Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Seoul's nightlife

I've been thinking about What to wirte lately, apparently been in Korea for 3 months and doing lots of activities is draining me and I just can't think what to blog about... sad, I know :(
Even from the sky Seoul looks very alive 

Anyway, last weekend I went out with Ma GZBz some girlfriends, we were supposed to check out a Band at the Grand Hyatt's JJ Bar, but ended up in a kind of crappy Pub in Itaewon...I have mixed feelings towards Itaewon; here you'll find pretty much all kinds of food and lets of stores to shop, but then again, mostly the crowd will be US soldiers or English teachers (I don't have nothing agains it!, but is just not my cup of tea) (MAAAAAAAAJOR brain fart... thanks to Diana for showing me the Workcamp video while I try to blog...), so, I decided to talk a bit more about Seoul's nightlife!

Bright lights, just how I like it^^

#1 and MY personal favorite: 노래방/Noraebang (aka Karaoke)

Noraebangs are EVERYWHERE, seriously and as far as I know, most of them are 24hrs, it's the perfect hang out place to go after dinner, partying, drinking, and also, a very common way to wait until the subway is open! (although I love it at ANY time of the day lol~~not because I'm a good singer but for me, it's a very good way to release my stress), in Korea, the Noraebang is usually charged Per hour (per room), the average is 20,000 (less than 20USD), sometimes you get a discount, some others is a LOT cheaper if you go in the middle of the day, and other times (if you stay over 2 hours) you can get A discount and Beer/snacks.

#2 Bars/Pubs

Since I usually don't want to scare out new friends with my singing, a Bar is a perfect place to hang out, you get music, drinks and conversation, I've been to a couple, some lame, some with way too much people but at the end of the day, the people you are with is what counts, even if a couple of guys come by your table to chat... I usually don't like it when strangers come to our table, but as a wise friend (Linda!!!~~a cool Mexican-American girls we met in Seoul) said: "You are not gonna make friends saying NO", sometimes you just gotta go with the flow, and if it gets too awkward, just ask a staff member to ask them to move away from your table (lol).

Bar hoping with Baby Bro
#3 Clubs

Waves of people going crazy at the A Club
This is my least favorite, I'm not a club person, for me, it involves too much effort, dressing up, putting on high heels and all that is just not my thing, but people would always tell me I HAD to go clubbing in Korea, so, when I had the chance to go to the AOMG launching party at the A Club in Gangnam, I knew I had to take it, the first to hours were painfully slow, mostly VERY young people were dancing like maniacs, music was lousy and very 90's-00's like and not in a cool kind of oldie way, they had that dried ice smoke all over and since people is still allowed to smoke inside, we found ourselves walking our way to a corner through a cloud of smoke, once Jay Park and the other rapers came to the stage, things got better, but I just didn't love the "Club experience", after that, it was decided that I wouldn't go to another club. Later a friend told us that at some clubs they won't let you in if you are over 30, unless, you have Lots of money... so, no, thank you!

There you go, that's part of Seoul's night life, a VERY Small part, there's also the Korean version of a Sauna (that I still haven't tried), PC Cafes (A place you can go and use big computer to play games, or do whatever on the internet), etc.

-Gisela V.
P.s. If there's anything you would like to read about, let me know, I'm running out of ideas here! lol 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

SOREA Band Live

Hello everyone,

I’m back! And as I promised, I won’t blog about Kpop this time, although I will be blogging about Korean Music, if you remember I’ve posted about SOREA before over here, this time I was lucky enough to catch a performance LIVE,  last week we went to the ´H Festival´at the National Gugak Center, this show was sponsored by Hyundai Motors and SOREA Band presented their show ORIEN’ON with Traditional Dance, B-boys, not only the performance was awesome, they also played a song with the famous K-pop artist Jung-In (최정)!!

The show started around 7pm and we got 1st row seats (oh yea!), I was very excited as this was my 1st time seeing them live, they played over 10 songs that night, so, here’s a compound of what happened.

To find more about SOREA Band, you can listen to their music on SOREA’s Youtube channel here, follow them on Twitter or Like them on Facebook

-Gisela V. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Surviving Korea (more like, Loving Korea)

For some weird reason every time I seat in front of my computer to write I just can’t do it, I don’t know what to blog about and I get distracted easily… it sucks, I have been in Korea for 2 months and we’ve done quite a lot, the weird things is, we’ve been doing things we never did before, or things we haven’t really done in a while….

I’m not sure I will remember everything, but we’ve done the Touristy things available in Seoul, we went to chill by the Cheonggyechon stream, walked around Insadong, saw the royal guard change at the Gyeongbokgung Palace, ate Tteopokki in Tteopokki Town (I will never know how to Romanize that word, sorry), rented a Bike on a Sunday at Yeouido Park, Took the elevator to the 63 Building, strolled along the Han river, took the wrong bus (twice!) and ended up in the middle of nowhere at 10pm, Had Coffee at…well.. a lot of the Coffee shops in Seoul (Incluiding Audrey Hepburn's), Took a tour at the House of Sharing, Shopped and had Street food in Myeongdong, shopped some more in Dongdaemun, ate Hotteok in Nandaemun, went to festivals at the City Hall plaza, went clubbing in Gangnam, took the night bus (with lots of drunk people), went to a Korean wedding, assisted to weird festivals, flew to Jeju Island, got into TV shows, and pretty much everything that was on my Korean Bucket list, I guess I’ll just start with the Kpop things just to get them out of the way since we’ve done too many Kpop related things to be true….

