Delivery in Korea (and Japan)
My last full day in Seoul started out slow, did my laundry in the morning then Chewy came by to complete some tasks on the computer. We ate lunch (jajiang mien) at Steve's house where the delivery system was different from what we are used to. Instead of packaging your food in one-time use packages, they serve your food in ceramic bowls. After you are done eating, you just leave them outside your door and they come back to get them. I guess the gas, water and labor costs to collect the bowls and wash them is cheaper than paying for styrofoam containers. I'm a fan, cuts down on waste but if the treehuggers were to dig deep, I wonder which is more harmful for the environment.
Brush with semi-Celebrities
We went back to Itaewon where we met up with Cunnin at the National Museum of Korea. The museum was dreadful. Uninspired architecture and the collection was the opposite of Leeum's. Instead of choosing the best of the best to display, the curators stacked the museum with everything they had in their collection. It was overwhelmingly boring, I felt like I saw all the good pieces at the Leeum a day ago.
In the courtyard outside, we ran into a summer concert series. The group performing was So Nyeo Shi Dae (Girl's Generation) and wow, they were horrid. Finkl and SES were way better than this nine (yes NINE) member group. It was entertaining though watching all these guys in the crowd go apeshit over the girls. They had the homemade signs and were screaming at the top of their lungs. When the group exited and the concert ended, the entire crowd ran over to the access road to catch a glimpse of them in their vans. The three of us ran over to them just to mess around and join in on the craziness. Security guards kept pushing people back to clear the road for the vehicles. I think Chewy has video footage of it if any of you are curious. Just plain crazy, going nuts for a terrible sounding group. The youngsters are starved for real gasoos. Bring back Roo'Ra, Park Ji Yoon and the rest of the groups from that period.
For dinner, we went back to Apgujeong to eat in the Rodeo Drive area again. Giyoung's friends brought us to a great seafood restaurant there and afterwards we went around the corner to visit one of their friends that owned a boutique shop. I didn't try on any of the dresses but they were pushing me to. Waiting for Sam and Cabbie to finish up with their meeting, the lot of us chilled at Homestead Coffee and then Cafe Pascucci, love the green tea lattes.
Late that evening, we finally made our way to the Hong-ik area. That place is HAPPENING. For anyone looking for a good party atmosphere, I can't imagine any place beating this area in Seoul. Though I'm not a big fan of loud music and crowded places I didn't mind walking through it to get to a quiet side street where Connie's friend owns a wine bar called Hola Lisa. Had a great and relaxing time just chilling there making conversation. Lisa's dog was unsettlingly human-like in his behavior. He joined us at the table and was very well behaved, just sitting there staring at our food.
At around 3am, we began cleaning up and helping Lisa close down the bar. While Lisa and Connie stayed behind to finish up, the crew headed back towards the craziness. We walked by the major streets where some Karoake rooms had huge windows that basically put people on display for the viewers in the street, and ended up at Hondae-Ap Noriteau Playground. A pretty ghetto but lively park next to what looked like a senior citizens center. Not a good mix, poor guys probably never get any sleep on the weekends. Looking up, I saw elders looking out the window at us from time to time. There were a bunch of people messing around on the swings, some on the slide beatboxing and singing some American songs. Then there was the makgulee guy. This insanely upbeat energetic guy would make his rounds with a wheelbarrow full of rice wine. It was entertaining just watching him go around the park. While we were there I think we saw him come by twice. I heard he pushes the wheel barrow a few miles away to another gathering place in Sincheon and comes back, making several rounds a night. Not an easy living for sure, but his upbeat attitude is inspiring... or just crazy.
Haven't hung out so late in a while but it was really fun, had no problems falling asleep for the few hours before heading south to Busan.
Additional photos of South Korea