Ok so the title sucks for this one, but I can't decide what to do/where to go tomorrow. The whole "throw on a backpack and hit the road" doesn't work all that well in South Korea, well at least today it didn't, partly because I'm and idiot and party because I tend to make bad decisions. So it started out with a nice awakening to the sound of a shreaking cat in the alley at 6am. So I just stayed awake being a network junkie (hmmm, has the day changed yet??) and taking advantage of the time to make some Skype calls. Ha, I was fairly limited on the stories I was able to share with the grandparents, although the enjoyed knowing that I have been drinking till 11am and... ok just kidding. So I was out of the door by 10:30 or so and made by way to the governmental area of Seoul.
Actually a pretty cool place to visit during the day. I pulled an Anthony Bourdain and found some dirty ass alley and went to some restaurant, sat down and pointed to the bowl of stuff at the table beside me and told the lady chu sa yo yogi, please give me this. Well, in this circumstance I probably would have been better off pursuing the menu for pictures. What I got was a spicy (which I love) bowl of noodles and onions with exactly two, yes count em folks...one two BAY shrimp and maybe a half dozen tooth sized bites of squid. Not exactly what I'd call a hearty meal. I swear I saw a colossal or tiger shrimp in her bowl next to me. Oh well, then I went up to the third floor of the Seoul Tourism Association. I probably should have found something a little more broad.
just outside the train station in Onyang
I felt like I knew more about the national sights than she did. But she was cute so I stayed and talked with her and listened to everything she told me. Bad move #1...#2 bad move. I left there feeling good about things. I strolled around, snuck in the back door of a Buddhist site downtown till I got chased out by some old screaming Asian man. I walked around front to the entrance to find out they are closed on Monday, but there was a guy standing out front there, turns out he's from Savannah and his wife's from Newnan...small world. He was kind enough to walk me down to the Gyeongbokgung Palace and that was $2.50 well spent. I hung around in there for a few hours with probably about 500 other tourists. Tons of Japanese, pretty much all of them were actually Japanese.
just outside the train station in Onyang
..except lil ole me. Stuck out like a sore thumb I did. When I was heading out I noticed some action goin down by the entrance. I video will be posted shortly (or now depending on when you read this).
K, so I left there and hit the subway line to take me to the train that was supposed to take me to Onyang. I city about 1 hour 30 minutes south of Seoul. After tons of help from some more cuties ;) I was buying my ticket to head down south. I had spoken with the girl at the STA and she didn't know much about where I was going except it sounded fun and she printed me some info...
"Onyang Hot Springs is the oldest hot spring in Korea, founded about 1,300 years old and has been operating as a hot spring for about 600 years.
During the Joseon Period, it is recorded that King Sejong and many other kings came here to rest or treat their illnesses. Onyang hot springs, with its water temperature at around 57C, is considered hot even among hot springs. It has a high concentration of radium and its concentration alkaline water is both high in quality and quantity. It is know to be effective in treating neuralgia, arthritis, skin problems, liver disease, high blood pressure, and various accommodations nearby has made this a hot spring item for many tourists...."
streets on Onyang
sounds awesome right?? Well I actually stumbled upon it tonight while I was strolling the city. Yep, me and my six pack were just strolling up and down the streets of Onyang? without any destination and not being intent upon arriving anywhere in particular.
So after dropping by three completely empty bars and going through the phrasebook more than I should've. I decided to find a motel or just sleep. Well I walked by the Onyang Hot Spring Hotel and dropped by thinking they would most likely have a shuttle taking me to the natural springs in the morning/afternoon. HA. That was it I was there. And it was not the $25 I was under the impression it would be. One night topped $70 and the "hot spings" which was basically a heated swimming pool/ hot tub with a massage was nearly another $70. K so A: I felt like an idiot, B: I was highly disappointed, and C: I was back on the street, this time with a relatively different attitude. Laughing at my self but disappointed all the same. Guess you gotta take the good with the bad on the path of life. It is what it is, and what it is, is me chilling in some $20 "love motel" writing a journal. Go figure. Oh well, I am heading back to Seoul tomorrow to regroup and possibly make a legit plan. In the mean time I thought of a better title for this but I'm to lazy to go change it and erase the intro. So I should've called it road house blues...."well I woke up this morning and grabbed myself a beer"....or two