the past few weeks have been a complete whirlwind. went to seoul last weekend with my friend, rachel. It was a blast the whole time despite the fact that I was/am fighting a bit of a cold.
the reason I wanted to go back to seoul again so soon (was there two weeks ago) with rachel is that she hasn’t really had a chance to explore seoul yet and I thought we should really enjoy the takeout cocktails before it gets too cold out… and, damn, did we enjoy them. we sort of sat outside people watching for a few hours at a corner in hongdae. at one point a cab pulled over and a bunch of blond german guys got out. they proceeded to unload what appeared to be 6 cases of orange juice from the cab. then they stood with the cases on the corner for a while. finally they hailed another taxi and loaded the orange juice into it and drove away. this is confusing for many reasons... mostly because orange juice is widely available all throughout korea.
the highlight of the whole trip, though, was getting home on saturday night. i’ve now spent a few nights walking around this area of hongdae and was sure i knew my way home from where we were. we started walking… little by little I’m becoming suspicious that we’re walking the wrong way. we are not in any state to be navigating uncharted territory at this point. we asked a couple people for directions, but it didn't do much good. i wanted to take a cab. a) they are really cheap in Korea b) that is my go-to way home when I am too drunk and it’s too late for public transportation. rachel was against it because she said cab drivers are assholes. i was like, “yeah, i know.” so we kept walking. after a while, i decide to ask a cab anyway. the asshole just drives away after i say where we need to go! rachel says forget it, let’s walk. we are literally going in circles, though.
the third time we passed this restaurant called the castle praha, i’m like, “alright, i’m trying again.” i try another cab. same thing. now i'm in disbelief. i had heard that some cabs in seoul refuse fares late at night if they aren’t convenient or whatever, but as far as I knew, we weren’t too far from where we were staying. maybe a 20 minute walk if we knew where to walk. so now I’m just getting pissed off, because i’m thinking we’re so lost, that if we’re not getting home in a cab, we’re not getting home. i pulled over maybe 6 or 7 cabs trying different strategies. one old guy FINALLY agreed to take us… we think he definitely took us the long way around because the fare was like 5000 won ($5), which is really expensive for a korean cab ride… and even though they don’t tip here, I gave him 10 because i was just so grateful to be back at the hostel. lol i tipped him even though he almost certainly tried to take advantage of us.
we also had so much good food there. monster pizza is hands down the best pizza i’ve had in korea and some of the best pizza I’ve had in my life. vatos tacos: legit mexican style tacos. i'm fantasizing about them all the time now. i hope i haven’t opened the floodgates of mexican food cravings… also, we had the most amazing falafel wraps at a place called jack’s bean. the contents of the wraps were like 50% falafel and 50% iceberg lettuce, so when we first got them, I was skeptical…but the falafel itself was so tasty... and the sauce was really good.
the last time i was in seoul was during chuseok, the biggest holiday in korea, where seoul practically empties out because everyone goes home to see their families. this time it was a lot more crowded and reminded me why i decided not to live there in the first place after having my fill of the crowds in moscow last summer. in the end, rachel and i both were really happy to get back home to donghae where people aren’t pushing us about wherever we go.