A Single’s Guide To Surviving Relationship Season (Part 2)
Last week, this guide let you know which couple infested places to avoid in South Korea during relationship season. I hope you took my advice and were able to dodge the madness as the weather gets colder and the season of love kicks into high gear. This week, I’ll be sharing with you the best places to hang out with your single friends in South Korea without being subjected to sappy, overdone new couple PDA.
First stop on our map are karaoke rooms. Seriously, you don’t know what fun is until you’ve belted a Whitney Houston song in front of your friends. Be careful though, these nights are best reserved for the weekend as much debauchery is to be had in these cozy rooms. You and your friends get a private room where you can order as much Cass and Soju as your heart desires. Not only will you be safe from new couples in your karaoke room, but you can sing comfortably knowing that the only people who will be witness to your attempt to hit those glass shattering notes are friends who won’t judge you, even if you’re so bad you rupture an ear drum or two.
For those who are just as tone deaf as I am, keep a close eye on your friends’ cell phones once those drinks start flowing. I’ve been secretly taped ruining one too many songs. Trust me, the last thing you want to wake up to after a soju soaked night of karaoke is a video of your awful performance from the night before posted to your Facebook wall. Next thing you know, your Nana is commenting on the video, asking why you’re drinking water from a little glass cup and why does everyone keep yelling “One shot!” as you toss back your water.
Karaoke rooms are a great place to safely spend an evening with friends, away from the stares of happy couples.
Now that I’ve thoroughly explained the advantages and dangers of private karaoke rooms, let’s move on to number 2.
Language Exchange Meetings and Social Parties are a great way to meet other foreigners and Koreans alike. Most cities have a few groups dedicated to these types of social gatherings, and it’s easy to find one in your area using MeetUp.com. I used the site to find a group in Daejeon called the Daejeon International Social Gathering.
I decided to attend a Language Exchange Meeting, which is a casual meeting for people to practice different languages with native speakers and meet new people. I was skeptical to go on my own since the meeting takes place in a coffee shop. You remember last week’s post about coffee shops during winter, right? They’re one of the scariest places to be during relationship season in South Korea, but I decided to take my chances and approached cautiously. I crept in eyeing my surroundings carefully, ready to make a quick run for it at the first sign of an Eskimo kiss in the language exchange group. However, the need to escape never came. I was pleasantly surprised to find that most people had gone alone to the meeting just as I had. I met people from different backgrounds and walks of life, and we had a blast helping each other practice languages. We enjoyed the conversations so much that we decided to get dinner together after the meeting. These types of meetings are fun and definite safe zones during winter.
If you’re the type of person that needs a little liquid courage before you approach strangers (no shame in that), Social Gatherings will be right up your alley. Like language exchanges, the purpose is to meet new people in a casual environment except patrons sip on cheap beer and strong cocktails instead of cappuccinos and lattes. I feel I should leave you with a word of caution on social gatherings. Although these bar setting type of meet ups are meant for meeting new friends and language practicing, people begin to change their mind about what they’re looking for once the drinks are poured and the midnight hour strikes. You might actually get to witness new couples actually being formed if you’re lucky. Heck, you might couple up and become someone I avoid in coffee shops.
Jokes aide, language exchange meetings and social gatherings are a great way to meet new people and keep your sanity away from cuddle monsters (a.k.a. couples).
The last fun hang out for singletons on our list is a personal favorite of mine, wine tours. Hands down, these tours are one of the most fun things I have done in South Korea thus far. Kenneth Kim Winery tours to be specific. These events are great for a girls’ weekend or even to attend stag. You’re sure to meet a group of interesting people that all share a passion for good vino.
If you aren’t versed in wine terminology, don’t worry. These events are casual and focus on the most important aspect of wine, the drinking of it. I was quite worried myself when I signed up for a tour because my knowledge of wine spans the single fact that I can distinguish the color red from the color white. What scared me even more than the idea that I’d be schooled by strangers about the wine we’d be drinking was the thought that I’d be schooled by pretentious cuddle monsters about wine. The words wine and romance have been intertwined in my mind since the day I snuck my first Harlequin romance novel in 8th grade. I feared gorgeous Fabio-esque resembling couples would turn their noses up at me when I claimed my favorite thing about wine was getting crunk.
Luck was on my side, not a single couple was in attendance. The intimate group of 10 was comprised of the nicest people who also couldn’t claim the title connoisseurs. We enjoyed learning about each other over a hot feast of Korean bbq and, of course, wine. Perhaps it was the fact that we had ten bottles of assorted wine during lunch, 2 barrels of the house red during the tour, and some delicious dessert ports, but everything from the grape squishing contest to the cellar tour was amazing. Nothing about this venture screamed uppity or date night. It’s the perfect event to have some delish wine and learn a thing or two about how adult grape juice is made in South Korea. Take my word for it.
I hope you enjoyed this two part post with tips to successfully survive relationship season in South Korea. Now you can successfully navigate the country avoiding seedy couple hot spots, and you have some fun new places to explore with your friends. I hope you continue to safely and happily enjoy singledom this winter, my friends. I know I will.