Sunday, September 24, 2006

On your mark, get set, go...

I got home from school Friday and decided to take a nap. I didn't wake up until one in the morning!

On Saturday I went to Itaewon and met up with a girl from Deer Lake and her friend who came into Seoul for the weekend from Pusan. I met them on the street and they were tryna find a hotel room for the night. They had already tried a few spots where they had stayed before but there were no vacancies so we walked around looking for hotels signs.

We found one in a small alleyway. Across from the entrance was a street vendor selling snacks, such as cooked pig's head! Yum...

We went in and they got a room for 30,000 Won. The bed barely fit and there was a condom machine on the wall. Classy indeed.

Then we went to the Outback Steakhouse and I had an awesome meal. Fries and a chicken breast smothered in cheese and bacon. And it wasn't too expensive either.

We then went back to the room and one of the girls wasn't feeling well (she had a sinus infection and cough) and they were dead tired. They decided they weren't going out so I headed out on my own. I bumped into an English teacher I knew and he recommended a few bars.

The first place I checked out was called The BricX. The place was dark and smoky and the had some decent instrumental hip hop playing. Maybe it was trip-hop or something? I'm not really down with all those various labels of music, unless of course its metal.

There was a girl sitting by herself at the bar so I grabbed a chair and we hung out and shot tequila for a couple of hours. She was from either Ohio or Iowa, I can't remember. She asked for my number (although she has a boyfriend.. yeah, lame...) and said she's gonna invite me to a party she's having sometime in the next month. She said she has lots of pretty friends!

Her friends were to supposed to show up at this place but they never, so she left to go to some bar that wasn't nearby and I declined, but got her to recommend somewhere for me to go.

I ended up at The Loft which also an alright place, but not as cool as The BricX. It was one room with the bar in the middle. There was too much light in there for my tastes. I ended up drinking with a few Irish people and decided to head home before the subway stopped running. I'd already spent enough money up to that point and a taxi home is kinda expensive.

The train stopped running about eight stops from my neighborhood and some old American dude bartered with a cabby for me and got me a flat rate home. It cost 10,000 Won which didn't really seem like a good deal but apparently the prices increase after midnight.

Being in that taxi was an experience. The average speed was about 100km and he maxed out at 160. The road was like the taxi cab grand prix with hundreds of taxis swerving from lane to lane each tryna get to their location as quick as possible so they could make more trips. It was kinda scary, but more fun than scary I guess.

I made it home alive and that's what counts.

I woke up today and did some shopping because I got paid on Friday. I had to buy some groceries, clothes detergent (I've been using dish detergent for the last month), and some other random things. I then walked around my neighborhood and browsed the street merchandise and checked out a few stores but surprisingly I didn't come home with anything. There was a reason for this.

I decided that I'd be better off wasting my money by going to VIPS (pronounced vips like lips, not vee eye peas like I would think). This place is a steak and salad restaurant that is directly next to my apartment. I've been dreaming about going there since I arrived and now that I have a bit of cash it was time to check it out.

I walked in not really knowing what to expect and I was led to a table. I ordered a steak which cost me 25 bucks and then the waitress said "free salad bar" and led me over there. This salad bar was amazing. It had fried chicken balls, tacos with every topping you could think of, multitudes of fresh fruit, ice cream, and a bunch of other food that looked too Korean for me to attempt on this day.

By the time my steak showed up I was nearly full but I finished it off anyway. Then I caught my second wind and finished off 3 or 4 plates of fruit salads, a banana split, and one more taco. It was a little pricey but worth every penny, or I guess I should say every Won.

I think you can pay about 10 bucks and just have access to the salad bar. I think that's a fair price because you can eat enough tacos and chicken balls to get your money's worth, and then eat a few whole pineapples (fresh ones!), some ice cream, and whatever other salads you want.

An apple costs about 1000 Won (a dollar) at the grocery store so 10000 Won is a good deal.

At least I think so being the wasteful Westerner that I am.

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