After my day in Jeonju, I was tempted just go back to my hostel and crash but I also wanted to check out Hongdae. Hongdae is the more indie party area of Seoul.
I ended up going cos I figured I could have a quick walk around and go home. I'd decided to stay close to the airport on my last night because I had an early flight so this was the last night I had to actually go on in Seoul.
There are more fancy areas to go out partying in Korea, where al the young and hot kiddies go. But even when I was a young and hot kiddie myself, I found those places boring.
Also, clubs in Korea are just 5-6 bored people standing around and music so quiet you can have a complicated conversion with no worries. I know this from watching Korean dramas.
So, I got to Hongdae and wandered around watching buskers and checking out shops.
One of the worst things about going to Korea on your own is that you can't really eat BBQ meats. Well I guess you could wander into one of those places alone if you were all confident and self-assured and just bung down the cash for 2 servings (I think most places have to 2 ppl minimum) but I wasn't up to that.
Instead I stood outside a BBQ place with nose pressed to the glass like a sad puppy and hoped someone would ask me to join them.
Since that wasn't going to happen, I got bored and wandered up some cute steps to find a bar.
My god, drinks are cheap in Korea. I sat at table looking out on the street and drank my $8 margarita. Then drank another one.
It was a nice bar and had a great view of the street for people watching but it was very quiet and seemed to be all just table service, no interacting.
I decided I should leave and find food. It felt like most things in Korea involved going out with a date or friends rather than doing stuff on your own.
A bit further down the street, I saw a ROCK bar. They had posters of Kurt Cobain outside and looked out so I figured I'd go in for another drink before eating.
At first, it seemed a bit strange. One barman took my order then a while later the other one asked "have you paid?" very abruptly.
I was planning on having one drink and leaving but then got chatting to a girl at the bar. She was really cool. Then the abrupt barman came over and joined us. He was really cool too. They played mainly '90s grunge music and had a massive collection of CDs. I was really surprised to hear them play silverchair (Australian grunge band from the '90s).
They had a book that you could write your song requests in and, looking through it, I saw someone else had requested "Under the Milky Way" by the Church (another Australian band). Wow, who knew people in Korea even knew of those bands?
So one drink ended up being quite a few (and a cheese platter -- cheese, delicious cheese even... Korea, you totally win over Japan) until it was time for me to catch the last subway home.
Wow, the last subway seemed have none of those drunken salaryman who stand over you trying to oogle your tits and look like they are about to vomit at any moment like you see in Japan.
There is one point that Japan wins though. I got to my subway stop and was dying for a piss. Went into the conbini and NO toilet. Went to another conbini, same thing. Zoinks... things were getting dangerous.
I ended up running into a bar near my hostel just to use their bathroom. It was quite a nice bar but all the counter area was full so I had to sit at a long bench looking like a shag on a rock. I'd ordered a beer when I went in too so felt compelled to finish it and ended up getting a bottle not a glass!
Anyway, got chatting to a great Chinese dude. So sweet, he gave me his phone number in case I needed help with anything in Korea.
Stumbled the block or so back to the hostel, after getting a spam onigiri at the combini. Super delicious. I felt really glad that I'd not let my self consciousness about being alone stop me from going out because I'd met some great people and had some great conversion.