Carissa and I went to Korea in 2012 for the first time. It was amazeballs. Here we are trying to look Korean. I’m the cool one on the left.
Carissa bro‐ing out in a bar with Duran. He lives in Korea and I think he works for Kim Jong‐un. They like to name bars “Foreign” or “Western” bars because I guess that makes people think they’re Americanized. They’re not. Thanks for the killer time bro!
Mandu is basically a dumpling. This particular street vendor (The Mandu Man) makes his with kimchi and pork and incrediballs. Best street food the whole vacation. We went there thrice. I don’t know what this is, but it was spicy and noodly and seafoody and delish. I could eat this weekly, especially at the price. Plus I look really cool; mean mugging the clams while stirring it with oversized spoons.
Kimchi – the French fry of Korea. Everything in Korea comes with at least 6 side dishes. One of them will always be Kimchi, a pickled or relished cabbage. It is Korea’s staple dish. Most authentic foods associated with culture come from the poor people. These foods are extremely cheap, easily attainable and have been crafted over many years to taste good. Don’t believe me? Ireland – potatoes, Mexico – beans, Puerto Rico – pinchos, Korea – Kimchi, ‘Merica – french fries.
Is that Brangelina? Korean BBQ ‐ otherwise known as Bulgogi ‐ is amaze‐gogi.
Great times. Duran. Earl. Angelina. Brad.
Sneak peek behind the curtain… If you read my write up on Puerto Rico you know I love street food. This is what’s happening behind the counter of one vendor on the streets of Okpo. Yum.
Don’t ask what’s in these bad boys. Scholars maintain that the recipe was lost hundreds of years ago. Just eat and enjoy. Korea’s Aroma You have to get used to the aroma of Korea. On the streets there are a ton of places serving this fish cake thing on a stick in hot water (see below). It gives off a smell that cannot be described in words. It's not a bad smell… it's certainly not good… it's just always fucking there hanging around in your olfactories. Also, there are some other various smells on the streets of Korea that you won't get anywhere else in the world. Duran told us you just accept them into your smell memory bank and keep moving. So onward we moved.
Fish cake. Disgusting, non‐nutrish, non‐delish, and freakin everywhere. I love street food, but this is just gak. Gak isn’t a word but it describes what this is.
GANGHAM STYLE I guess I have to include this… Think this song is annoying in the U.S.? Well, welcome to Korea. This guy was everywhere and his song was playing 25/7. His mug is on every advertisement, magazine, TV show, and billboard. Carissa and I thought it would be cute to take a photo every time we saw him. That lasted about a day. We would have had 4,000 photos of him. Photos from day one…
OGEMAS One of the most memorable things to me about Korea was the Ogemas (ah‐ji‐ mahs). An ogema is an old lady. They are everywhere and they have the right of way. Don't get in their way lest you be willing to get shoved aside by one of these ancient old ladies. They’re fast, they’re mean, and they wear visors.
This Ogema made fun of Carissa while serving us some noodles.
A smiling Ogema is rare (maybe it’s that unnamed elixir bottle in her hands).
PARTY TIME !
Earl, Carissa, Kevin, and Duran taking Agwa Bomb shots. In Korean Agwa means “Uh” and bomb means “Oh”. We wouldn’t figure this out for a couple hours. For proof see below…
Beat boxin on the streets of Korea!
This is the scene of an incredible story. That story will not be told over the interwebs.
Night 1. The End.
Okpo Hangover That brings me to the Okpo Hangover. If things are things then the Okpo hangover is a thing. And yeah, it lasts a long time. And it’s brutal. See photo below. I'll just leave it at that.
Korean Beer!!!! You can’t be drunk all day unless you start drinking in the morning. So, we started many mornings in a hole and therefore were able to try a bevy of local beers including OB, Cass, and Hite. You're supposed to say "uh" after Cass and Hite. So for instance our first real night in Okpo ‐ a Friday‐ we ended up at a place called Duty Free (I think) and I was already tanked (see the first sentence of this paragraph)… "Bartender, may I have a Hite‐uh?" I say while handing out an unknown amount of money with both hands (always give money and receive your Hite‐uh with 2 hands in Korea). Although 1000 Won is about 1 dollar I get confused when I'm drunk.
"Why did you break those 7 glasses?" barked the bartender without even acknowledging my beer request. The nerve!
