A night that started with a plate of sausage and German Beer and ended with a plate of sausage and a Corona. In between, one of best darn burritos I have had in a long time, some rock videos at a bar called Judas and Sabbath, more beer, a woman named Eun-hyun, and a wild, decadent early morning in Hongik.
It all began rather innocuously at this sausage and beer place in Shinchon. Just a hole in the wall shop, that tried to pass itself off as some German Beer Hall. Looked more like some pizzeria. Not much room at all and a limited menu with inflated prices.
It was supposed to be an FLI night out for all the instructors, but some of us didn’t hang out there too long—not at those prices. I stayed long enough for one 9,000 Franciskanner Beer and just enough sausage to make myself hungrier for something else and less expensive.
Some instructors wanted to grab some tacos and burritos at another hole in the wall shop nearby. Turned out to be one of the highlights of the evening. If you are ever in Shinchon (or in Seoul for that matter) and find yourself craving for some authentic (and I am not using that word lightly) Mexican food at affordable prices, you definitely should check out Choi’s Tacos.
Friday night in Shinchon and the craziness was turned up a few notches. I can’t think of anything like this back in the States—unless you consider something like Mardi Gras on a small scale. Not even Rush Street in Chicago could come close.
Ended up at this small video bar across the street from The Doors. Reminded me of that first autumn at FLI when a couple of us instructors used to hang out at The Block Hof watching rock videos.
Jim, who had escaped the wrath of over-priced beer at Han’s Sausage, by leaving earlier in the evening, was sitting by himself enjoying the music and videos.
There were two ladies in the bar getting into the videos and one bottle of Budweiser after another. Although it was obvious that they were enjoying themselves without any male company, I suggested we send over a round of Buds. I figured we had nothing to lose. After they had the chance to enjoy those suds, I walked over to their table to see if they would reciprocate our generosity by joining us. The older of the two, Eun-hyun made it clear that they had to leave in an hour, but agreed to join us.
Okay, looking good. They were grateful for the suds and now were going to hang with us for awhile. Turns out that Eun-hyun spoke pretty good English along with passable communication skills from her friend. A lot of small talk, but I think the initial interest fizzled after a bit. Either that or all the Buds they had pounded started to kick in big time. Got some mixed signals about why they had to leave as they received some text messages. I managed to get Eun-hyun’s digits, but I suspect last night’s tryst was just another bittersweet memory of Shinchon.
If you think Shinchon is wild and crazy, then you have never been to the entertainment district around Hongik University. You’ve got these young scantily clad nubile ladies clicking heels on pavement (some of them in their late teens) and you wonder how they managed to get past Mom and Dad when they left for the evening.
Jim was supposed to meet his lady friend, but the instructions got all fouled up and we spent nearly an hour trying to track them down. His lady friend was supposedly out with another lady friend, but a mutual male acquaintance was tagging along and looking for some action. Didn’t look like this night was going to get any better and I probably didn’t improve my chances by refusing to go into some hip-hop club.
Jim and I end up at this bar down the street for a couple more drinks. It’s a pretty sedate crowd inside. Outside the craziness continues when we decide to leave. It’s like a carnival. I get in a taxi and the last I see of Jim he’s walking down the street, perhaps hoping to hook up with his lady friend.
Then, when I get back to the teacher’s dormitory at 4:30, I have to wake up the security guard to open the door. Of course, he reminds me that I should not be out this late. Funny, some middle-aged Korean man telling me that at 48 I am out too late.
There’s one email from some lady friend of mine waiting for me when I check my mail. Just a brief note, she had nothing much to say.
Damage Cost for the evening:
Han’s Sausage 20,000 won
Choi’s Tacos 5,000 won
Judas and Sabbath 30,000 won
Gold II 20,000 won
Taxi 7,000 won
Bruised Pride Priceless
This is how the night ended.