Sunday, December 2, 2012

1-2 December Weekend Notes

Friday night got spent celebrating a friend of R’s birthday festivities in Hongdae and Saturday saw us hanging around in my old stomping grounds of Hyehwa. Here you go...

Funny enough, two of my lady teacher friends mentioned this specific noraebang when we found ourselves riding the bus together. They recommended it and said I should go because of how nice it is. They were right…Su’s easily the fanciest noraebang I’ve been to yet. The place looks palatial and ritzy with its shiny flowers and chandaliers. It has one significant drawback though: it doesn’t serve alcohol. This seems perplexing because frankly, a noraebang session just isn’t the same without a round beer or soju to go with the singing. We still had a good time though.

Others like it. I don’t.I disliked it as soon as the sign came into view. Before this evening, I’d told myself to keep the negativity at bay and enjoy the night as much as possible, but as soon as we descended the stairs, that same feeling came back: This music’s too loud, it’s not any good, and I’d rather be somewhere else. The dance/dub/whatever it is music that sounded too loud on the street got even worse inside. I know that a club’s supposed to be loud, but after over a decade of rock shows, it’s possible to have the music too loud—as in, when it’s too loud to think or hold a rudimentary conversation with the person next to you. Yes, I know that clubs aren’t symposiums, but no one should have to scream to tell the bartender a drink order. No disrespect to the birthday girl; her enthusiastic dancing showed she clearly liked the place. R and I hung around for a bit before catching a taxi with another friend. The one good thing about the place: Max beer on tap for 3000. Not bad for a pint.

I’m not a club guy and thanks to living in the country, I rarely, if ever go to trendy bars here because they’re always too loud and too crowded. It wasn’t much fun in the States and it hasn’t gotten any better in Korea. What gets me here is that this place felt like every other basement/dive in the States, only it instead of being just some neighborhood tap, it’s a viable and “cool” destination.

Yes, you can bring the leftovers home if you ask.

We ate some excellent grilled duck at the Well Being Restaurant near Noksapyoung Station. While there, we learned something quite valuable: We can take the leftovers home. The thought came when I saw that we couldn’t possibly finish all the duck in one sitting. I wondered if it’s possible to take it home in a bag. We wondered if it was even possible since none of us had ever taken any leftovers home in all of our 15 months in-country, but yes, it is. All I did was ask about a box for the leftovers and the lady said fine. She gestured to grill the rest of the (delicious) duck and came back later on with some foil and a bag to carry it home in.

Victory. No more will we leave meat ungrilled and wasted.

More DVD bang stuff

Saw the new Total Recall. Pretty decent film. We hadn’t seen it yet and I must say, it’s a good film to watch in a home theater-like setting because of all the action! My memory of the first Recall—the one with Schwarzenegger—is hazy, but the new one had a grittier and darker feel to it. 

The Barket – World Beer Outlet in Hyehwa

It's decent bar with big TVs, abundant seating, and a good selection of international brews on sale. Everything’s self service. We met a couple friends here for a bit.

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