Onstage a Bulgarian band rocks out a mix of American, Korean, and Eastern European jams. Friends tell me they play here 364 nights a year. I can't read the group’s name, but I’m already a big fan.
A chilly November Saturday night, and Shane and I are at the HurShimChung Brauhaus, underneath the elegant Hotel Nong Shim. We join friends at a table at the far end of the ginormous beer hall. Most of the group are cast members from the Busan Night Live show a few weeks back. They've already ordered a growler and German-esque sausage plate. A couple hundred rowdy Koreans populate the rest of the room. It’s nice to see this side of the Korean personality, so far removed from the stoic faces on the subway.
We sit and we drink. The beer is strong and refreshing. Servers dressed in dirndls and lederhosen hurry by. We order Pilsner and Hefewiezen and another sausage and sauerkraut plate. We talk politics, we talk comedy, we talk books, and we laugh loudly and often.
As the night wears on, the beer starts working, and we start singing. We sing "It's a Beautiful Life," many renditions of the Korean birthday song, and, begrudgingly, "YMCA". I even recognize a poppy version of "Arirang," an old Korean folk song my kindergarten kiddos love to sing. Fathers dance with daughters, women dance with sisters. After we've spent enough money, we stumble our separate ways just in time to catch the last train home. Bauhaus HurShimChung is an out of country experience in our own little city.