Lovely Kimchi munching birds....(05/15/00)

I went to Korea whilst still staying in Japan. The reason being that, because I was English and not Canadian, Australian or Kiwi, I only had a 3 month Tourist visa, as opposed to their 6 month visa. So, I had to do a well know magic trick. This doesn't involve any rabbits or blonde bimbo assistants thought. It's called a visa run and this is what you can do when your visa is running out in most countries. It involves jumping countries for a short time and then coming back to the one you were at so that you get your passport re-stamped so that you can stay in the country longer. In Japan you don't need to bother crossing borders as you can get another stamp done in Tokyo, but that particular method be a pain in the ass, and more risky at times. Anyway, going for a visa run is a good excuse to go on a short holiday and one that the boss can never say no to.

Since I'm not some dodgy looking guy, or someone from one of those countries whose people are selling illegal crap in Japan like fake telephone cards, I knew I wouldn't have much of a problem getting back into Japan, so I booked myself on a tour holiday to Seoul, Korea - being as my preferred choice, Hong Kong, was a bit costly - aaaand anyway, being a dirty little bastard as I am, I was quite interested in seeing what the local talent (girls) in Korea looked like, as I'd heard they were pretty hot from friends who'd previously been over there. Plus I knew it was cheap.

So it was off to Korean babe central Seoul, by Korean Airlines no less. So yes, I was shitting it a little since Korean Airlines has like, the worlds highest record of crashes or something, but what they lack in pilot braincells they make up for in stewardess babes.

On the plane the food was a bit cack I thought, they gave me some kind or something, well it looked like a tasteless dry fish, in old vegetables. But I thought, no, looks can be deceiving, and with the thought in mind that most of the food in Asia does have a tendency to look like it'd been scraped off of a wall and yet still manages to taste delightful, I tucked into the dish with relish.

No, I was right, it was a tasteless dry fish in old vegetables.

It definately made we worry about what the food in Korea was gonna be like. Well, I needn't have worried, as I was to find out later.

After we touched down I was greeted by the tour guide. She looked Japanese, but was in fact a Korean who spoke much better Japanese than I did, so I didn't comprehend one sentence later on when she was talking about the history of Seoul and it's inhabitants. I'm sure that, during the tour she was giving us a fascinating and educational low-down on the fine architectural masterpieces around Seoul, and the great historical struggles of Koreans against their antagonists in the past, but, well --- who cares! I was just there for the babes, dude! HAHA!! so sue me for being culturally retarded!

But to be honest, I did get drawn into the beautiful fauna around Seoul, which is soo green, and full of exotic looking vegetation and stuff. Actually I was possibly more impressed with the design and colour of Korean temples than those I'd seen in Japan. It's worthwhile going to Seoul for that reason, if you're into cultural stuff. Mind you, I had lived only Sapporo, which was never a place famous for it's scenery, and had never had the opportunity to visit Kyoto, the place everybody keeps telling me is the big daddy of aesthetic Japan.

There were a few Japanese on the tour, and luckily one guy could speak reasonable English, so he helped me out understanding pick-up points and such, and then we were all dropped off at the hotel. I got into the room, which was pretty nice, turned on the TV, but there was just some Korean concert going on. I looked out the window and saw a 7-11 and thought, great! (in the picture above) time to check out Korean 7-11's! Good news was that it was damn cheap, like the USA. Unfortunately, most of the sweets were exactly the same as the USA's..mucky.. I don't care what anyone says, Hershey sux big time, and cheese popcorn is my idea of a bad joke. What they did have that I liked, some of my favourite sweets in fact, were called Raffaelo's, which are a kind of dessicated, coconut-covered white chocolate delicassy, with praline inside. Choooou umai!. They became extinct in the UK in the 80's, but I'd missed them ever since, and couldn't believe my luck to find them in such an out-of-the-obvious place. Anything beats the shit out of green-tea flavoured ice-cream. Who eats green-tea flavoured ice-cream?

So, apart from a few minor disparities, the Korean 7-11's were identical to those found in Japan.

One thing I did notice walking around in Korea is that Korean English was pretty well much, well, perfect.. all the writing on the sweet wrappers and everything..obviously Koreans had more bottle than their Japanese neighbours, and had actually contacted native English speaking people to make sure that their English was, it was kinda dissapointing to tell the truth, I much prefer crap Japenglish, which makes shopping all the more interesting. And more, the shop owners ignore you when you walk in, in Korea... I was almost sad not to hear 'Irrashaimase'. In fact, I think they say something like, 'Anaseiyo' or something, I dunno. I never figured that one out. It sounded way too much like "Hey asshole" for my liking.

