Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy 2012!


After another Christmas in South Korea, comes another New Year.  Happy 2012. Like most people on NYE, our plans were back and forth and up in the air until pretty much the day before the big night out. Since most of our old friends are in Osan, we weren't sure who was coming into Seoul, or whether we could even muster up the energy to face the crowds. Our best option was to head to City Hall and watch the ball drop there. Last year I spent New Year's in Hongdae (the centre of Seoul's night life) so I didn't really need to relive that experience. As for spending it in a club or a bar, spending a fortune, and waiting an eternity for drinks and tables and then eventually taxis, neither Garry nor I were that bothered by all the fuss.

Last minute, we ended up joining our Osan friends and taking a big gamble on a jazz bar in Itaewon where no one had even been before. I was a little skeptical but couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. Garry and I had a quiet drink and a quick bite together at a pub he had been eyeing up that was under construction the last time we passed it in Itaewon. After our meal, we couldn't resist the special, a plate of 7 oysters for 6000won, and when we got it, they were gigantic oysters! Almost too big for my liking, but delicious none the less. Then we were off to the next destination. We met up with everyone else at the perfect table, in the perfect location. My pet peeve with live music venues is they are so loud, and it's not just cause I am in my 30's now. It's always driven me crazy to have to yell at the people you're with to try and have a regular conversation. And I just don't have the lung power to do it and end up horse half way through the night. So anyways, the bar we went to was called All That Jazz. It had tons of space and a second floor where we were seated. Our table looked over the band and all the other tables, with a beautiful bird's eye view. We got the benefit of a great perspective of what was happening in the bar, the perfect decibel of music, and awesome conversations all night around the table.

We managed to avoid almost all of the chaos of a typical New Year's. The subway extended it's hours till 2 am so we could get home no problem, (well, almost no problem), we found a place that could accommodate us all, and everyone was happy with the music. Another big downer on most NYE's is the unavoidable fact you are guaranteed to drop a lot of cash. Yup, we even avoided that. After the boys going in on a bottle of whisky and some decently priced glasses of wine, the balcony started to fill up, and our bill was still low. Somehow, there was only one server covering all the tables and we was pretty run off his feet. We asked for water like 3 times before Garry just popped out to grab a few big bottles from the store. Along with that though I think he managed to grab top ups on everyones booze, and there you have it, Bob's your uncle. We paid convenience store prices for the rest of our drinks that night. And honestly, we weren't even being that sneaky. Korea is so 'laxed about bringing in food and drinks from outside into an establishment, that even if the waiter did notice, he probably wouldn't have cared. So all, in all, it was a successful evening. I am happy Garry and I made it out and celebrated the New Year in Seoul, with soul, and in style.

My camera settings were off and the more drinks I had in me, the less I was paying attention to it. But here is an occasionally blurry selection of what our night shaped up to be.

NYE pub dinner at the Rose & Crown, Itaewon.

Dinner for 2, to start the evening.

Mammoth oysters.

Next stop was....

One of the bands. 

The bird's eye view from our table.

(Sorry about the flash ladies!)

And these last few are a selection from what looks to be a photo shoot on our subway journey home. There were about 30 of these on my camera. Looked like fun!

Cutie photo bomb!

Strike a pose!

And that's a wrap. Happy 2012!

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