Who I'm Listening To

  • Lupe Fiasco - Love Letter to the Beat (single)
  • N.E.R.D - Nothing
  • Janelle Monae - Without a Fight (single)
  • Cee Lo Green - The Lady Killer
  • Kanye West - G.o.o.d Fridays

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My first Seoul trip

The earliest we could leave Ulsan Friday night was 10pm and we took the cheapest train to Seoul. After teaching for 6 hours that day, all I wanted to do was pass out on the train until forevermore. For some reason, however, the train operators felt it necessary to have the heat at a blistering 27°C.  For 6 hours I withstood the sweltering heat, sweating the entire time asking, “why?” Arriving in Seoul, the first order of business was to find lodging for the night. Love motel was the solution. Love motels are everywhere in Korea. Basically, they are the product of single men living with their families until marriage and not having a place to go for…cough…loving. This is where we stayed our first night. We napped for a bit and were up early the next day to meet with a friend who studied abroad at UCLA who lives in Seoul (Bruins worldwide baby). We got a quick lunch of Sangipsal – Korean BBQ – and headed into the art district of Insadong  We went to a few art exhibits and even had an informal Q & A with one of the artists. We gave her endless compliments, got an autograph, and exchanged contact info for when she goes to New York for her exhibition. Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures of her work, but with my covert skills was able to take some of other exhibits. Mira mira: 
your guess is as good as mine...

i get these, for sure...

not this one, though...

pointillism by Yo Mi Ran...

my favorite piece by far...

After spending the majority of the daylight roaming Insadong we decided to eat and check out the scene in Hongdae, near the University. At dinner we met a couple travelers who informed us that they’d be performing at a local bar at 11pm. It was 11pm and they were still finishing their meals (musicians…). To know me is to know I can’t turn down live music, so our plans rerouted to their bar and we enjoyed some good tunes.  After their show we barhopped around Hongdae. We wound up leaving the last bar at around 5am, ran into a street band, and sang Beatles songs with them for an hour or so. My neighbor, Nathan is a drummer and was allowed to play on their modest drum set for a few minutes. I played hype man.

Leaving our street performer friends we looked for somewhere to stay the night. We kept hearing how much of an experience Gingilbongs were, and how affordable it was for a one-night stay, that we had to do it. A gingilbong is made up of 3 halves. Yes. One half spa, one half motel, and one half nudist colony. It was awkward for sure, but when in Korea…do as. The bottom two floors were the nudist colony separated by sex (you wore shorts and t-shirt on every other floor). This bottom floor is where some kid practiced his fencing as I walked by him. C’mon player…The middle floor was a lounge area, but had people sprawled all over the couches and floor passed out. The top floor was the sleeping area that consisted of a bevy of bunk beds. They give you no blankets, just a cushion that you use for a pillow; surprisingly enough for a good nights’ sleep. 

The next day we did some shopping in Myeong-dong before heading home. There is so much to do in Seoul, and I feel like I only scratched the surface. I am undoubtedly going back again. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. Dor it sounds like you are having an amazing experience! I love following your blog. Continue to enjoy your adventures, miss you mucho!