Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Nashville No More

This past weekend saw the end of an era in Seoul. Many years ago, long before Tuttle ever arrived, the Nashville Pub was a foreigner standard-bearer in Itaewon. My own history with the place goes back to my first weekend in Seoul, after SMOE orientation and Week 1 teaching at Youngil HS.

In those days, I liked it better than Seoul Pub, though it was a few doors further down. I have some fine memories of the place, and the people I met there! One thing that's always true, though, is that things change, and Nashville changed for the worse.

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I remembered why I stopped going to Nashville after about five minutes. I paid for a beer, sat next to my buddy, and never got served. Eventually I asked where my beer was. I hadn't bought a beer, it was maintained--even on the last day of business, they were still trying to rip off the customers! It took five minutes, after being told insistently (by the girl who took my money from me) that I hadn't bought a beer, to finally get a beer. Actually, this is why I stopped going to Itaewon ...

The photo above shows me with that first beer (Red Rock) on the last night of Nashville, with my change, given in old-fashioned currency, something they did randomly to/for last-night customers all night long.

The other cool thing they did was a giveaway of old-school mugs--one per customer--until they were all gone. What an appropriate memento of a faded-to-mediocre bar!

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I bet you don't have one of those!

I saw a number of old, familiar faces doing the same thing I was doing, had a drink with them, and still left theoretically in time to make the subway. I somehow ended up in Mangwon on line 6 and had to backtrack via taxi--the driver was quite a character, admiring my mug and making sure it left his cab with me safely at the end of the route.

And these are some reasons I love Seoul.

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