"Well it’s not my fault your table was made of vaginas and the glasses just rolled right off after I fell into it!" I responded.
Needless to say this went on awhile until some douche‐tard next to me spouted off that I should just pay for the glasses. He was a tall Korean‐American dressed like he was about to warm up for a track meet. So naturally I told him GFY. At that point shit got interesting. Earl breaks a bottle on the bar and holds it up to the guy as if he's gonna slice his face off with this half bottle of Hite‐uh. I've never seen a bottle broken in a bar so eloquently. Earl raised his arm in a half moon motion high above his head and then crashed it down perfectly on the edge of the bar so that the bottle neck was still intact to serve as a handle while the middle of the bottle was jagged and sharp. Johnny track suit micterated himself and nothing happened.
Can you break a bottle on a bar?
Coffee!!!! I love coffee. As much as I love beer. That may surprise some of you but the fact is if I had to choose between beer and coffee well I don't know what I'd choose. Okay I'd choose beer. But I'd choose coffee over food. I'd say overall the coffee in Korea, like America, is bad. Most of it comes from a machine. There was 1 spot that made Dutch coffee which I've never had. Tasty. A couple other places we found decent brewed coffee. Nothing to write home about... Although I guess I am writing about it. I still have this vision in my mind that if you go to France or Columbia that even the instant coffee is amazeballs. Probably not true but a girl can dream can’t she? Soju I've tried to think of a comparison for Soju in America in either taste or consumption and there just isn't one. It's a rice wine that tastes like weak vodka, served in 16 oz bottles and drank with shot glasses. It is consumed in Korea like Miller Lite‐uh in the States. Everyone drinks it. Constantly. It is not uncommon to see drunken men on the streets holding hands. In Seoul we saw a business man passed out on the sidewalk while his "friend" slapped him in the face repeatedly to try and wake him up. I felt too bad for the guy to take a video my phone was dead.
Dancing Soju in the streets. Needless to say we had plenty too much Soju.
Other Stuff We didn’t just eat and drink okay. We did other stuff…
We took photos…
Walked the streets of Busan…
Checked out the Fish Market…
And the The Harbor…
Ate strange food…They let you select your dog before they cook it. We spent a little extra and dined on the pup to the right. Check out the sign…
Okay that’s enough!
YES PLEASE .YES PLEASE
We hiked one day after an all‐nighter. This photo is after 5 minutes. I almost died.
Quit looking at my perfect ass and check out the view.
more view, less ass…
We visited a Buddhist Temple. I didn’t see Ghandi but people looked hungry so I guess it was legit. Karaoke in Asia I've actually held out on ever doing karaoke ever in my whole life ever because I wanted it to happen in Asia. Mission accomp‐mother‐fuckin‐lished. What was the song I chose? Well, the last night Carissa and I were in Okpo with Duran we all decided to do karaoke so we got lubricated and headed to our own private room in a karaoke bar (Noribom). The place had your standard American classic rock songs. Nothing out of the ordinary except for one song, “In the year 2525”, by Zager & Evans (of course). That happens to be Duran’s staple song so he tore it up. For my first ever karaoke I just pushed some random numbers and was pleasantly surprised to have chosen “I wanna wish you a merry Christmas”. Guess what? Nailed it!
Those bottles on the table were already there when we showed up.
Koreans love their cartoons. This one is talking about wheelchair racing.
We left Duran in Geoje and headed to Seoul. We were so worn out from Hite‐uh and Soju and Makalai and Soondubu and Kimchi and Bulgogi and Jjookkoomi that we just chilled and ate TGI Fridays! So long Korea and thanks for the cray cray time Duran. GAMSANIDA!
18 minutes in best airport in the world 27 hours in the worst airport in the world Incheon Airport is consistently known as the best airport in the World – link below. They have a movie theatre, ice skate rink, a hornless albino unicorn, and they are very efficient and friendly. Carissa and I were in Seoul and needed to catch a 7:30 am flight the next morning to The Philippines. So, being the responsible guy I am we caught the subway to the airport at 5:39 am... That put us at the Incheon Intl airport at We cut in front of everyone at check‐in We cut in front of everyone in security We cut in front of everyone in customs We took the train and ran to the gate 6:45 am 6:55 am 6:59 am 7:01 am 2 minutes before gate closed
Link ‐ http://www.worldairportawards.com/awards_2012/Airport2012.htm
I'm willing to bet 10 bottles of Soju that's never been done in the entire history of that airport. EVAR! Put us in the Guinness book of world record next to that creepy lady with the long fingernails.
