I haven't written a lot ever since I got to Korea as I just got too comfortable and lazy pretty much. That's a dangerous place to be in for me as I have planned to continue traveling, photographing, and blogging my adventures around Asia. That wouldn't be very much possible if I'm just staying in one place. With that said I forced myself to purchase a ticket to Tokyo to meet up my friend.
So I'm backtracking mentally on the past couple weeks I've been here to get out my journey through this beautiful and crazy country. There's a scale called the beauty/crazy scale used for women well I believe that can be applied to countries as well. The more beautiful a country is the more crazy the people can be. You don't always see it at first but the more you get to know it the more you see.
Coming back from Jeju I flew to Busan and stayed there for a couple days with my boy Jonathan and Lennie who I met in Jeju. It was pretty rainy there so we didn't do too much. So our first night we played in an arcade till 3AM which I haven't done since I was a little kid with my cousin. Plus the games were so cheap too compared to what they charge for the same arcade games back home. To play the newest Tekken it was about 500won, roughly under $0.50, which back home it would be around $0.75 if not a dollar.
I also played my first game of screen golf! It was the first time I picked up a golf club since I played golf with my grandfather for Father's Day about 2 or 3 years ago. It was pretty dam fun!
After the quick run in Busan the three of us decided to head up to Seoul together. We didn't ride the KTX because it was pretty expensive, so we rode the old passenger train called Mugunghwa 무궁화 which takes 5.5 hours instead of 2. When we got to Seoul I decided to simply stay in a hostel instead of going back to Ilsan since it would be easier to hangout with Jonathan and Lennie. We stayed in Hongdae which is the crazy young party area of Seoul. There we met a Swede, Karl, who came with us on to Changdeokgung palace 창덕궁 and Myeongdong 명동. I was like their pseudo tour guide giving random facts or simply making stuff up.
My favorite thing to do in Korea is to go hiking. Unfortunately the weather has been pretty shit almost the entire time I've been here. Rain and overcast shitty skies has simply been the theme of my travel through here. On the one good day that we had here I took advantage of it and decided to climb Bukhan Mountain 북한산 right on the edge of Seoul. On the way up I asked an older lady how long it takes to get to the top and she said roughly 2 hours. I looked at Jonathan and Lennie and said we're a group of young guys we'll do it in 1.5 hours or less. At one hour and fifty five minutes we made it to the top...that was probably one of the more difficult hikes I've ever done. Oh man was the view soooo absolutely worth it though. Overlooking all of Seoul from the top of a mountain is simply amazing.
So with all the other fellow travelers that I meet I bid Karl, Lennie, and Jonathan a farewell after a crazy night of partying in Sincheon 신천 and Itaewon 이태완 till 5AM.
Actually staying at my grandmother's home is very stressful on both my Aunt who takes care of my grandmother and myself. She feels obligated to take care of me too even though I'm a grown adult. However, in her eyes like all older Korean Ajumas 아주마 I'm a 12 year old child running around aimlessly needing to be saved from the peril and dangers of Korea. Especially my grandmother who believes I'm using my parents money, I've never had a job, and that I'm a foolish young boy who doesn't know anything and I should return back to America to get an education from college...*sigh* (I worked for 4 years, graduated from College with a degree in Finance and International Business, and I haven't taken a dime from my parents to fund my trip).
Hearing that daily is pretty annoying, but I don't get angry at her because she doesn't understand anything I say anyways. She's a 90 year old lady who is as stone minded as the Sphinx in Egypt so talking with her is one way. She's right and you're wrong no question. Which is very much like my father and my sister...now I see where the trait hails from.
So I decided to stay in Hongdae where I met some more travelers a group of French guys. Matthias, Fab, and Yannus. Fab has a Korean girlfriend and knows more about Korea than me. He know through his girl so many good food spots. I think being with them I gained weight from all the places that we ate at. Finding an all you can eat sushi place was like entering heaven for me, and then finding an all you can eat KBBQ for 10,000won roughly $10...you better believe I was in a state of euphoria. The French guys kept calling me a machine and simply didn't understand how I could possibly eat so much being such a small guy.
Besides eating we did do other things as well. I showed them the palaces since they were free and we went to Myeongdong again. I've basically now seen all the touristy things possibly in Seoul once if not twice. However, we did go to the Trick Eye Museum for a discounted price thanks to Fab's girlfriend...and another arcade! I love the arcades here!