I went up to Seoul for Christmas last weekend.
I had wanted to meet up with some friends, including someone who I knew in HS who was working there for a few weeks. But this was not the Seoul purpose of my visit.
My seoul had grown weary from a mild case of island fever. I could feel it from the nasal congestion in my head right down to the seoul of my shoes.
I also was getting tired of bibimbap and kimchi and mugwort and fatty meat in lettuce leaves and bad pizza. I needed some seoul food. But not filet of seoul.
As it happened, I spent part of Christmas at a mosque.
This was the view from the mosque:
I spent Saturday mostly in Itaewon, the foreigner/expat part of the city, which was great, because I basically felt like I was NY or Boston. I had schwarma, thai noodles, and bought $100 worth of books:
Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail by Hunter S Thompson
A NY Times Crossword Puzzle Collection
The Time Machine by HG Wells
Miss Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
Selected Short Stories by DH Lawrence
And a super secret gift that I won’t give away now
Also, check out these fancy dresses:
I waited until the last minute to find a hotel room, then went for a nice walk around the neighborhood. Observe:
That’s Seoul Tower, on the top of Namsan.
That bakery was really nice, especially the bathroom, where I was able to shave and trim my nose hair.
Later that night, I ate bad mexican food (like a crappy Chipotle knockoff) and went on a frustrating and stressful search for an indian restaurant where I was supposed to meet some friends.
Speaking of which, it turned out my seoul mate was working nights installing something for Samsung and then sleeping during the day. Her seoulless bosses were making her work on Christmas Eve. That’s rough.
Anyway, back to the cab ride; the driver took me to the completely wrong part of the city, and nobody I asked knew where or how to get to the Global Cultural Center or whatever the hell it was called. I went to the WRONG Indian restaurant, then finally when I got to the right part of the city, couldn’t find the street, then when I finally got to the Center, couldn’t find the sign that said “indian restaurant”, and when I did, I ran into my friends as they came down the elevator.
However, we did end the night at a lovely jazz club and then went dancing. Apparently I forgot to say goodbye. But I did look good in a bowler hat. So its okay.