No sleep? No problem...


Another weekend of insanity ensued. I'm not sure if I can keep up the energy level that the rest of the city seems to have been born with. But hey, I guess I'll die trying.

Friday evening, Jamie, Mark and I kept it classy and went to Sinsa, a rich area, lined with shops, cafes and wine bars. Unlike Hongdae (the university area), Sinsa was quaint and more importantly, quiet. Being in Seoul, I am so used to loud noises and trampling crowds everywhere I go, so it was a pleasant change to be in a neighborhood where yelling isn't necessary in order to be heard. We wined and dined, filled with great conversations, before calling it an early night.

[@ Cafe Six]

[Stampede! This is the subway at 11 p.m. by the way]

The following day, I met up with my dad for brunch. We went back to Samcheong-dong--where Ji-Hye took me earlier in the week--and visited a few small art galleries. The day couldn't have been more beautiful: the bright sun, clear sky and speckled white clouds made it feel more like June in California than October in Seoul.

At 3 p.m., I headed back to meet up with Jamie for our evening at Global Gathering, a music festival along the Han River. We waited in a line for the GG shuttle for about 30 minutes before finally making it to the river, just as the sun was sinking behind the high rises around 5:30 p.m. There aren't many words I can say to describe how well it went other than: great music always brings beautiful people together for an unforgettable experience.

For the next 8 hours, (and 3 energy drinks later) I danced nonstop. Jamie and I met up with a hodgepodge of people throughout the evening, but mainly stuck with Phil and Kelly, two guys who have been in Korea for over a year. Jamie knew Phil from UCI and Phil met Kelly through their love for bike riding in Korea. I met both at the festival. At 2 a.m., after seeing Idiotape, Justice, Fatboy Slim and the beginning of Armin Van Buren, the four of us decided to walk to Hongdae (the university area) to wait for the subway station to open up again at 6 a.m. Taxis hiked up their prices for the festival, majorly ripping people off in the area.

[The shuttle car that took us to the festival]

[Finally there!]

[Who knows...]

[And Justice...]

Here's a snippet of what we heard.

Justice - We Are Your Friends from Elysabeth on Vimeo.

Fatboy Slim from Elysabeth on Vimeo.

After walking about an hour along the Han, Phil and Kelly suggested we hop on the handle bars to get to our destination that much quicker. This wasn't a problem for Jamie, as she and Kelly cruised past me and Phil as we were still trying to figure out the logistics of our potential disaster. You see, Phil's bike is a road bike, where the handle bars are much narrower than regular bikes and they curve forward. This means that I had to brake for Phil as well as counter balance his weight, so that we wouldn't crash into a tree or, heaven forbid, ride into the 3-foot wall that prevented us from falling into the river. After a few tries and a couple tumbles, we finally got it down and for the most part, it was smooth-sailing after that.

[The Han at 2 a.m.]

[Before the towing began]

We rode and rode and rode, until we asked a group of four pedestrians if we were going the right way. One of those pedestrians happened to be Taeyang, a famous singer/performer here in Seoul. Jamie and Phil kept saying, "You're Taeyang, huh? You are!!" while me and Kelly kept whispering to each other, "Who's Taeyang? A friend of theirs? Yeah, maybe..." Taeyang smiled shyly and said, "Yeah, a lot of people say I look like him but..." and then his three other friends giggled. Jamie later showed me a picture of Taeyang and it was definitely him. There's no doubt he was trying to play it off.

Taeyang directed us to keep going straight, so we did. After more riding, we asked another pedestrian, who informed us that we went too far, so we hopped back onto the handlebars and rode back. For the next hour, we proceeded to cut across a university/graveyard, climb up a few small boulders, jump a fence, walk back down through what felt like a highway turnpike and ask a police officer for directions. At 3:45 a.m., we finally made it to Hongdae. You'd never know that it was almost 4 a.m. by looking at the crowds of people flooding the streets. Street performers, food carts, karaoke rooms and bars buzzed loudly as the four of us looked for a place to lock up the bikes.

[More walking...]

[More riding...]

[And, finally, more walking.]

We got some street food, rested our poor feet and went to a noraebang (karaoke) for an hour to wait for the subway to reopen. At 6 a.m., Jamie and I descended into the subway, marveling at how magical, instantaneous and impulsive our night was. Phil and Kelly had a 30 km bike ride ahead of them, so I think they headed to a spa, where people can sleep overnight, to regain their energy for the ride home.

[@ a park in Hongdae]

[Street food and good conversations. Life's good, no?]

[The rat pack of the night]

[And we're done.]

Although the caffeine from the energy drinks was far gone by 6 a.m., the natural adrenaline high that I experienced all day and all night is still buzzing inside of me. I spent it with great people and embarked on an urban adventure that will always go down in the books as one of the best.

On Sunday, I woke up at noon determined to not waste the day away by sleeping in. I met up with Mark and together, we went back to Samcheong-dong. We did a little shopping, ate seolleongtang (traditional soup made from ox bone) and sat at a cafe, drinking coffee and eating waffles. It was a gorgeous mellow afternoon after an intense 24 hours and the perfect way to end the weekend.

[How's that for an afternoon snack?]


You can bet I went to bed early too.

Until next time, bisous!


Simply Tanya said...

I didn't think this was possible but Korea looks like more fun than France!! I am digging all the pictures and amazing adventures! <3

iris +++ said...

Lysss! I was reading this entry and when you said the name Phil I thought it would be funny if it was the same Phil I knew that's in Korea. Funny enough as I kept scrolling through your pictures it was him! I'm so glad you met him! Funny little world. Bahhh reading your blog makes me want to do korea all over again. Btw hobgdae park has great little student/artist market on Saturdays. Andddd my dads an alum from there lol k done. Keep blogging love! Xoxo

Laila said...

Yeaaaa my little partying Kimora!!! lol thats so awesome you went to Global Gathering! I can't wait to go to an international festival! I'm very jealous! :]