Weekends in Korea tend to be a little bit…mental. As most foreigners here are either teachers,study abroad students or in the army…pretty much everyone works Moday to Friday and spends the weekend de-stressing, letting off steam, drinking, or going a little crazy. There always seems to be so much going on from a Ginseng festival, International food or fireworks festival, someones going away/birthday/anniversary party you are never really stuck for things to do at the weekends in Korea.
Mary, Leeanna, Tara and the rest of our crew tend to stay in Munsan on Friday night and drink in one of two local bars. That’s right there are only 2 bars in Munsan…even though the population is close to 200,000. That’s 1 bar per 100,000 people. Mental. The weird thing is they don’t even get that busy and are really pretty small bars. Most Koreans, you see, tend to go to ‘Soju and Hof’ joints where eating dinner is the main event and taking shots of beer and soju is an after thought.
So anyway we spent Friday night in Kats bar, the hangout spot for the American Military, who are working nearby in the DMZ. The drinks are ridiculously expensive as they pretty much have a monopoly in Munsan. You either go to Wa Bar or Kats bar or you have to spend loads on getting in and home from Seoul. Nights in Kats bar are really random. It’s is tiny and full of military soldiers,us four teachers and a sprinking of Koreans! You descend underground to what is a tiny, dingy bar pumping out non stop hip-hop. They have every assortment of drink you could wish for, darts, cards for drinking games and even plastic cups and pingpong balls for Beer Pong. It can be easy to forget that that I’m about 10 minutes from North Korea and about 1000 miles from home.
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to go to CostCo with my boss, where I stocked up on western food such as sliced ham, cheese, applr pie, cookies, haribo sweets, vegetables and other sorts of food I’ve been craving. I should be sorted for about 3 weeks with the amount of food I bought!
Saturday night Mary, Leeanna, Tara and I decided to push our hangovers aside and head for an all nighter in Hongdae. As all trains stop at midnight in Korea you must either go home before 12 (a bit like cinderalla…!) or be hardcore and stay out til the first trains start at 6am which is what we decided to do.
Nights in Hongdae are always awesome, meeting random people (I met a girl form Cork who lives about 15 minutes from my house!) dancing on stages and drinking all sorts of amazing cocktails. I bumped into Natalie, a fellow couchsurfer, on the street and she joined us. Later Brittney, another CSer, met us in a bar and later again we were joined by another Couchsurfer friend of mine. On the train home at 6am, we bumped into Mbali a fellow Paju teacher, on her way home from a crazy night in Itaewon. Seoul might have a population of 15MILLION but you are still likely to bump into endless people you know on a night out!