After that I went back to the hotel, munched all that chocolate, and then chucked on my leather jacket to go on the hunt for some nice food, and do some serious babe-scoping. God, if anything the streets of Korea stink to shit of garlic, I had to cover my nose in some places, mind you, anything smells better than natto. It makes me wonder what fool invented natto, smelled it and decided he'd actually try and put it in his mouth. How can anyone put something that smells like your socks after P.E. class in their mouth? That stuff really roasts.

Actually, when I looked around further, I realised that some of the stuff the Koreans were cooking-up looked yum. Most of the restaurants were outside affairs like those you get in Meditteranean tourist spots - you get a bunch of guys who just cook up a plate of meat and spices by themselves, with the waitress just bringing them the meat and fetching drinks. I have to say it was quite a nice idea to eat outside with your friends in the middle of the summer, with the warm breeze flowing around you. It was a friendly atmosphere.

I felt my stomach pang so I opted to go and get some munch in a nice-looking restaurant with the sign and prices in English. I bowled it in and half the room looked around to see me - this weird blonde haired gaijin with the sad Hawaiin shirt, it was kinda like one of those movies were the dude walks into the room and suddenly you hear the music screech to a halt (I could almost hear the BVOOOOP sound), and everybody stops what they're doing to look at you. I just smiled right back at them. Now, Koreans are cool characters, and they don't freak out like the Japanese when they see a foreigner, and most of them just continued eating, but I swear, the guy at the counter of this place was grinning like a monkey with a banana when he saw me, and I wondered if it was a smile of happiness from having a new foreign face in his establishment, or in the knowledge that he could rip me off as much as he pleased because I didn't know my Won from my American Dollar, and he knew it. Anyway, they gave me this food called Kalbi, (Carubi?Kambi?) and my GOD DID IT RULE!! I never thought that anything could top yaki-niku until I got a mouthful of that. It's weird how you eat it, similar to having a Doner Kebab, but you use these lettuce leaves as the pitta bread, and stuff called Kimchi as the chilli sauce. Man, it was so nice it makes me hungry just thinking about it, and all these weird and wonderful sauces come with it, not to mention a biiig mumma slice of melon, which will cost you a small mortgage in Japan. I just don't understand why the hell we Brits are stuck with bloody curries on a Friday night when there's food like that in the world. Now I was the one grinning like a monkey, not only at the food but at the foxy waitress who was bending in front of me rather eagerly as she chopped the melon into thin slices. As they piled on the food I was getting worried about how much the bill was gonna cost but it turned out just to be about a tenner or something less than that for what was a huge meal..bloody cheap, Christ, it won't be the last time I go to Korea, that's for sure.

Next off, I said goodbye to my new monkian friend, and headed off into the middle of Seoul. The tube was the cheapest tube I'd ever been on, it literally cost about 40p to get all around Seoul. I can't remember where it was I got off, I just picked the place in the middle of the map and hoped that it was popular. I reckon it must've been the centre of something, because there were a lot of people walking around, and some huge castle in the center of the road. I headed off in the same direction as the crowd, which got thicker and thicker as I progressed.

