There is a place down the street that I've been wanting to visit ever since I moved into the neighborhood. Their walkway was lined with fake palm leaves and Christmas lights, and a Korean man dressed as Elvis was on the sidewalk trying to convince people to come inside. I once worked up enough courage to stick my head in the doorway, but couldn't make it all the way inside. I did hear some music coming from down the stairs and judging by the old, well dressed Koreans going inside I assumed it was some kind of Korean lounge.
Kelly and I had gone out for dinner and shopping in our neighborhood many times, but never to just have a drink, which was needed to have the nerves to see what was in the basement of that mysterious establishment... that is until recently.
We had a drink on the seventh floor of a club near Sindaebang Station called Luxor. It was very nice inside and the drinks were expensive. The price structures in Korean bars are often very different than they would be in America. For instance, the import beers were an expensive $8 each, but the martinis were the same price, which is reasonable. Unfortunately, most bartenders here don't have the first clue on how to make a good martini. After a couple of drinks we decided to go check out the mystery lounge down the street.
We nervously walked down the stairs and into a room with loud traditional Korean music, and I mean loud. A hostess met us at the door and immediately seated us at a table. The interior was very gaudy, like Wayne Newton gaudy. There were lots of people there, none under the age of 50, and we were of course receiving many stares from everyone. It was very dark and there was a stage where old Koreans would come up and karaoke traditional Korean songs that all sounded the same. The dance floor was packed with old people all dancing the same and seeming to be having the time of their lives. There were only two other people on stage, one guy playing the organ/keyboard and I'm not really sure what the other guy was doing.
When we sat down a waiter ran up and yelled some Korean words in my ear, I looked at him and slightly nodded, and he ran away. Oh boy, what have I just done? It was too late to leave now. We had been seated and I'm pretty sure I had just ordered something. Seconds later, three waiters hurried to our table carrying one of the largest fruit plates I had ever seen along with three huge bottles of Hite(beer). I thought this was really strange until through the smoke and darkness I began to notice that most tables had the same gargantuan fruit plates.
It didn't take long for drunk Korean men to start making their way to us. Buying us beer and squid and trying to get me on stage to sing. Beer and squid was fine but I wasn't going up on stage. The fact that it was way too loud to talk and that we don't speak Korean didn't assuage their efforts to communicate with us. As Kelly and I tried to talk to these men, I noticed that the music had changed. The music was from Phantom of the Opera and two young men started twirling around in huge and sparkled outfits. It was so strange... but not as strange as what happened next.
I was talking to a man with diamond studded Dolce&Gabbana glasses that everyone else referred to as "Captain" when Kelly began kicking me from under the table and motioning towards the dance floor with her eyes. I looked over and did not expect to see what I saw. The dancers had taken off all their clothes except for string bikini banana hammocks. They were still twirling around like before but now they were humping all over the place. They began going from table to table humping frontwards, humping sideways, and humping the ground. Some Koreans watched the dancers straight faced, others went about with their conversations like before, but Kelly and I were obviously the only ones that found it strange. We finished our beer and squid, said bye to Captain and his friends, paid for our fruit plate and we haven't been back since.
Below you see a picture of me outside of the lounge. Also is a photo that Kelly snuck of one of the banana hammock boys.
1 year ago