Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Seoul Weekend One

Scene depicting the torture of Koreans at the hand of the Japanese. Not sure you could get away with that in the States.

Train ride there.

I get this look from Benji quite often, actually.


Face paint at the festival!

Ashley, getting tortured at the festival.

Just another rider.

Tried to get past him, but I just hurt my face.

The group we began with. Minus Ashley, of course; who needs to see her?

We continue to be very busy, so it's taken me this long to write about our amazing weekend in Seoul. We left with 8 TaLK scholars in total and headed up to Seoul by train. Standing room only is not a terrible amount of fun, but we managed to find a place to sit, and another place to stand with AC, so switching between them made it more pleasant. Once we got in, Ashley's navigation led us in exactly the wrong direction, but eventually we made it to the hostel, called "With Guesthouse". I kept thinking people were saying the hostel had a guesthouse as well, but that's just the name. Regardless, we got settled and went out for food and a night out.

Our first night out was great. After inhaling some food (we were famished), we went to a club called Ska (free for foreigners). Oddly, I did not hear any Ska music...

We had a blast, and after a little hiccup, I went back out with Jack and Monica. Jack can't navigate, so we ended up a bit lost, but I honestly think getting lost in a foreign city at odd hours can actually be very interesting. Still, Jack "Chinchilla" does not get to navigate again.

The second day we all went for various wanderings. I stuck with Benji "Mungo", and discovered that I am entirely too large for all clothes, and some doorways, here. We did find a very pleasant cafe that had actually pretty good coffee, even to my snobby palette, and enjoyed the unique and dynamic architecture of Seoul, from a restaurant like a giant barrel, to an art exhibit that managed to make "concrete square" appealing.

Then, after some awesome chicken and beer (served in authentic Korean war era US soldier tins (I made sure to find out)), we hit the drinking and clubs again. Once more, we found clubs that did not require foreigners to pay entry fee, which made an otherwise costly adventure a little less expensive. Entry is regularly as high as 30,000 Won, which sounds a little less dramatic when you hear the conversion rate of 1000 Won to the dollar (roughly), but that's still a considerable cost.

The final day, before leaving, we were all dead tired. I did not once get back to the hostel at something approaching a reasonable hour, and we had been on our feet, dancing, partying and drinking, all weekend. Still, we went to the Korean Independence Day festival in Seoul. The theme this year was all about one world, one people, so it was especially friendly to foreigners. We enjoyed ourselves immensely, and there are a series of excellent pictures we took at the festival, below.

We departed with 8, we returned with 10, and at most we had had 13, by either running into people we knew or meeting friends at the hostel. We met up with Nathan, and he met up with his friend Simon in Seoul. Having Simon with us was great; he lives in Seoul, and really showed us around, made sure we had a great time and ate great food. On the off chance he reads this: Thanks a ton Simon.

I passed out on the floor behind the seats on the train ride back, and it was the most restful sleep I think I got the whole time.


1 comment:

  1. Stupid Benji blaming me for getting lost. IT WAS HIS FAULT TOO! :P