Tag Archives: Gangnam

Carnival of Seouls

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After breaking into the Olympic Stadium, swaggering through Gangnam and stealing a hula hoop, I thought I’d seen and done everything Seoul has on offer – but I was as wrong as Bruce Jenner when he tells himself he looks like a real woman. Today I hit the road again to visit the Namdaemun Markets, see a frightening demonstration, and climb a giant tower. And I did it all with a hangover!

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Right, where do I go to buy slaves?

The markets are tops, with people rushing all over the place, dudes clapping to get everyone’s attention, women selling Dagwood Dogs, and all sorts of clothes and bags and other crap to buy. Heading into the confusing maze of alleyways and dead ends and stairs was the first time I’ve felt Seoul is an actual Asian city. The rest of it is a bit sterile, but the markets are buzzing with life and well worth checking out. The street food rocks and the handbags looked very nice indeed.

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She wants me

The Koreans are a bit weird – I guess having nuclear weapons pointed at you 24 hours a day isn’t great for the ol’ sanity – and it’s not unusual to see a group of people walking down the street dressed as robots, monkeys or superheroes. It’s just what they do, and I love them for it. So when I saw a couple who were obviously very much in love and dressed like space pilgrims, I just gave them a wave and went on my way.

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No one else could ever love them

As I turned a corner I could hear all sorts of shouting and assumed there’d been a terrorist attack or a footy player had pulled his wang out or something, but was astonished to find a martial arts display in progress. Half-a-dozen little blokes in snazzy costumes were swinging swords around and chopping bamboo poles into bits. It was really impressive and I started cheering along with the crowd, but what really got me going was the fact one of the ninjas was a woman. I found her ability to fuck shit up to be strangely attractive, and when she was finished chopping up bamboo, I wandered over to ask her out on a date. When she started yelling at me and thrusting a spear in my face I ran away and hid in a bush, but thinking back on it, she was probably being quite receptive to my advances. That’s probably just how psychotic Asian sword-wielding babes let you know they’d love a drink.

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She can chop me into bits any day

The N-Seoul Tower looms large over the city and is a symbol of pride and hope for the locals, so I made a point of getting to the top of it. I’ve been to some of the world’s great towers – the Oriental Pearl in Shanghai and whatever that one in Riga is, to name just two, so I rolled over to it and climbed in a cable car to take me to the top of the hill that it sits upon. If you’re ever in a position to head up the N-Seoul, don’t bother with the cable car unless you’re a massive fat cunt or something. It costs $8.50, the line-up is huge, the cart is packed with stinky Koreans, and you can’t see a thing out the windows anyway. Just walk up the stairs, which takes maybe 20 minutes, is free, and provides a nice look out over the city.

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It’s a TOWEEEEEER!

When I finally got up there I was met by a tower that’s identical in design to Canberra’s Telstra Tower. As I walked towards it, I felt as if I’d gone back in time to when I was in Year Six and went to Telstra Tower during an excursion to the national capital. I could only hope that, this time, upon reaching the top I wouldn’t be molested by Mr Peterson in the toilets and threatened with death if I told anyone. I looked around when I got up there, but could find no signs of the twisted tutor, so turned my sights instead to what I could see out the windows. Which was five-sevenths of fuck all, really, because there’s more air pollution in Seoul than in the toilet at the local Jenny Craig.

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“Hey, I can see… uh, nothing from here”

The night ended with the Raiders losing to the Storm and me drowning my sorrows in a steaming mixture of warm beer and dumplings. My team got knocked out and the woman of my dreams packed up her swords and fell into the arms of another man, but I can’t get too worked up about it. Life moves on, adventures roll into experience, gentle breezes cause change, and in Korea Colonel Sanders is a fucking Asian. Goodnight, my lovers.

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“It finger rickin’ good!”

