This evening my friend took me to the one and only club in Gyeongju, called Miss H. It’s a real club where they play electronic dance music, not kpop music, and they have a DJ and all the gear. The dance floor was empty when we got there. There was no one dancing. We were just about to leave when some Korean girls at a table kind of looked at us and smiled. Bingo! We’d been given the sign to make friends. We sat down and in very broken Korean I said that I am learning Korean and I don’t speak very much Korean. They were super impressed, so I decide to keep impressing them by listing the other words I know, like the words for apple and beer, which were on their table. They asked us where we were from and how old we were, (because age is really important here, or maybe just interesting for them to know right away), and where we teach. They point out a guy who’s a year younger than me and get really excited that my friend teaches at the high school where one of the girl’s went. My friend explains to them that we came here to dance but no one is dancing. I guess all they needed was a little push to dance, because suddenly, it’s “let’s dance” time. The club played loud electronic music and had awesome lights. There was a fog machine that went on several times while I was there, meaning that there were moments when I couldn’t seen anything at all.
Here are the most memorable things about my club experience:
— There were a lot more guys at the club than girls.
— The guys were really pretty. Not hot. Pretty. They also all looked about 18 or 19. They might have been older though. It’s impossible to tell.
— The guys were perfectly happy to show off awesome dance moves. There was no shame. No awkward moving of hips like western guys. I’m talking all-out dancing. By themselves. Not surrounded by their friends. I’d never seen anything like it before. They had no hint of feeling awkward that they were throwing out crazy dance moves. They looked like guys who really just enjoyed dancing and weren’t afraid to show it. Clearly these guys figured out that it’s more attractive to have confidence than to stand around like a wallflower. The sight of all these guys dancing by themselves was hilarious. I was going to take a picture but the fog machine came on before I could do so.
— The guys were really respectful. Maybe it was only because the club was small, but still, I never felt like anyone was going to come up and start grinding with me. I danced with the boys at the club, but in this context that meant dance in a circle and copy each others dance moves while smiling and laughing. It was totally fun. I felt as comfortable dancing with the people in the club as I would be dancing with my friends.
— Nobody was making out. It might have had to do with the fact that there weren’t that many people there and only a handful of girls, but my friend told me that she never sees people making out at this club, even when it’s crowded.
— The girls and guys weren’t dancing together. The girls were dancing in the friend groups that they came with while the guys danced by themselves or near their friends. There was no mixing. When I say the girls were dancing with each other, I mean they were really close, touching in some cases. My friend told me that that’s just the way they dance here.
All in all, my first club experience was super interesting. I’ll definitely be returning to the one club in town on a Friday or Saturday night to see what it’s like at it’s busiest.
My next goal is to go to a club in a big city. How will Gyeongju’s little club compare to a big city club?