As incredible as it may seem I was actually starting to feel a little burned out on Itaewon. The wife was visiting family in the countryside and I was feeling more than little bored. What to do? Change my view! So I headed on down to Songtan.
I decided to take the bus from Nambu Terminal, something I’ve done before but never on my own. In the past I had always connected from Line 6 to Line 3 at Yaksu Station. These days I live near Line 4, but I figured I could do the 4/6/3 thing unless I found a better way. And sure enough there was one! You can transfer from Line 4 to Line 3 at Chungmuro Station and twelve stops or so later you arrive at Nambu.
As you can tell I was pretty pleased with myself for figuring that out. And yes, I am easily pleased.
I proceeded to purchase my bus ticket to Songtan (W3800) without incident and the bus arrived within five minutes. Unfortunately, lots of folks had made weekend plans for Songtan and the bus was full before I could get on board. Ah well, the next one arrived twenty minutes later and I secured a comfortable window seat. The last passengers were a mother and her two small children. Finding that there were not three contiguous vacant seats, she put her older child across the aisle and sat down next to me with her little girl sitting in her lap. I volunteered (technically gestured) that I would move and the mother responded in English “no, that’s alright”. Then the little girl offered me a stick of her gum which was pretty sweet of her.
It’s about a 50 minute ride to Songtan which I spent looking out the window. Upon arrival I did the ten minute walk to the Korea Hotel which is where I’ve always stayed when I visit.
Smack dab in the middle of the Songtan entertainment district. If by entertainment you mean bars. Well, there’s lots of shopping too I suppose. But I wouldn’t call that entertainment.
Now, Jee Yeun has always been able to negotiate a discounted rate. I had my mind set on doing the same thing. It was touch and go for awhile but I was finally able to get a rate of $60, a whopping five bucks off the starting price. It was more about the principle than the money anyway.
Next I needed to prepare my stomach for a night of heavy drinking by ingesting some greasy food. The conveniently located McDonald’s did the trick. I then met up with my buddy Matt and we sat down for our first beers at a pub with outdoor tables. Later his girlfriend and her friend drove down from Seoul and we moved over to Xenis Bar for the Saturday night darts tournament.
I drew a local player, Terry “T-Money”, as my partner. I threw a little better than usual and T-Money filled in the gaps nicely. We sailed along until I lost the ability to throw bulls-eyes and we got knocked into the loser’s bracket. Fought our way back to play the team that had beat us earlier for the championship. We took the first match but still needed to beat them again when my partner advised he had a 1:00 a.m. curfew imposed by the commander at Osan Air Base. So we agreed to split 1st and 2nd place money evenly and everyone went home happy.
Joy abounds when you are winning.
Well, I didn’t go home of course. Our group hit the street for some street food where I enjoyed some chicken-on-a-stick, a drunken delicacy if there ever was one. The womenfolk then went back to the hotel and Matt and I hit another bar or two for some late late-night drinking. I stumbled back to the hotel at 0330.
Woke up at 9:30 in a state other than refreshed, grabbed a sausage muffin and coffee at McD’s then hiked on over to the Songtan bus station for my somewhat
hungover triumphant return to Seoul. And I never even needed a taxi!
So that’s the story of how my weekend climaxed in Songtan. I’m glad I came! *ahem*