Sweet Seoul Brother

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Ever since I first saw that dickhead in the Gangnam Style video, I’ve wanted to punch his head in, so when I discovered Gangnam is a real place in Seoul, I decided to head there and throw him into an open sewer. Tragically, I didn’t find the dancing dork, but I did find endless alleyways full of restaurants serving noodles, fish, crab, nachos, steaks, and anything else you can imagine. Neon signs, inflatable cats, little dudes on delivery motorbikes, smiling Asians, traffic jams, pop music and weird shit by the truckload, Korea is a hell of a place.

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‘Noodle Box’ hey… There’s a new name for a vagina

I strolled down meandering streets, dodging giggling schoolgirls and fat blokes in oversized sunglasses, checking out astonishingly high skyscrapers and scurrying past towering slums. I somehow found myself at the Olympic Stadium, where the Games were held back in 1988. That was the year Noodle Eating, Dancing to Crap Music and Who Has the Smallest Penis? were Olympic events, so it should come as no surprise that South Korea did really well that year.

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The Greatest

I took a few photos of the outside of the Olympic Stadium, but when I saw some bloke stroll straight in the front doors, I followed him. I was met with a labarynth of old-fashioned coridoors as I passed the headquarters of Korean soccer, Korean basketball, and Korean AFL (just kidding, but ask a Victorian and he’ll tell you Korea’s five years from going singlet soccer mad) before finally finding myself in the middle of the stadium where Debbie Flintoff-King won the 400m hurdles. It was weird and deserted, a world away from the photos and videos I’ve seen of it during the ’88 Olympics. Then a security dude started yelling at me and I hoofed it out of there in a time that Debbie would be proud of.

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Takin’ care of business

I was feeling absolutely famished, so I was stoked to find a shop selling Dagwood Dogs. Being Korea, I suspected that the name’s probably taken more literally than it is in Australia, but I was hungry and they looked good, so I ordered a couple. I had to stop the sheila behind the counter from dipping them in sugar, which is tantamount to marrying a supermodel and then making her wear a burqa, then sat down under a bridge to eat them. They were actually really nice, but a little bloke kept laughing at pointing at me while I ate. After a few minutes, he wandered off to the shop and bought one of his own, then came back and demonstrated the Korean way of eating a Daggy. He sucked the batter off it using a technique that Jesse Jane would be proud of, then licked the sausage and ate it in one bite. I was weirdly aroused and had to leave.

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I love getting some meat in my mouth

When I finally escaped, I could hear music blasting from a nearby stadium, so I strolled over to have a gander. What I found inside was unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and really pretty special. Some dickheads were playing basketball in there, but that’s not what made it so cool; the arena was full to the brim with thousands of cheering Koreans, some in red, some in blue, and every single one of them was going mental. I’d stepped into the annual Korea University vs Yonsei match, which is one of the biggest sporting events on the Korean calendar. Each team had their own four-piece rock band blasting fight songs out to the crowd, as well as two sets of fully decked out superheroes who bopped around on top of stages, while fireworks and jets of steam shot throughout the place. I’ve been to some big footy games in Australia, but nothing even comes close to the atmosphere I experienced in there.

Alright, I lie. Cowboys vs Eels on a wet July night probably eclipses it.

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Apparently there’s a basketball game going on

I ended the day with a walk along the Han River, which would be a lovely stroll if they hadn’t built a fucking six-lane road between the bank of the river and the water. A few thousand cars a minute wasn’t going to stop me having a good time, though, and when I found a bizarre outdoor gym populated by mask-wearing geriatrics. The equipment is really wacky, with the fogies doing oddball activities such as humping poles or spinning big wheels. It obviously works, because there aren’t many fat cunts in Korea, but it also looked like a scene from the world’s worst porno movie, so I got out of there before they could drop their trousers.

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The Mr Olympia contest has been on a downward spiral

As I was walking home, I found a hula hoop and, overcome with the pulsating athletic atmosphere of Seoul, I picked it up and started spinning it on my hips. I was a bit shit at it, though, and after being laughed at by a bow-legged Asian in a shirt that said ‘What Make Fuck!’ I threw it in the river and went home to have a beer. You can’t win ’em all.

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