Looking for a home

Here’s a photo essay of this weekend’s quest to find a suitable home in Pyeongtaek.  A bar home that is.

Caught the bus on Yongsan which got me to Humphreys via Osan.

Camp Humphreys is the largest military base outside of the USA.  From the bus station there it was a good 30 minute hike to the main gate leading into the village of Anjeong-ri.

The first order of business was to secure some lodging for the night. I wasn’t particular in that regard, just something convenient to the bar district I’d be exploring later that night. I was a little disconcerted when the asked me if I wanted “short time”. Um, no, it’s just me standing here. They wanted W40,000 for all night, but I managed to negotiate a discounted rate of W35,000. Woot!

Next on the agenda was finding some lunch.  Not much going on in Anjeong-ri in the early afternoon.  But right around the corner from my motel I found this place:

No idea why the named it this. I did talk a bit with the owner. Nice enough guy. Bar feature a pool table and a dart board. Alas, they do not permit vaping so it will not play a big part in my future.

I did enjoy a pulled pork sandwich and two SML’s during my short visit.

I don’t know if the bar across the street allows vaping because I didn’t feel welcome there…

It appears most of the bars don’t open until 5 or 6 in the ville, so I had some time to kill before I could begin my bar crawl.

Walked over to the house that may be my new residence soon. It’s massive. Way to much house for me really. And given the short period of time I have remaining in Korea the landlord may not want to rent it out to me, especially since I’d need him to furnish it. I’m good either way, lots of options.

I saw two vaping stores as I walked about. Went into this one to check out their wares…

…and came away with a new vaping pen. Pretty happy with its performance thus far…

It seems like wherever I go I’m never far from Itaewon…

Oh My God! What a crazy name for a car dealership!

Turns out the Jesus Embassy didn’t issue any visas to Heaven. Ah well.

So, 20,000 steps later I’m back at the Main Gate to Humphreys. Anjeong-ri is a little bit like the old Itaewon, only smaller. And less sleazy. I should fit right in!

So, the plan was to meet up with my buddy Craig who moved down to Pyeongtaek last month and do an old fashioned bar crawl.  The generally accepted rules of a bar crawl are to have one beer in each bar that looks interesting until such time as your level of inebriation precludes activities involving motor skills.  Such as walking.

The first bar we hit was the “Cool bar”. It wasn’t all that cool. A pool table and a dart board. One old Korean guy there to serve you. We were the only customers (but it was still early). Anyway, they didn’t have SMLs, so we settled for Miller Lite. He had to get out a calculator to total our tab for two beers. Scary! They allowed smoking in this bar so of course vaping was no issue. Still, the Cool Bar left me cold.

Next up was the IDK bar. I Don’t Know what IDK stands for. But as the sign notes, they do have a weekly dart tourney. Bar staff was friendly Filipinas. No SML but vaping was allowed. We didn’t stay for the tourney, but I’ll definitely be back here for the darts.

We moved on to Blue Hawaii. Not much to say about the place, good or bad. I had to laugh though because the inside signage had “blue” misspelled as bule.

We were just randomly choosing venues at this point. I guess we saw a cute gal walk into Crystal Bar, so we followed. Turns out she was one of the bartenders. Ji young and Mia were both witty and entertaining. They had SML and let me vape. Craig enjoyed the place so much that he ordered up a second beer, violating the bar crawl principles. Oh well. I did insist that we visit at least 3 more bars before declaring Crystal the night’s winner.

We had our next beer at 3 Stooges. No SML and no smoking, but no one stopped me from vaping. It was the most crowded of the bars we visited and had a bit of biker bar vibe.

Galaxy Bar was out of this world. Actually, not really. It was quiet but the two middle aged Korean bartenders were friendly. Only one other Korean customer at the time. One of those places I’d try again if I wanted a quiet beer to myself.

And then there was Duffy Club. Also staffed by Filipinas. Turns out it was a juicy bar (the only one we encountered, which was a little surprising. Maybe we just got lucky with our choices. For those that don’t know the concept, the bar girl sits with you and chats and you are expected to buy her a drink. At Duffy, the lady drinks were W20,000. Nope. I’m never that lonely! One beer and out.

Anyway, we finished our night out by going back to Crystal Bar which had gotten quite a bit busier in our absence.  Still had a good time though and I’ll definitely spend some time there on my next visit.  Could it be my new Shenanigans?  Stay tuned.

We grabbed some kebabs before Craig taxied home and I stumbled to my room.  It was around midnight (we had started at 5:30).  I recall laying on the bed and turning on the TV.  I woke up at 0300 fully dressed and with the TV blaring.  Remedied both of those issues and was soon back to sleep.

Until 0630 when this roused me from sleep:

Damn, I was a good quarter mile at least from the Army base.  They played it over loudspeakers at top volume.  No more sleeping after that.  My return bus wasn’t until 0930 so I did some hiking around Humphreys, grabbed a Starbucks Americano and a blueberry muffin, then waited for my 2 hour ride back Yongsan.

It was a good trip and I feel confident I will adapt to the slower pace of the Pyeongtaek lifestyle.  And it will be a good transition to my future life in the Philippines.  HaHa!  Yeah, I know.  Wherever I am, I’ll find a bar to belly up to and be as happy as pig in shit.

What else can I share while I have your attention?

I know a lot of jokes about unemployed people but, none of them work. (Most of jokes during the bar crawl fell flat too).

And for god’s sake, don’t let them split!

I was going to buy a book on phobias, but I was afraid it wouldn’t help me.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got.

On a more serious note, I’ve been reading some stuff that reassures me I’m not the only one done with romantic love.  As one guy put it, he is mentally and emotionally incapable of being in love.  Exactly how I feel.  Someone told me I needed to find the courage to let the past go.  As I tried to explain, it is not so much about fear as it is about belief.  I used to believe in love and I used to believe in Santa Claus.  And now I don’t.  Simple as that.

What he said.

Last week I totaled 159,000 steps.  That’s a new record for me.  It helped that on 6 of those days I logged 20,000+ steps.  I feel good about that.  And I also feel pretty damn good period.  These new medicines I’m inhaling twice a day really keep the lungs clear.  Rarely use the inhaler and I don’t use the nebulizer at all anymore.  No cough at all.  I do wake up every morning with a stuffy nose and then have a sneezing fit, but once that passes I’m good for the rest of the day.  I can live with that.

Beautiful springtime Sunday today.  A pleasure to be out walking about in it.

What a wonderful world!

Happy trails to you!


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