Monday, October 12, 2009
I take allot of taxis here, they are cheap, safe and the the subway stops running at 11:30 PM. The only issue with taking taxi's is that the best way to direct a driver to my apartment is to say "Sangin Night-uh ju-si-oh" Which means please take me to the local nightclub. Nightclub has a different meaning in Korean than at home. A night club is often a hostess bar where the women "flirt" with you and if you buy a private room maybe a little more. Not quite a brothel (although Korea has its fair share of those) the Nightclub is certainly a sexual trade. I have actually been inside of the infamous Sangin Nights and it seemed pretty tame with a pathetic stage show and little to no clientele. Perhaps that's because of the street were I work is littered with business clubs. Business clubs are one of the many thinly veiled places to buy sexual services in Korea. Business club is for "business men" to drink with co-workers and often have company provided for them. Many nori-bangs (singing rooms) have girls who will sing with you and then solicit sex. Ticket da-bangs (tea rooms) are coffee delivery service which is a actually a call-girl. I almost discovered this the hard way.
The reason I know about this is mainly my good friend Internet but also because it doesn't hide. The picture at the start of this post is the same doorway to the school. The three words at the bottom of the picture say Chinese/Russian/Filipino. About once a month I get harassed by a drunk man calling me Russian aka a whore. I just tell him "No pervert!" in Korean and they usually wander off after a while. Ah the charms of being a female traveler. How Korea maintains a self-image of a super conservative country blows my mind. The sex trade is 1.6% of Korea's GDP which is down from twice that in 2004! As a person I am passionately against prostitution as it dehumanizes women and creates a environment of abuse. I wonder if the Korean government will ever stop looking the other way.
And in a much lighter note I've decided to keep you updated with k-pop. "Kiss" is a new solo by a singer in 2NE1. Can you make a solo if you group debuted in March? This song just came out and while I don't care much for the song the video is hilarious. Who is the sponsor??