Busi­ness Con­fi­den­tial

LUXE City Guides - Seoul - - Activities -

There is a cer­tain eti­quette to frater­nising with Korean biz col­leagues. Here are a few thoughts to bear in mind...

It is con­sid­ered rude to not drink your­self into se­nil­ity amongst Korean busi­ness­men. Un­less you are happy to drink to the verge of hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion, you may find it con­ve­nient to have an emer­gency global con­fer­ence call in your ho­tel room, or 24-hr flu. Kore­ans can be quite shy and tend to use soju (jet-pro­pel­lant) as a kind of so­cial lu­bri­cant. Be­com­ing over-lu­bri­cated and get­ting shouty is con­sid­ered the norm. If your boss or el­der of­fers you a shot of jet-pro­pel­lant, you MUST ac­cept, and drink it in one. Un­der no cir­cum­stances are you al­lowed to pour your own drink, in case you cheat and don’t fill your cup. If you are male, you will be ex­pected to at­tend one or more ‘bang’ or rooms (if you’re fe­male, you won’t be in­vited, so count your­self lucky and scam­per quick­sticks). There are sev­eral types of rooms like PC Bang (gam­ing/ in­ter­net/email), and DVD bangs for watch­ing films. How­ever, the bangs you need to worry about are the ‘no­rae­bangs’ and ‘room salons’. No­rae­bangs, or ‘singing rooms’ (aka karaoke), are where you will be rit­u­ally hu­mil­i­ated by be­ing forced to sing My Way, while de­vel­op­ing acute cir­rho­sis, and in some es­tab­lish­ments manhandled by un­der­dressed floosies. Fi­nally, you will be dragged to a ‘room sa­lon’ where sur­gi­cally-en­hanced Korean Bar­bies will pour you ex­or­bi­tantly-priced whiskey and pre­tend to like you. The un­writ­ten rule of these es­tab­lish­ments (no doubt writ­ten by a man), is that what­ever hap­pens here, stays here. Bear in mind, a ‘first round’ means drinks, a ‘sec­ond round’ means bed­room Olympics and very pos­si­bly a nasty rash... You have been warned.

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