baseball, poetry, and kim chi

Monday, April 25, 2005

Only an idiot asks another man to sit at the table

The other day I posted about this night. Then I took it down. I was a bit embarrassed. Still, think there is something of value in the post. I never want to be the guy who is throwing light on a culture. I have zero idea what is going on most of the time (as you will see in the post). In the end, this was my experience. It was only one night, and I think something was learned. Please take it with a grain of salt.

I am out with Z.. we are all lovey dovey. no problems in sight. good drinking. good talk. good. just nice stuff. we go from bar to bar. at one bar we are sitting and drinking, then I get up from the table to go to the bar to order some drinks. when I come back this guy is sitting in my space. I tell the guy (he is Korean) that he is welcome to sit with us, but to get out of my seat. he does, but he is a real dick. Saying things to me like, “I hate Americans.” Not an unusual comment. Still, don’t like this guy from the beginning. but I figure he will go away. he doesn’t. just kind of hangs around. night goes on. other people we met and know at the bar suggest we go to the next place. all of us do. including weird guy. so we go. sit down. talk. dance. night goes on. I am used to being outside of the conversation. no big deal. when there are lots of Koreans, Koreans speak Korean. I do fine in my own world. drink my beer. think. figure all is going well. weird guy says something. Z. looks at me with tears in her eyes. I am angry. wonder what weird guy said. I say, “let’s go” she says, “no”. I say, “let’s go”. she looks at weird guy. weird guy says something. She says to me, "you go". I say, “what?” Weird guy says something to me. I tell him to shut up and mind his own. don’t know how much he understood. he says something along the lines of sexual exploitation. (this is a big deal in Korea now because of the history with Japan). so I figure he said something about me to her. He says something to Z. in Korean. I again ask Z to leave with me. she says no. I tell her to come and talk with me. she says no. I am trying to play it cool, but am about to kill this guy. the night went from a situation that I understood to one that was crazy in 3 seconds. I am dumbfounded. finally, she says she will talk with me. once outside she says she wants to go home with me. so we go home. only thing she says is that she is sorry, that the guy was a jerk, and that he tried to get her phone number. guess he was filling her mind with all kinds of garbage, telling her I was trying to leave her. The guy doesn’t matter, but I had a male Korean friend there that should have taken care of this for me. I’m not sure why he didn’t. Maybe it wasn’t his business. Don’t know. But if the roles were reversed, I would have helped him. And the fact that Z. even listened to weird guy. Guess the first thought is why not knock the weird guy out. well, mostly I didn’t know what was going on until too late. Then, my only concern was getting her to leave with me. And fighting that guy would not have helped, especially because I didn’t know what was going on. Secondly, when one Korean gets in a fight, other Koreans usually jump in to help. I knew my Korean friend was not helping me by simply telling the guy to piss off, so I doubted very much he would have my back. Anyway, the story ended well. No harm done.

What I learned:
A. Only an idiot asks another man to sit at the table.

Something to think about:
Being overprotective is so unattractive. I hate men and women who are. However, by being overprotective and telling the guy to buzz off, I could have halted this whole situation. Without understanding the words, and only recognizing tone and body language, it is easy to make a mistake. In which direction is it better to be mistaken? Maybe passion shown is passion gained. Maybe showing a little fire, being a bit protective, is a good thing.

Best way to get the guy to leave:
“We are talking about a death in the family.”

Always curious to hear what you guys think. And remember, this was only one night, most nights in Seoul are quite fun.


Blogger Daniel Nester said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:02 AM

Blogger Daniel Nester said...

Sounds like you did the classy thing all around, but I would definitely think twice about the guy-friend, even confront him about this situation. And to my mind, this strikes me as one of those situations where one realizes that bars are not the best place to hang out. There's, like, lots of drunk idiots there and confrontations happen. As for woman advice, that's all your call.

12:04 AM

Blogger JWG said...

Thank you Daniel. That was a strange night. I’d like to write off bars, but if I don’t hang out at bars, who will bring me my drinks?

11:25 PM

Blogger Living in a funny room said...

From a female's point of view, I am more curious about why this girl reacted this way. Why did she even listen to someone who she didn't know and at first wanted you to leave? Is this somehow cultural thing? I am Korean, therefore, I stick with Korean? And you are right, "only an idiot asks another man to sit at the table". Like only an idiot doesn't question a strange woman rings the doorbell at night. That is ME!

11:47 PM


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