Friday, March 30, 2012

Seoul long and thanks for all the kimchi

It's a good thing I made some friends in Seoul who I could go places and eat ludicrous food with, otherwise my experiences in this city would have been mostly negative.

I don't have any problems with Seoul itself, which feels the same as any other fairly anonymous, oversized East Asian capital to me (so nothing special by default), but the problem was with some of the people I met/endured in its guest houses, who seemed to consist mostly (or at least most vocally at 4AM) of inconsiderate, borderline alcoholic, borderline racist, borderline rapist, out-of-work English teachers.

This was partly bad timing on my part, as it turned out my second visit to Seoul coincided with these expats' last week of freedom prior to the new school term/initiation, which would explain the spring break mentality of the new arrivals and old timers. But it was disappointing to have to listen to pissed Brits, Americans and Canadians after most of the people I met in other parts of the country were more polite Koreans. These Koreans don't tend to stay in guest houses when they're in Seoul, because they tend to actually live there.

The party hostels were good for one thing at least - I was more motivated to get the hell out of there and see more of Seoul's mediocre sights. Here are some final things from South Korea - maybe I'll come back, but like a cash-strapped parent I'll take my trip outside of half term. School's in, suckers! (If you're actually on my side with all this, I'm afraid you may be as boring as me).

N Seoul Tower
(엔 서울타워)

The N probably stands for Namsan, where this is located.
But I still don't get it - is 'N' the new 'X' or something?

Apparently its official name is 'CJ Tower,' which is even worse as he's just that ponce from Eggheads. At least Taipei 101 backed up its stupid name with stats

It's also more than twice the size. To recount my skyscraper scaling escapades in schoolyard parlance, for this wall I've: need, got, need, need, got, need

Still, they cheated a bit by building it on top of a mountain.
243m + 236m = 479m - that makes Busan Tower's 69m + 120m look pretty stupid

These views may look cloudy to you, but before I auto-contrasted on Photoshop, neither me nor the camera could see much of anything. How did Photoshop create buildings like that?

Sometimes, 8,872.64km doesn't feel far enough.
At least France is further away, which is some consolation. Bloody frogs, right? ...Yeah?

Here's a delightfully traumatising game: you stomp on the pressure-sensitive screens and they show a realistic animation of the floor breaking and what it would look like as you plummeted to your death in Namsan Park below. It could only be improved with a Resident Evil-style blood wipe at the finale. I'm not even in Japan yet

I won't be able to afford food when I'm in expensive Japan,
so best have my culinary experiences now (feat. sake)

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