Korea Part 6: Gyeongbokgung Palace and Gogo Bars

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Next morning was much better than the previous one, because I managed to get up at noon and knew exactly what I wanted to see. There was only one issue at the time, "what the heck am I going to eat for lunch?". I wasn’t quite sure about going back to 미미네 after I made a total fool out of myself, so I’ve found a Japanese ramen restaurant called 멘야 산다이메 (Menya Sandaime) on foursquare. The place wasn’t too far from my apartment and from what foursquare told me, they were supposed to have a non-meat ramen as well. Wrong again…

I came in, and after several minutes of talking to the Japanese guy that didn’t understand a single English, I finally figured out they don’t have any vegetarian ramen. I was about to leave, but all of a sudden the waitress with a crystal clear English stepped in - after she had little bit of fun while me and the guy were unsuccessfully finding the way to each other - and offered to take out the meat for me. I usually don’t even eat meat broth, but fuck that, I was so hungry. After all, it was the best ramen I’ve ever eaten.

Full and happy I headed towards Hongik Station to try luck at Gyeongbokgung again. I didn’t use my GPS so I got lost the moment I walked out of the restaurant. Nevermind, I assured myself that I’m a "modern traveler" that needs to use modern equipments and continued my way. This time, Gyeongbokgung was opened and full of people. For a short moment I felt like I’m in China, because it kind of resembles the smaller version of Forbidden City in Beijing. Not to mention all the Chinese tourists that took over the place. I had to meet Y in Hongdae that evening, so I went to see The national folk museum of Korea to kill the time. I have to admit I don’t remember too much of the museum, because I was busy looking at the Chinese tourists’ boobs sticking out of their t-shirts. Being a tall westerner isn’t always as bad as it seems.

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I came back to Hongdae, and while I was waiting for my friend because she was always late, I stood by a guitarist performing on the street. I have no idea why every Korean guitarist picks those gay songs, but I guess it’s a cultural thing, and it has something to do with girls forcing boyfriends to wear their bags and other shit in public. Too bad I didn’t take any photo of this phenomena. Anyway, the song was gay enough that I actually liked it and tipped the guy generously. Those who know me are well aware, that I never give money to anyone unless it involves some kind of oral pleasure, such as eating and drinking. Even Y that didn’t know me for too long was surprised.

Finally, Y has arrived and took me to what is supposed to be Hongdae’s famous tteokbokki snack bar called 조폭떡볶이 (Jopog tteokgbokki). The place itself looked like every other scary Asian hole-in-the-wall restaurant, but the food was excellent and yeah, having a girl paying for me always feels great.

I "forced" Y to get some beer, so she took me to her favorite pub 인데버프리츠 (Indebeopeulicheu) somewhere in Shilim. Because she is always so mean to me, she gave me really gay, I mean nice, fancy and shiny wallet on the way to the subway to make me look stupid in front of everyone. Oh, I truly like this girl.

After having lot of nice draft beers, which always seems hard to get anywhere in Asia, she wanted to take me to karaoke. It was a little place with several small glass booths packed with people singing Korean songs. We couldn’t find any available, so we parted because it was quite late anyway. Well, it wasn’t that late, so I headed right to my favorite English bar to meet my friends before going to bed.

I had couple more beers, and the next thing I remember was guys in the bar building up my courage to go clubbing. It was a Friday night. I was a lonely European and I was supposed to be a perfect catch for horny Korean girls - they said. Even though I seriously hate clubbing, and I definitely don’t have sex with random strangers, it sounded like a very good idea.

I was on my way to a club area in Hongdae when I suddenly met French guys living in Shanghai looking for an ATM. After half an hour trying all those useless Korean ATMs, they could get the cash and we could go for some fun. They were very well aware of what their mission was, so we were advised to go to gogo clubs. From all the stories I heard, I was starting to get comfortable knowing I might get laid that night. The moment I stepped in, I realised it was quite opposite. Tons of Korean guys and fat ugly western bitches everywhere. Did I go to Korea to talk to western girls? Fuck no. We at least got some drinks and went to a bar next door to try our luck. It was the same, and I even lost track of the French guys that probably ended up with those not really good looking western girls. I had few more drinks and long way home on my alcoholic auto-pilot.

Thankfully I didn’t break any of my principles that involve not having sex with complete strangers that night. Sigh.

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