Saturday, 18 December 2010

007 H - Korean Update!

Another travelogue from our entrepid 007 H in his quest for world peace, is drinking his way around Asia,  collecting important information on beer prices and the various ways in which chicken can be eaten! Well its a matter of National Security I guess!

A further update of his time spent in another dodgy watering hole!

Day 18 Korea:

Had a whistle stop stay in the Intercontinental airport hotel at Singapore that seems to really want to help travellers by keeping their luggage weight down. Think it worked at over £30 an hour for the time by head was actually led on the supposed ex-goose.

Landed in Seoul some 5 hours and one hour time difference from south Asia, at plus 9 hours Zulu (Or GMT if one prefers).

What a turn round in weather. Had gone from plus 35 Celsius to Minus 5 Celsius in fell swoop (What on earth does that mean, something to do with inept Golden Eagles??). Anyway, looked like the locals were dressed in converted bedding quilts, little Michelin people everywhere. Not that I had a lot of warm clothes anyway but it was really nice to walk around in shirt sleeves, which led to lots of pointing from said locals.

Got a lift to the centre of Seoul where as perhaps you would expect it’s busy. Hotel was okay and typically small room-wise if you don’t pay top dollar, you know, the sort where you could not swing a short eared Manx cat.

Next day, early and not so bright, 3 of us, 2 locals and me headed off via a cab to the main train station in Seoul to catch the high speed one (The KTX) and rocket down to the south east of Korea (That’s the south bit of south Korea and further away from their aggressive neighbours up north). Not much of note except very smoothly operated both on and off the tracks and unlike good old UK you do actually get a seat. It certainly shifts and the French origins of the French TGV high speed train, had no trouble getting to 300kph and at one stage saw 304kph which is about 188mph. Very speedy and slightly worrying as one rockets past you in opposite direction, making a closing speed of some 376mph and needless to say should two ever run into each other at that speed you had better be hanging on to your coffee. I am starting to sound like some duffle-coated train spotter so last of rail orientated facts coming up. While in Guangzhou, China, two weeks back; they had just run 486kph on high speed train from Shanghai. Oh god, now I am getting into this . . . . . . THE Record according to many is held by the French at 574 kph and the top dog (for which read Choo Choo!) is the Japanese who had a Maglev experimental one which hit 581 km/h (361 mph). Enough!!

Not much happened of note in Busan but late trip back into Seoul then to Ansan City, in locally negotiated cab, which actually turned out to be okay with exception of some dreaded lurgy the driver was suffering with, so being in a confined space with a habitual hacker would not be advised. Still, he did what he said he was going to do and charged the 65,000 WON and got me there safely. Some other less scrupulous baskets have taken me with a taxi meter which must have been plumbed in and running at 24 Volts and ended up paying 160,000 Won which is about £80.

Slightly horrified this morning at 3.00am as slide the noisy wooded shutters open on the 6th floor of the Top Hotel (yeah right!!) to see the petrol station opposite being blanketed in snow. Thoughts of my impeding departure turned to ‘oh no’, don’t say its Xmas here eating fried chicken!! (spent one Christmas day in Dhahran, which is Saudi Arabia, had a Jalfrezi as I recall).

Last night was eventful. Took myself into local chicken house, think it was called Two-Two chicken which sort of helped, or perhaps was just a precursor to same local game of chance. Anyway, there I was minding my own business, drinking some very pleasant HITE Beer and no that is not with a silent ‘S’, when a whole load of boisterous locals came in. They ordered 3 liters of the beer and continued to get louder in relatively good humour, which eventually (Inside an hour I hasten to add) turned to hostility and immense amounts of shouting, much to the bemusement of the owner who did know what to do. Then it descended into violence as some chappie from China rushed back in from the toilet (Where most of this shouting was going on) grabbed a small fork and rushed back into the toilet. What on earth was he going to do, prick him to death? Needless to say the police pitched up, some 8 of them in all and it all became quiet again. Bit disappointed I did not get a free beer out of it so might have to try again tonight!!
Best invention going, no need to get up - ring bell - beer arrives!

Could be anything!

Down Town Ansan Korea - Neon City

For everyone but he chicken I suspect!

Our latest news from our intrepid explorer is that he is now in Tokyo, last heard of at Popeyes bar!

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