Now, the good thing about Korea is that it's one of those countries that suprises you in a nice way when you get there, you don't expect it to be as cool a place as it is. Going there, for me, was an unforgettable experience. It's one of those more 'undiscovered' countries in Asia that I reckon will gain in popularity once people clock on that it's actually a fabulous holiday destination which, whilst not being as widely publicised as Japan, has as much to offer, and more attractive subtleties to boot. Koreans are taller than Japanese, but less fashionable, and they don't dye their hair as much as the Japanese. The guys definately look a lot harder than Japanese blokes, and I didn't see many smiles from them. Tough bunch. I caught a couple of glimpses from people looking at me through the corner of their eyes, as I was one of the few foreigners there. Actually I did see another gaijin dude with a hot Korean girlfriend, but I swear the other guys were giving her evils because she had 'deviated' and gone out with a foreigner. Yeah, those Koreans are more rascist, or harsher against indigenous women dating foreigners in their country than my friends the Japanese, or so it seemed. Seoul isn't very high-class aesthetically, but it's probably not as pikey-ish as certain parts of China or Thailand. The roads are a bit disrepaired in places and you get a lot of dodgy-looking guys on the streets trying to stop you and selling thing's like puppies and stuff. It wasn't the same, safe atmosphere that I had walking in Tokyo or Sapporo, and I often felt the urge to make sure my wallet was in one of my tighter pockets. As for girls, I didn't see much fine looking talent until later on when I went into some big clothes department, like an indoor market. All the staff were female, and by God, some of the Korean birds there were bloody knock-outs in there, let me tell you!. In comparison with Japanese girls , I'd have to say that Koreans are'pretty', whereas Japanese are more 'cute'. The Korean girls have more of that exotic, 'oriental' look I guess you could say, whilst the Japanese are more round-shaped, less prominantly cheek-boned faces, and in the case of Sapporo birds, whiter skin. Both are good in their own ways, though it's funny 'cause Korea must be the only country where they don't consider bright-red lipstick to be too 'cheap'. You go girls!, for me the look was groovy anyhow. To top that they seem to have a darker skin color than Japanese babes, I dunno, I hate to admit it, but I love dark skin and as I walked around and scoped the babes thoughts like 'Korean birds are kinda better looking than the Japanese sometimes,eh?' often popped into my head. But whereas in Japan, it's not so common to see a damn ugly bird, you can definately find some Medusa's over in Korea.

After buying another very cool and very cheap Hawaiin shirt to add to my collection, I went back to the hotel as it was getting late, and the next day, off to some place that apparently was good for foreigner's because it was for the American G.I.'s resident. It was pretty cool, lot's of shops for foreigners, but there was an abundance of rip-off artists on the streets trying to beg. But there was also a load of USA soldiers hanging about, which made me feel better as they would've probably backed me up if I got into a scrap with any of the dodgy looking Korean gangs hanging around. I thought the style of dress that the Koreans wore was quite similar to the fashions that we have in UK Black guys. Like, all puffer jackets and baseball caps and stuff, and on the TV were like, rap-artists and stuff who were trying to act tough rather than 'cute' - completely opposite from Japan.

Anyway, I was hungry by then, so I headed off to Burger King. I lined up and saw one of the foxiest mumma's I'd ever seen sitting down..she must have been half-Black, half-Korean, she had the loveliest, most perfect features. Beautiful bottle-blonde hair, coffee-brown eyes, a voluptous wide-mouth, just like Vivian Wu from the Pillow Book. She gave me a look just then too, and I knew I just had to go and attempt to pull her. So after grabbing a cheeseburger I sat near her and tried to get her attention. Eventually I said 'Hey, do you speak English?' she smiled 'Yeah, actually my dad's an American.' that explained the mixed-blood anyway. Sometimes those interacial's are just the best lookers, aren't they?!. Well anyway, I continued chatting her up, and she said she loved my accent. We were definately both seriously attracted to eachother I thought, and she even said that she'd hang out with me tommorow if I still in Korea and show me the town and clubs, but she had to do a job later on in 20 minutes, and the problem was, it was my last day in Korea. Oh man, that was that, the vision of perfection walked out those Burger King doors and out of my life forever 20 minutes later, Jesus H Christ... She didn't have an e-mail. And I lost her phone number. Sometimes the Lord works in mysterious ways as they say. I mean, actually I'm fairly Jean Paul Satre on religion and all that bollucks, but you gotta agree, things do happen for a reason and everything seems related somehow. Take Latin music for example, it's complete shit, agreed? but then again, if it weren't for Latin music, then there'd by no Latin music clubs where you could go to chat up strictly Latino chicks. If not for that then you'd have to just go and hunt for them at whatever clubs you encountered, and you could end up going to a club full of ugly white chicks, and go home without a shag. So there you go. Battering ram philosophy but there you go.

Anyway, I wonder if I'll ever meet a girl as foxy as that again, talk about love at first sight (lust?)..It definitely made me think that Korean girls are some of the nicest looking Asians around, if not THE nicest. Those Korean guys are not as cool as Japanese guys, though.

