Yes the title is my own spin on “Gangman Style”. Oh the irony.
I know I usually post on Fridays but I was very busy in preparation for my trip to Seoul and also wanted to have something amazing to blog about so that is why I am posting on Monday.
My friend Whitney had invited me to go see a KPOP idol band called VIXX. I have a friend (FLO) who loves them so I figured I would see them “for the both of us”.
I traveled up to Seoul on Saturday morning about 1030 am. I chose to take the subway because it is cheaper and it drops me off at the exact station I needed to.
For the sake of this blog actually helping anyone planning on using the subway system in Korea, I will explain what I did. I took a cab to the AK Plaza in Pyeongtaek and too the “metro” yellow sign with “M” on it. The “trains” are green with no letter on them.
I bought a “t money” card. Unlike most american cities you can’t buy a “day pass”. Also unlike the PT system I’m used to (SEPTA-Market/Broad) the way you pay is based on the location you want to go. All in all it’s much eaiser if you just buy one of these cards at a conviences store. I think it was about 2.50$ to buy the card and then I put 10$ on it. I stayed on the subway until I reached Gasan Digital Station-transferred over Line 7 and rode that all the way to Cheongdam. While yes it was a long ride and I stood the entire 11/2 hours with a backpack, it was bearable. I guess I’ve become cheap. NO NOT CHEAP-FRUGAL!!!
After that I wandered in the wrong direction for about 20 min before finding the right street. It was a nice walk, and it was such a shock. In Korea foreign brands are a symbol of wealth. Micheal Kors bags, Mercedes Benz, Beamers. Back home, for me those things are at the best standard in my neighbordhood. Yes I come from the third richest county in America. But after not seeing Audis or BMW for a month, I can now appreciate the rarity and status of them.
Cheongdam is in the Gangnam area. Yes that song. Its a very nice area but just from walking around you can tell that it’s very wealthy. There is even a road that is even called “rodeo drive” because of it’s similarity to the California road.
I however stayed in a very nice hostel called Cheongdam Stay Hostel. Literally right down the road from JYP Entertanment and Cube Entertainment. Despite its proximity to the main drag of Dosom Daero it was very nice and quiet. I told Whitney we should get an apartment in the area and move to Seoul together.
All in all a very good area and nice place to stay.
My hostel was much better than what I feared. It was only one bunk bed, and walked out to a balcony. It felt basically just like my dorm in college with the benefit of not having to shower in a locker room style bathroom.
Whitney had gone to the venue to purchase “merch” what I learned in the nickname for merchandise. I wandered around Cheongdam and bought a starbucks. Now I have been completely content with having Korean drinks, bread etc. But just for old times sake I bought a passion fruit ice tea lemonade-grande. It was over 5$. That is the last time I buy starbucks in korea. Honestly with the amount of coffee shops you don’t find yourself missing starbucks unless you are just simply one of those people who can’t live with out it-aka my dad.
We took the subway to the venue-Olympic Park. It was really cool to see all the left over things from the 1988 olympics and with the 2018 winter olympics just around the corner it was pretty awesome timing.
The venue itself wasn’t huge which was nice because no one was that far away. I had gone into this concert with an open mind and no expectations. I had been listening to a few songs that week to familiarize myself with their work.
I wanted to be happy and entertained for Whitney. I know what it’s like when you’re going NUTS and then person you came with is just “……”. But after a while I found myself genuinely enjoying the show and the songs. Granted I wasn’t crying like Whitney during some ballad or screaming but I had a lot of fun. I think what was most impressive was their ability to sing/dance/perform live. You don’t always get a group that can do all well. (sorrry Girls Generation).Through their UTOPIA concert VIXX made me fan.
The day is almost done here and I have to take care of my cell phone data problem I will leave the rest of the trip for Friday’s blog.
Next Time On The Real Black and Dog Archives of Korea: me running around Seoul on the metro like a psycho, sore body parts, Paingry-food!, shopping that turned into nothing, reunitng with my apartment, the subway ride from hell