Oh Korea what a place. Firstly: FOOOOODDDD.
Cannot even express how amazing the food is here. Its spicy, its different, and its priced perfectly for Elijah and I to constantly gorge ourselves (which is a plus and a minus I suppose). Though probably a plus from most others’ perspectives. Not to mention, we have been doing a decent bit of walking and packing stuff so we are not thinking too deeply into the potential of gaining pounds versus friends.
We found a brew pub and pizzaria called Brew 3.14, which was splendid. Enjoyed beers from 3 local breweries located in Seoul, all of which are run and owned by foreigners. Craft beer is just beginning here. The oldest brewery is around 4 years old. In the markets there are not many choices for beer. The drink of choice is Soju, which is a rice wine of about 18% and often very sweet. This drink is fun as its something you share and every bottle comes with a couple drinking games. Both involving the cap.
For the first one you remove the cap and twist the metal frill around the base of the cap. The lower metal part of the cap that breaks upon the serrations when you open the bottle for the first time. You begin by twisting this frill until just before it breaks off of the cap. You then pass the cap with this filament hanging off it and each person takes a turn flicking it. The point of this being to break the small piece from the greater cap, which obviously becomes easier as the metal is bent back and forth which each flick. The amount of twisting done to this small piece hanging from the cap also plays in some strategy. More twisting the easier to flick off, however you are not supposed to be able to flick it off on the first try. If you do, you drink. When this piece finally flies off with the final flick, the two people on either side of the successful flick-er drink. Its a jolly good time.
Game 2, involves guessing the number on the inside of the lid (each lid having a unique number from 1-50). The person who opened the bottle holds the lid and tells the guessers either higher or lower. Going around the table when the number is finally guessed that person drinks, winning or loosing depending on your attitude and level of inebriation I suppose.
Talon with our kind host’s (from left) Bee, Amanda, and Jay. We shared a delightful meal of Samgyupsal (Korean barbecued meat) with Soju of course.
We had a very overtly friendly Korean gentleman of about 35 years sing NSYNC to us on the train. He was very emphatic about how much he liked the states, american football, and finally pop music. ha. To the point where he insisted we listen to some of his favorite pop, which led to him singing some good ol’ nsync on the train. A few younger ladies on the train kind of rolled their eyes and one even whispered to us as she left the train, “that music is so old”. Ha which was hilarious. But being funny in the time does really speak to how much the in-group/out-group culture exists in Korea. You behave or you are pretty quickly labeled as other.
From this experience, Elijah and I also reflected on how lucky we are to be able to be from somewhere that still represents a lot of great things to many people around the world. We have had so much kindness projected our way simply because we are Americans. And this isn’t to say other foreigners don’t do this because hospitality to outsiders is a very prominent part of the culture here, but we have received a noticeable amount of loving from locals simply because we are from the USA.
And for those who haven’t traveled yet and realized this, you really must be thankful because its not all like this for all places. Not to mention being able to go anywhere around the world and having English be a standard. Its amazing and also quite enabling SO LEARN OTHER LANGUAGES! hah
Anyway Elijah and are are working hard organizing evolving plans that incorporate brew schedules, brew events, and peoples’ schedules. very excited.
Off now to Magpie Brewing before taking a little RnR at the local bathhouse, which just happens to be 24hrs and 5 stories tall. ….ok well I shouldn’t say “just happens to be” because 24 hour bath houses are actually quite common and its common practice to even spend the night there, which we plan on doing.
love you all.
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The street that our hostel was located on. We spent along time wondering the nooks and crannies of this old neighborhood.
Creepy eyes. but incredibly detailed textures on the fur. BUT creepy eyes.
ps getting quite cold here. But don’t worry we’re staying warm!