Asia | Korea, Republic of – More weirdness
I’m still having adventures by the bucketload. Today I went to a part of Seoul called Itaewon. It’s basically an ex pat ghetto, where all the westerners tend to congregate. I didn’t think I’d like it, but I thought I’d check it out. My suspicions were correct. The first thing I saw when i got out of the subway was a bloody burger king. This was followed in close succession by KFC, Pizza Hut and sodding McDonald’s! Every bar was called something like ‘Nashville’ or ‘Cowboy’s’ or ‘Bald eagle’ and the whole place was swarming, and I mean swarming with tourists. It was the most tasteless, tacky, artificial thing I’ve seen in ages. I walked up and down the main street, and had a little wander down some side alleys, which proved to be the best bit, because it got all pokey and residential, and thus interesting and tourist free. I was back on a main street, thinking, ‘This can’t get any worse’, when a beautiful young Korean girl sidles up to me and says, ‘ Hello, you come to my place, I make you happy, cheap price.’ At that point I had to get out of there. The worst of it is that there are hotels in Itaewon, and I bet some people go away thinking that Seoul is all like that – everything is written in English, everybody speaks English, and every second shop is a fekking McDonald’s! Still, it’s their loss, although they probably wouldn’t see it that way.
Cultural Observations: Koreans CANNOT make red wine. I bought a bottle yesterday, and…sweet mother of Jesus. I struggle to find words adequate to describe the horror, but appalling is a good start, followed closely by cough medicine and methylated spirit. NEVER, EVER try it – it’s beyond contempt.
On a similar note, but a more pleasing one, the price of beer seems to be inversely proportional to the amount you buy. For example, an average sized can costs about W2300. A bottle containing twice the volume costs W1900. This is logic I can live with!
In Korea, you drive your car on the road, and your motorbike wherever the hell you want to – the road, the pavement, whatever. God help any pedestrian who isn’t paying attention.
Well, that’s all from me, I’m off to meditation class tomorrow, so that should be interesting.
Best to you all,