We're going to a restaurant.
This, or something very like it, is within a five minute walk of every apartment building and motel in town. Don't be shy. And don't worry about the pictures of raw meat plastering the exterior of the building. Trust me. This is worth it.
The server inside gives a cheerful Annyang ha seyo! Then she takes you to a table. It's probably got a large hole in the center, and a complicated looking metal device dangling above it that will make you think of a miniaturized fumigation hood from high school chemistry.
Grab a seat, and before you have a chance to order anything, a dizzying array of food begins to appear. Tiny plates piled with vegetables and sauces sprout from every corner of the table. A basket of lettuce leaves, a plate of kimchi, and a brick of tofu are tucked into an open spot in the corner. Then someone leans across your field of vision and you realize that they're using a set of metal tongs to carry a cast iron bowl of literally glowing coals. Whatever you do, avoid sudden movements until this man is gone. One of the waitstaff pours pre-mixed egg sauce into a metal ring that circling the glowing coals to complete the ensemble.
When you're ready to order, there's a little button in the corner of the table. It looks like a doorbell. Press that sucker. A waitress will appear at your elbow. Tell her:
Galbi Dugae. Bap Dugae. Coke Dugae.
You just ordered two servings of marinated pork, two servings of rice, and a couple bottles of coke. If you're there with more than two people, you'll need to order using different numbers. In that case, just say:
Galbi (Hold up three, four or however many fingers), Bap (same), Coke (same).
If you have a penchant for beer, ask for Hof (hold up some fingers).
Is it obvious I don't know Korean yet?
In any event, she'll smile, repeat everything back to you because your accent is atrocious, and then vanish. Seconds later, this appears:
Use the tongs and pop that sucker onto the wire grill above the coals.
At this point, you can have pleasant conversation with your table companion. This will probably consist of general expressions of amazement at how freakin' good that meat smells as its cooking. If you are feeling adventurous, you can also sample the vegetable dishes at this point.
The meat is starting to look pretty well done. Grab the tongs and the scissors and cut it into smaller, more manageable pieces.
You do this for one very, very good reason. You glance around the table and realize that you do not have a plate. No one does. Everything on the table is communal. You want that vegetable dish on the far side of the table? Go for it. Just watch your sleeves around the coals.
With the pork in more manageable pieces, move them off to the side. You really don't want them to turn into little charred chunks, and you have to make room for the second portion anyway. Be warned: those coals stay really, really hot for a very long time. By this point, the egg sauce has probably cooked through, so you can just toss the meat on there.
Pick up your chopsticks and grab whatever bits of cooked pork are within reach. It will be delicious. You may notice that some of the Koreans around you are using the lettuce leaves to make little meat wraps. Try this. Just remember, it is rude if you do anything other than stuff the whole thing into your mouth in one bite. I don't know why, it just is. Erin once had someone try to explain that it was "more beautiful" that way. Then he crammed his mouth so full of lettuce and meat that he looked like he was going to pop.
But I digress. Other fun things you can do with your dinner: there's probably a relatively thin vegetable stock soup on the table which you can pour into your rice bowl.
Also, make sure to dip the bits of cooked meat into the various sauces that dot the table. Yes, I know the meat is absolutely fantastic without any sauce. Try it anyway. It will somehow become even more delicious.
When you've managed to stuff yourself to bursting on the most delicious marinated pork you've ever had, congratulations. There's probably a bill somewhere on the table, so grab that and head up to the register to pay. Odds are good that for two people, with soda, you'll be looking at around $20.00 US, or ₩20,000.
You step out into the night, enjoying the feeling of a full belly. You give a little burp, and decide that you can maybe manage a bit of desert. Thankfully, Korea has you covered on that, too.