The Acid Bar, the Cock Lady and wonderfully random Korean attempts at English.


I came across this bar in Ilsan, outer Seoul a few years ago. I liked the name of the place almost as much as the indecipherable gibberish explaining it. I couldn’t not check this place out.

Of course, there was nothing. Not a single customer inside

I found nothing. There was not a single customer, nor did there appear to be a single employee. I hung around for a few minutes reading and re-reading the writing on the glass wall, which was, I guess, a definition of a musical genre known as ‘Acid jazz’.

A bored looking young man appeared behind the bar, clearly irritated by the audacity of my simply being there. He sullenly poured me a beer and then watched bemused as I took a few photos of this wall.

“Acid jazz?” I asked politely and with a straight face, enquiring of the background music by looking around the room and waving my hands slowly at nothing in particular. This he understood.

“Ne” (yes), he said.

The background music in this “Acid jazz bar” sounded conspicuously Kenny G-esque. I’m actually not an expert on acid jazz as a genre (or the works of Kenny G), but this bar, like the piped music it offered, did have all the edginess of an elevator ride. and was vaguely reminiscent of the stuff released on vinyl when I was young, by a company called K-tel.


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