Carissa after 20+ hours at the airport, nursing a hangover and probably looking for a pistol…
Having succeeded at making Incheon airport our bitch we landed at the airport in Manila a few hours later. This airport is consistently known as the worst airport in the world – link below. We were looking forward to sandy beaches and relaxation after we partied our asses off in Korea. Well unfortunately for us there was a Type 2 Typhoon, which I guess is like a hurricane except it’s Asian. So our flight to Coron was cancelled and we had to stay in Manila unexpectedly. It was dark and Carissa didn't feel comfortable finding a place in Manila so we decided to stay at the airport until the weather cleared. We checked out every store, did some people watching, and drank some San Miguel beers. About midnight we find an area in the airport to take a shower and sleep for a bit. Worst sleep I've ever had waiting for someone to steal my stuff and listening to Filipino massages going on all night. At least somebody was getting a happy ending. Our ending was the next afternoon after 27 hours in the worst airport in the world.
Link ‐ http://www.sleepinginairports.net/worst‐airports.htm
BEER!!! If you’re drinking Filipino beer you’re drinking San Miguel. San Miguel tastes like Medalla (see my previous write up on Puerto Rico). They have a Pale Pilsen and a light beer. It's one of those beers that tastes meh in a can and significantly better in a bottle (Shiner Bock, Heineken anyone). The good thing is it gets you drunk and San Miguel is less than a dollar each if you buy it off the tourist path.
San Miguel. Since 1890. Coffee In the Philippines the only coffee to be had is instant coffee. Nestlé 3 in 1, which is dehydrated coffee, sugar and cream. I would have to drink 10 cups of this crap to equal my typical 2 cups of Starbucks Sumatra (WPPs). And I don’t like cream. Here's a moment of silence for three weeks of non‐existent Starbucks...................... ....................... .............................................damn
Most cars in the Philippines are not actually cars but motorcycles with some aluminum on them for additional seats. Carissa is giving a thumbs up here as if to say “Hey, this is probably almost safe to travel in, maybe.”
Natural Hot Springs. Way better than the disgusting ones in Hot Springs, Arkansas. That’s because they are actually natural here in the Philippines… very soothing and way less old people.
Our place was over the water. Nothing’s better for fighting off a week long bender than relaxing on a patio while drinking a local cerveza and gazing at the sun set over a beautiful landscape of islands while the waves lap against the piers underneath your bare feet…
The Coron hangover wasn’t near as bad as the Okpo hangover.
I know what you’re thinking ‐ kinda looks like your neighborhood street in the Suburbs… Wrong. This is actually in the Philippines.
Who could take a vacation without caretakers that catch fresh fish and crab daily to cook for you? Awesome‐sauce.
This was not one of those spots that tourists wait in line to take photos. This was literally one of a thousand views in and around the islands. Keep scrolling down for more bragging…
What are y’all up to? Oh nothing, just hanging out in fucking PARADISE!
Our private boat chartered by a crew of – you guessed it – Filipinos. This would be our sled to Kayangan Lake, The Hidden Lagoon, Bulungan Beach, and several other places I’ve been to and you haven’t.
What’s that? Oh no big deal, just freshly caught delicious grilled fish on a boat in southeast fucking ASIA!
Traveling Overseas This trip was not easy to plan or to execute. We had 10 flights we had to catch and 2 cross country bus rides. Almost all the flights were delayed and connections were a pain in the ass all while we were hauling around 2 weeks’ worth of luggage and souvenirs on the way back. I mentioned the shithole that was the airport in Manila above. I left my backpack on a bus and went back to the station to look for it. Luckily the bus station only about 500 fucking buses. Somehow we found it. I speak not an ounce of hyperbole when I say it was an absolute miracle we made it home from The Philippines. It took 48 hours and purchasing 2 flights to Tokyo on Korean Air at the very last second. Now when I hear people complain about delays at US airports or about how long the lines are I laugh in their stupid faces.
The mother of all itineraries…
Takin ‘er easy for all you sinners. Thank you honey for the incredible journey! Our next one will be epic…