And I don’t mean drunk. Although truthfully I was both drunk AND juiced.
My struggle to find a bar home where I feel at ease and comfortable continues. The problem is there just don’t seem to be any straight up pubs like I was accustomed to in Itaewon. It seems that all the drinking establishments here in Anjeong-ri are all some variation of the “juicy” model. For those not in the know, in juicy bars the bar girl will receive a commission on the drinks a customer purchases for her. The going rate for a lady drink here is W10,000 of which the girl receives half. Depending on the bar and/or the girl, they can be quite aggressive in pursuit of getting you to buy them a drink.
I find it very off-putting, to the point of aggravation, to be asked to purchase a drink. I’m not a “cheap charlie” but I prefer to choose when or if I’ll buy a drink. And I certainly don’t need to pay for attention and conversation. Most times, I prefer to drink alone or interact with other customers. I can justify the occasional lady drink because I know it is how these girls make a living. But I get especially irked when the actual bar owner asks me to buy HER a drink. C’mon!
I bring this up because I had an especially frustrating (and expensive) weekend in the bars. You’ll recall I’ve stopped going to the dart bar because they added drinks to my tab without permission. I blacklisted two other places because the staff was flat out rude to me. And then there are three or four others where I just don’t feel welcome (probably because of my age and/or lack of free spending on lady drinks). So my bar options are rapidly dwindling.
There’s one dive bar I kind of like, one of the oldest in town (circa 1985), because they play my kind of music, that being classic rock. The two bar girls are similarly aged and not particularly attractive. But like I say, I’m not there for the company. Anyway, I’ve thrown a few lady drinks to one of them over the course of my several visits. I decided to try a little experiment on Friday night. When I came into the bar and she approached I said “I won’t be buying any drinks for you tonight”. The look on her face! She wound up sitting two bar stools away from me with her back turned during the length of my visit. Which proves the point that no matter how friendly these girls might appear, it is never about you, it is always all about the drinks. A fool who thinks otherwise will be both broke and disappointed.
So, I found another new (to me) bar that seemed to have some potential. Not too busy and the owner is friendly enough. They just hired an ethnically Korean gal from Uzbekistan and I welcomed her by buying a lady drink. First time she’s worked in a bar and I don’t think she is much into drinking because she shared the bottle of beer with the other bar girl. When it came time to pay up the owned wanted to charge me for TWO lady drinks. I said, nope I just bought the one. She said the other girl won’t get a commission if I don’t pay for both. No can do, I bought one and it was shared, not my problem. I got the impression the think I’m an asshole. Oh well, they might be right.
There is a bar where I’m actually quite fond of the bar girl and have no issue with “buying” her time and company with drinks. She’s also quite generous, asking me to buy the other girls drinks as well. And the bar owner also seems to get thirsty quite regularly. I spent about W150,000 in there the other night. See, I must be very popular! Asked the girl if she would like to have dinner sometime and got a polite no.
Methinks I need to go on a quest for new venues. And leave my wallet at home.