Some of my favourite districts in Seoul are Myeongdong (for the shopping), Itaewon (for the food and foreign markets) and Insadong (for the real tourist in me). I've only seen a fraction of what Seoul has to offer, but I often find myself coming back from Seoul feeling exhausted and unsatisfied. This weekend however, was awesome.
We set off late Saturday afternoon on the 2 hour bus ride it takes to get there. We stayed in my favourite hostel so far, Big Choi's in Hongdae (another favourite for night life) and after dropping our bags off, we were on the underground headed for Itaewon. Here we grabbed a *really* quick bite to eat and then head to the theatre to watch 'Wicked'. I thoroughly enjoyed the show. The set was perfectly done; the costumes were spot on and the cast was flawless. It was part of a famous story I had never heard and so enjoyed the twists and turns along the way. After the show ended we made our way to a Saffa bar in Itaewon called Scrooges. Here I was greeted with bokke jerseys and afrikaans accents - I could not have been more in my element. They had the SA - England rugby match on, and I got to watch our boys run on and sing the national anthem at the top of my voice with friends and random South Africans. It was awesome. I then continued to enjoy the game (which we won) with an ice cold Hunters Dry and some Spring Bokkies. For those who don't know, you can't really get ciders in Korean bars so the Hunters were a real treat!
After finding some food on the street we ended up on 'hooker hill' at a little bar called Friends. We were practically the only ones there and proceeded to make friends with the lovely bar-lady, Grace, who fed us an unending supply of cheese puffs and made sure we were well looked after. She was a real gem. They played some old music for us (our request list seemed to go unnoticed) and we jammed all night, dancing like fools and laughing till it hurt. We eventually crashed into bed around 5.30. It was truly an awesome night and proof that when you least expect it, magic happens.
The next day saw hangovers and sleep deprivation and so after a yummy real burger at Retro Mamma's in Hongdae, I set off home. I needed my bed, and sleep.
Although Monday brought the typical Seoul hangover, I can't help looking back and smiling. Although intimidating and busy and crazy, Seoul is an awesome place where Koreans and foreigners come together and where you can often find just a little taste of home. It also proved another thing; often it's all about the people you're with, rather than the places you're at.
Thanks guys for a truly memorable, wicked adventure in Seoul :)
|The Wicked crew|