Monday, August 30, 2010

Booking Clubs

During one of my first weekends last year in Korea, one of my co-workers and I accidentally got hustled into a club while wandering around downtown Uijeongbu. There was something weird going on while we were there--girls who were sitting at the tables near the dance floor were being forcibly led around by the waitstaff and made to sit and talk with guys sitting at other tables.

It was extremely bizarre to me at the time--I couldn't figure it out, but now I know that this weird psuedo-speed dating is called "booking," and is pretty normal here in Korea. Usually "booking" only happens at clubs which have "나이트" or "night" in the name of the club. Girls get into booking clubs pretty cheaply, whereas guys pay a premium (usually with a group of friends) to sit at a table stocked with booze, snacks, and beer, and have waiters regularly bring them a steady stream of girls to meet. This is not as grossly chauvinistic as it sounds, because a if the girl is grossed out/creeped out/weirded out by any of the guys she meets, she can immediately get up and walk away from a group, no explanation or niceties necessary.

This past weekend, my Korean gal pals Grace (aka Mijeong) and Nana took me to a booking club near Suyu station. I stuck with them the entire time (if I spoke better Korean, we probably would have been separated) and met a bunch of Korean guys. No one that I met was terribly rude, and everyone seemed pretty amused that I was there, for the most part. There was lots of booze-soaked Konglish spoken, and I had the pleasure (?) of hearing the "You have such a small face!" compliment, several times over. Overall, it was a fun girls night out, and I think I'd go back to a booking club again--though I'm not sure I could ever take anyone I met at any nightclub seriously in a romantic sense^^

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