Korea Summer 2010 - Part 1 경주, 청주 same thing right?

So i went to Korea for 7 days. i got food poisoning, travelled the whole length of Korea on accident and learned/re-learned a lot of things. I lived in Seoul in 2001-2002 and visited last January so I didn't really take that many pictures this time around.

I stayed with my good and long time buddy Yoon who was my roomate when i lived in Korea 9 years ago in the Yonsei international dorm. Now yoon has become a dipolomat and works for the US foreign services. he get diplomat licence plates and immunity and all that. Who would have imagined our little Yoon what have come to this? So i stayed with him on the Yongsan US army base. inside it's so weird. he lives in this "area" that looks like suburban america. I don't know if i can post pics so i'll just tell you about it. its a huge one floor housing units. He will be living good for the next 2 years in Korea.

pheasants behind his house.

the phone i rented from the airport was awesome. the total tab after 7 days was $25 including renting the phone. it is super light, has a korean dictionary, subway map with search functions, and a bunch of other stuff that makes it way better than my japanese phone.

compared to japan the visually pleasing elements in Korea are few and far between. especially when they insist on making the subway look like a bomb shelter by having these kind of things out in the open.

stainless steal subway seats. riddle me this, would you rather have these stainless steal seats that are impervious to summer sweaty bottoms but are hard or have soft cushions that are not impervious to lots of summer sweat?

the han river is lined with mega housing units.

i learned that Seoul is pretty old. well at least north of the river is old like this and south of the river is new. it reminds me of china.

a blast from the past. my high school buddy is in Seoul teaching english. its about a hr from the city center in a place called Sujin. this reminds me of the Favela photos you see of Rio Di Janero, only made out of brick

Sujin in the back, Moran in the foreground. shot from "Sky Bar'

Teo Lazar, its been maybe 7 yrs since i've seen him last. Crazy to see him in Korea. it says STRESS OUT on the window in the back for some reason.

then we got to a drinkin' and karaoke'n. His wife Caitlin is teaching english with him there too. We had a grand ol' 3 hr karaoke time. I also met Eugi from FIT that day too but there are not pictures of her.

this is the moment when things started to go bad. There is now 1 taco bell in Itaewon. it's the worst taco bell in the world. there were two people working there. 1 to take the flood of orders, and 1 to make a millions tacos. it was dirty, weird, and not as awesome as i remember taco bell to be. Later on after my stomach munched on this for about 4 hrs i started feeling un-awesome. Taco bell gave me food poisoning!

fatty pork, a grill that simultaneously makes this korean egg thing in the ring around the outside. there was tons of food and i would have loved to eaten it but i only choke down a little not knowing that i had food poisoning a-form-in'

met my old Astoria roomie Seung Eun.

this place called Oi in Hongdae.

after a night of having diarrhea 7 or 8 times and not sleeping and sweating and having a super fever and almost passing out in the bathroom in the morning (what the heck it was super bad!) i went to go see yoon's uncle doctor in chong ju (청주). I hoped on a bus and had a bad fever and chills/sweating etc... Yoon calls me 2 hrs later saying that I should be there already. "you're going to 청주 right?" i used all my strength to pull out my ticket.....and..... i was not going there, i was going to 경주!!!! in my feverish state i ended up going to gyeong ju (경주)! as you can see on the map gyeong ju is almost to Busan. it is a super popular and beautiful tourist destination for Koreans, only i never saw any of that because i was dying and had to go straight to chong ju to see his uncle which was another 3 hr bus ride away. I know bob will enjoy this post. yes i was on various buses or waiting in various hot and sweaty terminals from 10 am to 11pm for a nice full day of fever sweating, fever chills, headaches, diarrhea dehydration, and other various symptoms of food poisoning. It was the most un-awesome day since getting hit by a taxi. It makes for a funny story though. its like me trying to go to Atlantic City from NY only I mistakenly go to Raleigh North Carolina.

the bus depots basically look like China