Old People Video Games/Slot Machines and Make Out Booths

Busan Travel Blog

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A bad picture of the toy casino

So, I am walking through Seomyeon, the central downtown area of Busan when I see what looks like a run down arcade full of old people. Okay, enough to make me stop and investigate.  Walking in I can see that all the machines are the same, the room extends into another bigger room, and there is not a vacant machine in the house.  Noticing that there are no children, but exclusively 55-85 year old Koreans chainsmoking in this strange arcade gets me thinking that this is a casino and these are slot machines. I'm sorta right.  The game is mindless like a slot machine, but rather than winning money, you win crappy little toys in plastic bubbles.  These old people are pumping money into these machines that when you win (not that often from what I could see), all you get is a miniature giraffe keychain or a small piece of metal with chinese letters written on it.

Seomyeon corner at night near the DVD Bang
  Different strokes I guess.  On my way out, I saw a guy with an armful of plastic bubbles and a big smile on his face being congratulated by the other envious players.  Weird.

On the same day, I tried out a DVD Bang which is not as dirty as it sounds (I dont think). Or maybe it is.  I had heard all about them from a guy who lives here and says its a great way to get out of your apartment and see an old movie on dvd but in a theatre environment.  You choose from a dvd library with a selection of American new releases and some older stuff (somewhat limited but not bad).  Then they lead you to a numbered 12x12ft room where there is a huge sectional faux leather couch (almost a bed), a wall size screen, surround sound speakers, a tissue box, a miniature trash can, and an ashtray.
A very common sight here. Funny little dogs peeing on everything
  As I write this, I see that I may have missed all the clues that this was something more than a place to watch movies, but I saw no porn among the selection so I assumed the tissues were for blowing noses.  Not so apparently.  I guess the acceptable age for moving out of your parents house here is like 30, or whenever you get married, so you have some sexually active 20 somethings with no place to go.  Solution: DVD Bang.  Rather than hook up in their 3 room apartment 7 ft away from a 25 year old brother or sister that they likely share a room with, they have taken to providing public places for private activities.  The alternative, so I have heard, are "love hotels" which are basically the same idea, but without the pretense of watching movies and charge by the hour.
Koreans are crying about Mad Cow, those cows look menacing dont they? This is a poster on a restaurant window on my walk home

One more oddity then im out.  Across the street from my house is a "public bathroom."  When I first moved in, my boss told me "oh, and you are lucky, there is a public bathroom right across the street." I was like, "umm awesome. That will be convenient i guess. I do have my own bathroom right?" Turns out its like a giant hot tub (one for men, one for women) with no jets that you get naked in and share with the rest of the neighborhood.  Afterward, someone scrubs you.  I couldnt make it up.  Apparently its like the nail salon for women or the barber shop for men, where they gossip and catch up on old times. Naked. I havent tried it yet mainly because I dont quite understand the appeal, but also because I think its one place where the language barrier might cause me to commit some serious taboos.  Do I take my pants off here, or over there?  If you scrub me, do i have to scrub you back?  Will it offend them if I read or bring shampoo?  There are too many unknowns.

Anyway, back to work tomorrow and another week of discoveries, Shalom

apricotkisses says:
* cracks up laughing * oh man .... you totally kill me! love reading your entries! XD
Posted on: Dec 10, 2008
hewett48 says:
Daniel- Does the Hot Tub have "Hot and Cold Running Maids"?

Uncle Raz Ma Taz
Posted on: Aug 24, 2008
Eric says:
I've heard that video game culture is rampant in South Korea. Is it true that they have tv stations dedicated to video game contests/gaming?
Posted on: Jul 02, 2008
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A bad picture of the toy casino
A bad picture of the toy casino
Seomyeon corner at night near the …
Seomyeon corner at night near the…
A very common sight here. Funny li…
A very common sight here. Funny l…
Koreans are crying about Mad Cow, …
Koreans are crying about Mad Cow,…
The lady is the owner of the Galbi…
The lady is the owner of the Galb…
photo by: yasuyo