Anyway, I was still hungry so I got another burger and sat down. Get this, the manager and all his mates were sitting down munching their own burgers in front of the public. They'd get the sack if they did that in any other country! Cheeky beggars! Well, 5 mins later in walks this chubby USA lady, and starts scoffing down this cheeseburger like it was the last one on earth. I felt in the conversational mood, so we started talking about Korea, and stuff. She talked to me through all the food in her mouth, with bits falling out and crap, and she said she loved teaching in Korea, but it wasn't so safe and she'd been robbed twice. The pay was pretty good though. I asked her about Korean girls. She said exactly this, I remember 'Oh yeah, those Korean's girls are beautiful aren't they? Even their mental attitude is to be beautiful in the way they talk and walk, the way they attract men. This used to be a backward society where girls were arranged for marriage, but nowadays they have a lot more choice in the men they date, usually wealthy guys, but only rarely foreign guys. You often see a lot of these girls running off with G.I's they fall in love with. Can't say I've met many British over here though, I wonder if it'd make a difference? One things for sure, the girls here in Korea are better than the USA born ones, who I often met while I was teaching in the States. Those Korea/Usa ones are obsessed with money. But over here they have a lot more class..'

So there ya go. Not my opinion, but a opinion. One things for sure, she coulda done with more class herself - didn't even have the manners to put down the bloody burger while she was talking! Anyhow...So I spent the rest of the day wandering the streets of Seoul, thinking about the girl I'd met. I found an interesting nightclub where the sign read 'Come here for drinks/cocktails, music AND GIRLS!', which sounded mighty appealing, but the truth was I was just so buggered from the walking weekend trip I just had to go back to the hotel and crash-out. I've regretted it ever since, I'll definately go back to Seoul one day and check out some of those disco's. Bloody idiot! Went to Korea to go babe hunting and didn't even go to a nightclub. Later on I just went to another restaurant and actually got ripped off this time, not that I could do much about it as I couldn't speak Korean. So I just payed up and headed back to to the hotel to sleep. Dreaming of Kalbi.

So anyway, that just about wraps up my adventures in Korea. Love to do it all again though.

Stuff about Korea.

  1. The food is bloody nice.
  2. The birds are nicer but definately more of a mission to chat up than Japanese girls if you ask me.
  3. There are a lot more Americans there than any other Westerners.
  4. There aren't many Westerners, period.
  5. Korean is easier to write than Japanese, because of lack of Kanji.
  6. Koreans are less friendly towards other races it seems, and many don't like the Japanese much at all. Historical reasons*.
  7. Walk into a Korean clothes store if you're a foreigner, and they won't leave you alone, they just keep bugging ya till you buy something.
  8. Like Hong Kong, Korea is a good place to pick up good-quality discount goods.
  9. Video-arcades suck big time in Korea..Yeah, like, I really want to play Mortal Kombat 2 again.

Some guy I met over the net told me about the Korean hostess scene. Apparently, there's a thing called 'Booking' which is were you go to a club, take a seat, buy a large tray of food for you and your buddies, and a lot of beer. Sounds pretty normal eh? the difference here, is that next, the waiter proceeds to bring the finest ladies in the club one group at a time to your table. Then it's their choice whether to stay with you, or just have some food and move onto to the next group. So, it's down to you and your charm (or wallet) to keep the girls hanging around and get their number. To top that, there's a room upstairs which is cheap to use, but only for one hour maximum. Wonder what you're supposed to do in there eh? heheheh <--evil mad villain style laugh whilst stroking white cat

BTW..jest a nasty joke to finish. What do you call a Korean guy who likes rent-boys? SA KEM YUNG Haha, I kill me! (man, I'm looking to get my ass-kicked with this site..)

*BORING BIT. AVOID: Okay, okay, so here's the part where you find out about my self-educated side grrrr..Can't chase girls all day!. Anyway, the Japanese really screwed up the Koreans when they colonised Korea in the early part of the century until after WWII. Not being content with just making the Koreans slaves, they actually wanted to erase Korea from history. And I ain't shitten' ya when I mean erase. We're not talking 'Grand Apartheid' here, where the Japanese just kept a lot of slaves and made a few rules to sanction them off from their masters, we're talking they were intentionally trying to change their language to Japanese, wipe out Koreans for no reason (Korean Airlines is doing a good enough job of that now), destroying their history books and forcing them to worship the Japanese Emperor, ultimately wanting the world to become sans-Korean. Some books say it was the most evil colonisation in history. So there ya go! I guess the Koreans do have a right to be bitchy to the Japanese, although I'd say the Japanese changed so much since them old days, then it would be pretty impressive for the Koreans to forgive them for the historical problems they had. They'd be within their rights to bitch even more than blacks do, if they wanted to. Sure would get a lot of respect and show spirit if they could forgive and forget instead though..

Back to the Main page