New Years On The ROK

This New Years celebration went off without a hitch. Two of my friends from a province near Seoul came down for the holiday, My friend Injin and I played tour guide and took them all over the place.

We started the evening off in Kyungsang University District in Busan but moved to a much smaller ex-patriot bar near the beach called Sunset Lounge. Very small and smokey but good live music and good people.

It is a tradition in Korea to watch the sunrise on New Years Eve which will supposedly bring you good luck. I am told that Hyaundai Beach was covered with people huddling together for warmth to watch the New Year rise. However, I was not one of them. Our friends from Seoul had been quite adamant about buying us several too many shots of tequila, a rare treat in Korea by the way. I think we headed to bed around 3am. Not a terrible showing but I’ll admit being a bit disappointed but I guess there is always next year!

The next day we continued showing my two friends around Busan. They were very much of the Bohemian persuasion and would play their guitars on the subways, in the streets, in the restaurants, or just about anywhere really. At first I was pretty embarrassed, as if the three of us were not already the center of attention right? I was really surprised though when I saw how well the Koreans took it. A lot of the time we would have several admires, clappers, and even requests. I even got to sing a few myself! Lots of people asking for Bob Dylan or Tom Petty as they are popular here even among the young crowds. They were particularly impressed with his ability to play “Arirang” which is the sort of the unofficial Korean national anthem.

I have to jet to work but I wanted to update something ASAP since I have been lagging. Check back again soon for more details!


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