Sunday, October 7, 2007

Wandering farther

I'm worrying my mother with posts like "I'm drunk" followed by "screwed...". So instead of going to Itaewon again I decided to hit the city tour bus for some wholesome sightseeing.

To recap what you missed from yesterday, I tried some sliced pig nostril (no idea what it's really called) from a street vendor. The dark meat tastes about like normal pork. The lighter meat that gleams in the light is tougher and somehow seems fishy. The fatty part was disgusting and you don't even want to hear a description of the skin. To add insult to injury the man said 5,000 won and the woman charged me seven. Oh well, every time I walk by that particular snack I know I'm not missing anything.

I purchased an all day city bus pass for $11. The attendant spoke much better Japanese than English, but the map and audio guide explained the stops. It was 3:30 and I planned on changing buses to catch the two hour long 7:30 night tour.

I got off at Seoul tower to kill a few hours. I was feeling hungry and Handmade Noodles for King sounded perfect! I pointed to the bowl of the guys sitting next to me - no English necessary! Despite the thick, dark sauce the dish was a bit bland. It tasted like rice noodle spagetti with a non-descript sauce. Nothing a little lemon juice and a whole lot of cayenne pepper couldn't fix! They didn't bring water or take my drink order, so I went outside to Pocari Sweat to order some Confidence. Not the greatest $6 meal, but it wasn't bad. On to the Seoul Tower observatory!

My city bus tour ticket included mini discount tickets. On the way to redeem it there was some sort of festival with a stage and music. The lines for the observatory ticket and entrance elevator weren't bad. The view was spectacular despite the forming rain. After waiting for the bus a few minutes in the cold I decided that it wasn't the day for the night tour.

The city bus passed many interesting locations. I'll have to stop at the traditional villages and temples sometime. I'm sure my mother would enjoy Myeongdong, the upscale area and fashon center. I got a kick out of the Chungmuro pet street - lines of stores that cater to expensive pets followed by a motorcycle street. I ended up getting off in an area that's popular for teens and kids in their 20s. I bought a corn dog whose wrapping must have been made of French Fries - it was pretty tasty. There were some vendor food that even I wouldn't try (guess what that is to the left) - I'll give you a hint, they're bigger and have more character than the coffee beans you'll first mistake them for.

I tried out one of many Internet Cafes where the computers are fast and so is the Internet. Didn't play any games, just some high speed emailing and forum posts. I found my way to a 10th story movie theater to see The Nanny Diaries in English with Korean subtitles. It was an entertaining enough chick flick that I would not have watched in Korean. After the movie ended it was dark outside but well illuminated with cheesy neon lights.

After wandering for an hour (photo tour here) with no idea where I was, I teleported into a subway station. It was relatively easy, and $1, to get across town, including changing subway lines, to my destination, Yongsang Station. Unfortunately, that wasn't close to Yongsang Garrison, where I was staying - that would prove to be a $5 taxi ride. I look forward to taking the subway when I live in front of a stop!

Tomorrow I'll head on a USO sponsored group trip to either paintball or rafting followed by ATVing! Su-weet!


Anonymous said...

Paint balling or rafting! Lucky bastard.


Paul D said...

Hi Nathan. Great Blog. I like your description of the meal of the pigs snout. I'll mark that one off the list. Looks like your having a great time there. When do you find time to work?


Carl G said...

Mmm...pocari sweat and pig nose - can I come over?

surferb said...

Man, Carl was the one guy that I thought would actually like the food!