Monday, May 23, 2011

Korea trip part 1

It is something else over here. Tuesday I left Nashville and after nearly 25 hours of traveling I arrived in Korea. The airport I flew into was Incheon, which is a neighboring city of Seoul. Seoul is the capital of South Korea and is the 2nd largest city in the world (or 9th depending on how it is measured concerning the surrounding areas, regardless is is fucking enormous). A couple of my friends who are over here teaching English were nice enough to meet me at the airport and show me the way to the city.

The first thing I noticed was how amazing the subway system is here. It makes Chicago's look like a toy, it's sleek and new and each station is massive. After arriving at my friend JP's place I dropped my bags off and we headed out for some drinks. Alcohol is widespread here, unfortunately the beer they serve on tap here (mostly Cass) is subpar but the Soju runs plentiful. Soju is distilled from any things such as rice and potatoes and has a flavor similar to vodka just slightly sweeter (and less alcoholic at around 20%). It is also cheap as hell, a bottle normally runs between 1000 to 3000 won depending on where you order it (think of 1000 won as $1). Needless to say I got pretty drunk on my first night, especially factoring in the jetlag and lack of sleep I was experiencing.

I woke up feeling a bit woozy, being slightly hungover and on the other side of the world will do that to you. Once we collected ourselves my friend Adam and I (who was also visiting from Nashville) headed out into downtown Seoul to explore some of the sights. We were trying to find this river walk but got kind of lost so we ended up in this temple-like sanctuary with an impressionist art museum in it (I later found out it was called Deoksugung Palace). We wandered around a bit more after that just taking in the views of the city. It is an interesting juxtaposition of a place, this huge city surrounded by mountains and filled with a mix of Korean shops and restaurants as well as Americanized businesses such as 7-11's and Taco Bells.

It was about time to head back and grab some dinner with my friends, and wow here comes the meat. I'm a semi-practicing vegetarian back in the states, I eat fish on occasion but never mammals. Just a personal choice which I may explain more later but here it was clear going that route was not an option. My first major meal consisted of a pile of meat (some cut of pork I believe) which we cooked on a grill at our table. When cooked the meat was wrapped in lettuce leaves and dunked in various sauces with a little garlic thrown in there. And of course lots of Soju on the side. Gambae!

We went out drinking some more after we ate and after a few drinks my exhaustion was really catching up with me at this point. I nearly fell asleep at the bar, so after a bit we grabbed a cab and headed home because we had an insanely busy day lined up for Friday, which I will explain about as well as the rest of my weekend in my next blog entry. I was also hoping to finish my Coachella reports before all this started but I lost a huge chunk of what I wrote on the plane over here for some unknown reason so that's going to have to wait. Not that anyone should care but myself, but I do want to get it down at some point before I get. C'est la vi. I'm in Korea now, for 2 more solid weeks.


  1. nice! was in seoul a few weeks ago, shame we missed each other. hope you're having a rockin trip and that our paths cross soon.


  2. yeah man it's been too long but you're such a globetrotter you're tough to catch! Eventually though we'll link up for sure.