Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day, Seoul 2012

After scarfing down some green and white shamrock-sprinkled Entenmann's chocolate donuts (courtesy of Aunt Deb's AMAZING care package), Kyle and I headed for the apartment lobby.  We met a bunch of the other teachers then walked to the subway station.  Two overcrowded and overheated train rides later, the station spit us out onto the streets of Seoul. We climbed out of the dark underground, up the stairs and into the beautiful St. Patrick's Day weather.  Looking around, we realized we were, for the first time since arriving in Korea, not the only white people in sight.  In fact, it looked like we had stumbled into a giant tailgate party back in the states.  We walked by keg stands and beer can towers, taking in the smells of college- heavy cologne and stale beer.

We headed across the street to the 7-11 convenient store and bought some beer.  There are no laws about open containers in Korea, so we cracked open the brews and headed back to the festival.  A large crowd gathered in an outdoor theater called the D-Cube Plaza and watched a group of Koreans perform traditional Irish dances.  We found a few open benches and settled in. 

Koreans doing some Irish dancing
The crowd was full of Westerners decked out in green.  There were "Kiss me I'm Irish" t-shirts, plastic green sunglasses, leprechaun hats, green beers, Irish flags painted on cheeks, bright orange wigs, Guinness hats, and St. Patrick's Day balloons.

As we sipped on, a Korean U2 tribute band took the stage called Have No Name.  The lead singer bounced around, passionately belting out lyrics, sounding not too unlike Bono.  The crowd loosened up and began singing and dancing along.  More and more foreigners arrived, filling up the plaza.
U2 tribute band performing, "Sunday Bloody Sunday"

An Irish band performed next, and more Irish dancing took place involving volunteers from the audience.  After a few hours, we decided it was time for some grub.  We had a few failed attempts before we found a restaurant serving chicken and beer.  We devoured every morsel then headed back to the festival.

A few more Irish bands performed, people started getting really rowdy, shaking up beer cans and spraying the crowd.  The festivities ended just after 6:00, so we headed back down to the subway and caught the train to Itaewon, the foreigner district of Seoul.  We travelled past seven or eight stops, long enough for Kyle to get a few more pages in, while I continued drinking.

Unlike Incheon, which has a few Italian restaurants amidst hundreds of Korean restaurants, Itaewon has many different cuisines to offer- Korean, Greek, Japanese, Turkish, Indian, Mexican, Irish, you name it.  I even saw a three-story Taco Bell!

We went to a bar called Bulldog's for their unbelievable St. Patrick's Day deals. 

Irish Car Bomb: $6 (normally $12!)
Guinness on tap: $5 (normally $9!)
Jameson on the rocks: $5
One shot of Baileys: $4

A few rounds of Irish car bombs were quickly consumed, and we sat enjoying the 80's music videos being blasted, which included The Bangles, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and Abba.

It goes without saying that if anyone anywhere within 200 yards of Kyle is smoking a cigar, he sniffs it out.  A few guys were smoking at Bulldog's, and after a few car bombs, Kyle got brave enough to inquire.  He came back a few moments later, tapping me on the shoulder and whooping in joy.  The bar not only had great deals on alcohol, it sold overpriced cigars.  Another round of car bombs to celebrate, please!
Kyle's first cigar in Korea

Some new friends in Korea

The Irish car bomb remains

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

No comments:

Post a Comment