After weeks of text-tagging, we were finally able to meet up at Itaewon (이태원) this Saturday for the blind date (소개팅). The past few years Itaewon has evolved from a military/foreigner hang out to a chic, upscale part of town that any Seoulite can visit for a night on the town. The restaurant I picked was Zelen, a Bulgarian restaurant that is my default restaurant for all my dates (not lazy, it’s just that good!).
We had normal date conversation, you know, the interview types of questions where we’re both trying to see if we’re compatible. It was nice that I didn’t have to try to run some game. But when it came to the check, she didn’t even flinch, which I believe is common among Korean women. I would have appreciated a fake effort from her to try to pay, but nothing. It’s pretty much expected in Korea that the guy will pay, and I recognize that. But when compared to poor college students that offer empty promises of paying for their own food, it’s not a plus in my book. Here’s some advice to K-Girls: fake it, it’ll make guys feel better on all different levels 😉
We also didn’t have much alcohol. She couldn’t drink because of some medication she was taking, but I needed a beer. And I was banking on getting a drink after dinner. Itaewon is great for it’s laid back, american/irish/british pubs, and I wanted some ambiant noise to fill those occasional awkward silences. But since that wasn’t happening, we ended up going to a cafe and talking more. It was ok, but I’m pretty sure a bar would have been more fun 😛
But more than fun, it was interesting to learn that there’s still parts of Korean society that I am totally not in touch with. Although we both live in Seoul, we are both living in very different worlds. She’s a teacher. She gets up at 6:00, finishes work at 4:00, goes to bed at 11:00. A very proper (and envious!) lifestyle. A foreigner’s life, however, is late mornings and more often late nights (even if you’re not a partier). It’s just the nature of being part of a social group that have days that normally start (typically teaching English) anytime after midday and nights that will (at least a few times a month) force you to take a taxi home. Even if you’re not a teacher, many of your friends will inevitably be teachers, forcing you to be on their schedule. More than anything, it was interesting to meet someone from a different part of Korean society.
I’d be interested in seeing people from all different parts of Korean society, so I’d be willing to go on a 소개팅 (blind date) again. As for a second date, I don’t know if I can hang with her schedule. It’s 10:30PM, and I’m just starting to get cracking on my work!