Before I arrived for my exchange year to South Korea I thought they lived a calm lifestyle. A bit conservative, perhaps. Those were my opinions about it but I was totally wrong. Yes, in South Korea Soju, Makkoli and beer aren’t just alcoholic beverages, there are a lifestyle. It isn’t weird at all to see in an early morning pass out man in the street completely drunk and you also -kind of- get used to see one or two vomit on the sidewalks.
That is South Korea. Where the alcohol is the favorite beverage and they drink it like water. That is what I found in Seoul; party. Koreans sure know how to have fun, and also to dance. They have like this natural gift to move, shake the body and make it look cool. Cooler than you for sure. They make it look so easy and the way they dance is so different for what I am used to. Shuffle instead of salsa. Yeah, pretty different. Everybody looks so good in the dance floor, the energy they show makes you want to go and imitate them. My favorite place to do this is Hongdae.
Yes, Long live Hongdae! and how I miss his party, how I miss Hongdae’s fuss. As soon as you go outside the subway station you know where you are because there are people everywhere making their way to a good time. And, even though there is so many people, lay back atmosphere -with some exceptions, mainly originated by american soldiers that with some alcohol in their system some can get violent- but in general, the vibe is good and zero pretentious or expensive (like Gangnam). There is no dress code and no one will judge you. That is Hongdae, the “underground” quarter of Seoul. The best one. With his Mama/Papa Gorilla bursting with people and S club to calm the ears of hip hop and also with a “FF” full with good music to dance; The Beatles, Elvis, The Cure, The Toasters and more. In Hongdae you can find everything. You find soul and you find life. And you can even find a part of yourself, you can be whoever you want and you can reinvent yourself.
And when the weekend arrive you hope that life will take you there…
“Take me out tonight, where there’s music and there’s people and they’re young and alive”
You listen in your head those lines of Morrisey, you sing with him and you think about Hongdae.