I get off the train of Hongkik University and the first thing I notice is how good it smells. Seriously, there’s an entire two block stretch that smells like sweet buttermilk biscuits, Cajun fries, and fried chicken. There’s a small strip of land in the middle of the Main Street, and everyone is drunk. I meant EVERYONE is drinking. It’s 10pm on a Wednesday night and I feel like I should have started the party hours ago.
The flight to Seoul from Shanghai is just 1.5 hours and I have no idea who it took me over three years to get here. Actually I have a bit of an idea. The round-trip here was almost 300usd, which is exactly the kind of thing that’s been holding me back, because it’s much cheaper to get to Macau, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and sometimes Thailand. But I’m here and I love it.
Because I don’t speak Korean, it’s somehow much easier to find beer rather than food. There’s a craft beer shop every 20 or so feet with names and prices I recognize. But there’s always that trepidation of being in a new country and I’m so embarrassed to make a fool of myself, in a way that I would never be in China, that I can’t bring myself to sit down in a restaurant and point. It’s a little shameful because I’ve been doing this for over three years, but maybe it’s also a sign that I’m getting too used to China and need to put myself into situations like this more often. But my friends are coming in a few days so I’ll be alright.
Tomorrow, the DMZ.