Sunday, May 20, 2007

an afternoon and an evening in Hongdae


So… to calm down, I trusted the best receipe to cheer up… Window shopping, and feeling pretty. First stop was at the hairdresser. 10000 wons. Was OK. Then, en route for window shopping around Hongdae. Hopefully, the flea market was open since the weather was nice. You’ll also notice loads of pics from graffs today. Actually, I visited Ssamzie Space today. The exhibition was nice. About music. So, cosy sofas, and music. Nice concept. Would have pleased the strange Johannes (only Anne So who did the same intern as me would understand the joke…). Usually, after going to Ssamzie Space, I have a very strange habit consisting in paying a visit to a sort of small no-man’s land where there was a funky big wall graff, Dubuffet style. Well, used to be, because they demolished the wall today. Probably, they might built something new there. Hopefully, kept track of it in former pics (browse blog for that purpose). So, started to feel the short span of life of street art, and methodically pictured every nice graff I could see around Hongdae. As Hongdae is an arty place, graffs are quite artistic.
Then, ended up at Iri coffee. I love this place. Nice expresso for 3000 wons, loads of art magazine and fashion magazines in non-Korean languages. Felt at home there. I did a cute coffee places pilgrimage around Hongdae and Sangsu station. So, will also recommend the roomandcoffee, close to exit 2 Sangsu. Expresso, 4000 wons, is nice (though, the best expresso is still the Hakrim one, then Iri). There’s a small garden, if you still want to benefit from the sunlight like a lazy cat (or mouse). The concept of the coffee shop is cute. It’s a former Korean traditional house rebuilt with concrete modern walls and foundations (the roof is still traditionally Korean), and the coffee place obeys to the architectural principle of the house, with a kitchen, a living room, and a study room. The pic was taken from the living room. Did not have time to picture more of it, as the expected friend was quick enough to come and pick me up after getting his shower (these Korean gentlemen won’t let you wait for too long…). Close to it, there’s a traditional Korean drink house where they serve makole and so on. Sounded cute too…
So… my friend picked me up at roomandcoffee, and took me to a cute, romantic fish restaurant. He knew that I had Japanese descent, and that Korean strange things did not really please me. Did not take pics, but very cute, nice jazzy/bossa nova music, dark wood well designed modern furniture, dim light and so on and so forth. Obviously a nice place to date ^^. The restaurant serves raw shell and octopus. There were loads of different species of shell things, maybe, 5. Very tasty, some were tasting like oyster. There was also awabi (love that). Had a healthy joyful dinner, then his best buddy joined.
We concluded that evening by going to Sogang Univ Festival. In May, do as you like it, as the French saying goes (en mai, fais ce qu’il te plait). Principle that totally applies to my work life, sentimental life etc. I’m really enjoying May, I shall admit. From Saturday afternoon to Sunday night, except for some week seldom meetings around dinner time… Learnt that May was the Festival period in Korean campuses. As you may know, this was not my first visit to a Korean campus, as there was also Hanyang Univ festival last week. So, in May, students roughly gather for a week of wild drinking and singing on their campuses. My friend himself was quite tired because of the Hanyang Festival… He did not often commute to his home in Hongdae apparently… and was sick and tired after that. I myself saw a few students collapsing in Hanyang Univ (they call that “kkonira”, or something like that. Collapsing because of over drinking). I am a lady of good manners, especially when I am the guest among Korean people. So, was sober as… (what’s the expression already? Whatever…). Should say that if there were a match, clearly, Hanyang 1/Sogang 0, in terms of drinking and enjoying the evening. By the way, learnt that the strange drink from Hanyang is called “Omma Miangne” (mum I’m sorry. Isn’t that cute. Meaning certainly, sorry mum for not coming back at home soberly). I was really happy because some students performed some salmunari. They were playing some of the rhythmic sentences we learnt in Gwangju ^^. Seems that my hosts did not share my enthusiasm… Well, one of them likes singing ajoshi ballads, so he cannot criticize me!
On our way back, learnt also a new sociological concept in Korea. There were pochanmaja in odd places (the tent bars). I was asking my hosts why. They told me it’s close to a hospital, so often, Iron Men would go there. Iron Men? People that pretend to be sick to get some insurance. I could not believe it until I saw with my very own eyes a man in pyjamas walking towards the pojanmaja…

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