Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Isu is Cool

The news from the ROK tonight, or at least the Seoul Patch, is perhaps unexciting. Today was a national exam practice day at school, which means I didn't have any classes, but still had to go in to work--until 11:00 anyway. I mostly surfed the web and slept. God forbid I save myself the walk to school and do that at home...

Which actually was a bit of an issue, the napping part at least, since I met up with a group of fellow waygookin at Isu for food and drinks last night. The ostensible purpose was to welcome back to Korea a guy named Jerry who is a friend of Andy. I didn't know this bloke, but never having been to Isu (line 4 or 7, just north of Sadang), it sounded good to me. We ended up with quite a crew, and I stayed much later than intended. No, I didn't get kicked off at Sindorim, but I did miss the last bus at Hapjong and had to take a taxi.

I met some new faces, which is always nice, and ate some delicious chee-tato-dalk-galbi, spicy chicken stir fry with cheese and potatoes, for the first time. I'll definitely be having that again! After a brief stint at Jijimi Bar, the entire crew was assembled at Garten Bier. I have mentioned this awesome place before: it's a chain which has refrigerated wells in the tables to hold your beer--which comes in single, double or triple sized beer vases.

So, in essence, Isu is a more refined Sillim, and another locale to add to my list of party districts in Seoul--this city lives for the night-time.

Tonight was the final night of Asian World Cup qualifying on the Korean side, and the Reds hosted Iran--the country with the contested election a few days ago--across the river from my place, at Sangam World Cup Stadium. I didn't go because it looked like rain and I had some sleeping to get in. Besides, Korea is already assured of a spot in South Africa.

So, I watched the game in my chicken hof, where I was the sole customer inside (there were a few tables on the front patio outside) at the beginning. By halftime, two-thirds of the tables were occupied, cheering on the squad. I like the feeling this gives me, of sharing something in common with the Koreans around me. They came from one down to tie it up on a goal by Pak Ji-seong, the Man U winger and National Team captain, and the crowd went wild.

It ended with the 1 - 1 score, so Korea goes to South Africa without a single loss in WC qualifying--the kind of thing Italy and Brazil do. Still, I doubt they'll make the Final Four, as they did in 2002.

And yes, I did go to the gym today before daring to eat fried chicken!

1 comment:

Jo-Anna said...

that potato dalk galbi stuff is amazing, isn't it?