someone that does. I believe in you and as always

good luck


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