Audrey Hepburn Cafe in Seoul 

Bongeunsa Temple in Gangnam 

Meeting a (not very noticable pregnant) friend

G-Dragon's exhibit

View from the 63 building

63 Tower in Chuseok (Bad idea, it was too crowded)

K-Style class in Myeongdong

Bibimbap with friends

National Museum of Contemporary Art 

Hi Seoul Street Festival (More like---Sky festival^^)

After the first 2NE1 Concert we went to, some more followed, lol… we have been biten by the Kpop bug, and I’m embarrassed to say, sometimes I would find myself singing songs by who knows who, anyway, we got to see 2NE1 live and for free (yet again), they performed at Seoul’s Time Square to film “something” (apparently that something was a part of an episode of the famous show “The Bachelor”), my sister found out about the show on the same day, just a couple of hours before, we had to have the Digital single in order to be allowed in, so, we of course got it, we got ready and 1 hour before it started we were ready and started our journey towards Times Square, we arrive just 5 minutes before, no one asked for the Single receipt (pft!), we got to be in the 1st row and well… it was nice, I actually enjoyed it better than the 1st one, must be because we didn’t have to wait a billion hours to get in and this time I got to really watch the performance instead of taking pictures like a mental person lol, the show was less than an hour and by 7pm we were on our way back home!

CL-shii (lol)

Dara and the "lucky" Mexican fan
After that my sister was hooked with 2NE1, she got songs not even I had O_o, she started following Dara on Twitter and that’s how she found out 2NE1 would be doing a “Flea Market” in one of the most fancy areas in Seoul Cheongdam-dong, so, of course we had to go since Dara said “prices would be really low going from 10,000 to 100,000’s” ha!, we arrived a little late (got scolded for it L lol) and ended up lining up for a bit over an hour on the 1st freezing night of Seoul’s fall, I was even tempted to cross the street and get a sweatshirt at Chromes Heart but, I didn’t want to spend ALL of my money there lol, when we were close enough to go in, they wanted to let in just 1 of us (at the moment) but we said NO! and then this nice girl with the most perfect English and attitude came for us and let us in^^, by the time we got in the “good” and “cheap” stuff were gone, so we were actually just looking and checking if there was something we recognized (at least that’s what I was doing), I was checking the jackets until I heard someone yelling “DARA UNNIEEEEEEEEEE!!”, I turned around and she was there, next to me, so of course I hurried and asked her if we could take a picture together, she seemed to be scared because…well.. everyone was yelling her name, but she agreed and Diana came to take my pic and then she got hers, after that we left but not before thanking the girl for letting us in and have a nice conversation with her, all in all it was great, after that we of course Instagrammed/twitted our pictures with Dara and things went crazy (for a mortal like me), I started getting RT’s, Favorites, mentions, questions, etc, my phone stopped sending notifications and just gave up, by the time we reached home I had over 100 RT’s and then my sister’s pic was posted in a Fans site and mine was posted in a fans Instagram account (this photo got over 2,000 likes), it was CRAZY, people started asking where were we from and then one person saw my sis’ pic and recognized the lastname because she saw my previous picture with Dok2, we were then known as the “Verdin sisters” lol, it got to a point when people started saying the pictures were fake because apparently only Koreans can take pics with Korean Idols…

Dok2 & Gangsta Me (as if) @ the AOMG Launching Party

With Beenzino 
Some days before the Dara thing, we went to Jay Park’s AOMG party, we had RSVP’ed before but when we arrived things got weird, no one seemed to speak English, they didn’t have the RSVP list and decided to allow people in only if you had an app on your phone and showed them the invitation on the app, pft!, we had to download the app and then again they changed their minds, we had to line, they moved the lines and somehow we ended up at the back O_o, after asking them about what was going on and them not speaking English, they just let us in and even sent us to the VIP area… DAEBAK! Lol, the club was very 80’s, people in Korea is still allowed to smoke inside clubs, the music is not very good and people dance as if they were back in the 80’s, 90’s, once Ben Baller came into the stage to introduce Jay Park things got better and suddenly G-Dragon, Dara, CL, Lydia Paek and others were walking next to us to go to the stage, Jay sang a couple of songs with Dok2, and Beenzino and then G-Dragon and the rest went back to the 2nd floor, I had G-dragon next to me for a minute but couldn’t articulate a word, so I just randomly touched his arm…yup, because I’m awkward like that LOL, after that even Justin Bieber was at the club with his DJ and he also did some DJing, so, it was pretty much THE place to be, I’m glad we got in, ah!, also, Diana got to say Hi to CL (finally!) haha, I got to meet Dok2 (he is so cute and so short!) and Beenzino.

I think for now this is MORE than enough, I’ll save the Seoul Fashion Week-GD’s mini concert, MBC Recording with Crayon Pop, FT Island (Aaaand that will be my last Kpop Post [maybe]) and the Jeju stories for later.

-Gisela V.