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Seoul, Korea

The airport in Seoul was inconvenient. We tried to buy train tickets to our place in Donggyo-Dong, but the machines only accepted cash in Won. We looked for a bank or a currency exchange booth, but they were all closed (it was ~10pm) So we were forced to take a cab.


Our taxi drivers in Seoul varied in style. Some cab drivers were patient, always stopping before yellow lights and staying within the speed limit. But one cab driver that took us home from a club treated red lights as merely suggestions.

Seoul had more of a night life compared to Kyoto. There is a culture of beauty there based around plastic surgery and generous use of makeup. The popular look for Korean women is an application of makeup that creates snow white skin and red lips. Yes, the Koreans look photoshopped. But they embrace their superficial culture. They have a term in Korean, aegyo (애교), for when a person pretends to be cute.

I ate a lot of meat in Seoul. There are many restaurants where either you cook the food yourselves or it is cooked right in front of you. This one had an ugly tube that sucked up the heat and smoke from the grill.


They have a horrible system here where tables have buttons you press to call the waiter. When you press them a loud beep sounds and your table number appears on a screen. The waiter, who always looks pissed off, comes over to take your order. They will not come to your table to refill water or for any other circumstance other than you having pressed the button.

You will be waiting for a while for your check if you forget to press this.

We saw posters for this 17-year-old emo pop idol Billie Eilish everywhere.


We wandered into what appeared to be a children’s toy store. They had multiple floors of weird shit with huge screens playing cartoon ads for the store.





The toystore had an "adult" section upstairs. Seeing as we were in a toy store, we figured this may be a mistranslation, but we went upstairs to investigate. We were prompted for our IDs when we reached the top floor.

Here we have standard equipment.


And comfort for the lonely anime enthusiast.


A helpful diagram.


Later we indulged in the traditional Korean dish of ice cream waffles.



After stuffing ourselves with those waffles we went on a food tour throughout a street market where we met some German ladies and a sign interpreter1 from Minnesota.

We ate some live octopus. Chop sticks are difficult to use when your food is using its suckers to stick itself to the plate.

Afterwards we went with the Germans to karaoke. We found an alcohol free teenager spot. Almost everything there was written in Korean and the person working desk spoke ~no English. But we managed to figure out how to rent a room for an hour. The room had two microphones and this hand held device that let you pick songs, change effects on the mic, etc. Everything on the device was written in Korean. We clicked around and eventually found the section with pop songs in English. Among others we found Bad Guy by Billie Eilish.


The next day we journeyed to the Gyeongbokgung Palace.


Then to an old village with traditional architecture.


That night we went out drinking. Beware of the sweet soju. On our last day there I woke up at 2:30pm.2. We went on a tour of Gangnam.

Here is a bookstore. True to the superficial Korean culture, the books on the shelves are merely frames of books and not actual books.


We walked by a pop up Kpop concert. No one but the performers were dancing. We also saw a monument to one of Youtube’s most watch videos.


Only a few hundred meters away from the kpop concert was a tranquil Buddhist temple.

We got a view of the Han river and the Lotte World Tower.


They have a street with a monument to all the biggest kpop bands.


And one for Psy, Gangnam's king.


Next up, Tokyo!

  1. I learned that different countries have different sign languages. And sign languages do not directly correspond to a spoken language, they're languages with their own grammar. []
  2. I normally wake up at 6am and have been waking up in Asia at around 7:30am. Thank you soju. []

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