Sunday, November 16, 2008

Korean Adventure: Thursday Cont. - Dog Cafe

As I said, our trip to the 63 Building was not entirely successful. Well afterward, we decided to head over to Hongdae, the university area, that evening, and take a look around. This is the same place we went for Halloween. We got a little turned around on the way there, but got help from a Korean man who knew English. He pointed us in the right direction and told us which bus to take. We didn't think we were very far away, so we asked him how long it would take to walk. He seemed surprised by the question, and said we should really take the bus because it was far. It actually was only 2-3 bus stops, but for some reason Koreans, while incredibly hardcore when it comes to mountain hiking, don't seem to like walking far in the city. All of my fiancee's co-teachers are shocked that she walks 25 minutes to get to school.

Anyway, reaching Hongdae, we had three goals: 1) See the area and the many bars/clubs. 2) Find Gogos (the bar we went to for Halloween) as the area is a bit of a warren and my fiancee wanted to prove she could find something there. 3) Visit a dog cafe we had heard of.

Dog Cafe. Yes. It was apparently quite the thing a year or two ago, and there are still a few of them kicking. It's basically what you would think: a cafe with dogs in it. You can go there, eat and drink, and be around dogs. Many Koreans don't have pets, and generally when they do, they only have small dogs. So this is a place for the animal lovers to hang out with a wide range of dogs. You can buy treats and feed them. There are staff on hand to keep them under control and clean up any accidents. We went in, sat down, and were amazed at how the dogs just roved anywhere. One dog took a rather stinky crap near us, which was cleaned up fairly quickly, but we had already shifted table anyway. If you aren't a dog person, I would not recommend. But, if you love dogs as much as my fiancee, it's quite the experience.

We wandered around a bit, and I saw Ho bars 1 through 5. You see, a lot of the bars in the area have multiple locations, I saw several names repeated with roman numerals following the names. After seeing the area on a Friday night, I'm not too surprised that it's busy enough to support 5 locations of Ho Bar.

We continued to explore and eventually found Gogos. Our task complete, we started walking out of Hongdae but stopped when we saw a large Canada flag. It was the Rocky Mountain Tavern II (number 1 is in Itaewon, the foreigner district). We decided to go in and have a drink. Nothing too spectacular, but they were showing a hockey game on satellite, had poutine on the menu, and server moosehead. We each had a pint, ate some food, and went on our way.

Oh, and I'm sure I've mentioned already that travelling around Seoul involves using a lot of stairs. Not only is the city fairly vertical building wise, the subways are burried pretty deep. Here is just one of the many long sets of stairs I had to use any day I went out.

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