In a Subway Stop named Banwoldong

-What’s worse than a work dinner?

-Two work dinners?

-Wrong! …Attending a work dinner

in which you don’t speak the language

is the worst. It’s like being trapped in a Japanese game show,

or more specifically, a Korean talk show.

(A Korean talk show often includes various games and Snapchat filters appearing on people’s faces.)

You start out as part of the audience

and everything is fine, although you are very confused.

But then the host comes out in a white suit

and you’re massaging your boss, and you don’t know why.

Then the massaging stops and security builds up again,

but suddenly balloons are flying everywhere

and you realize you should be drinking A LOT more than you are.

Of course the music stops

and you’re holding the balloon.

Now, you’ve become the contestant,

congratulations.

You introduce yourself because

you gather from context that’s what you’re supposed to do.

Then you engage in a quick game of charades

to understand that you need to pop the balloon to win.

You don’t.

Congratulations, you get to sit down.

But, don’t worry, you’ll get up again and it will be weirder.

After a game of actual charades,

you are elected as the “best singer at the table,”

a title you should wear with pride,

and have to sing karaoke to a room full of Koreans.

(To those of you who don’t know, in Korea you are expected to actually be a good singer for karaoke.)

But, don’t worry you get to bring someone with you!

You take a crowd-suggestion for “Don’t Stop Believin'”

and your partner runs back for another shot,

because when in doubt, make ’em laugh!

Your team wins karaoke because your boss takes pity on you.

With that concludes this work dinner for an English school,

in which no English was spoken.

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