On Saturday I decided it was time for me to check out the town/suburb of Seoul called Itaewon. Itaewon has a large expat population and is where the US has it’s military stationed. Over the last six weeks the teachers have encouraged me to check it out, so Saturday I ventured out for the big trip.
I got on the subway/train around 11:00 am and noticed it was going about an hour and half train ride to Itaewon. When I got on the train it was packed with people – or should I dare say, packed like sardines – this was not surprise as the trains are always packed. I had to transfer once to another line and as I got closer to Itaewon, I started looking around the train for any sign of expats. Not only were there no expats, but also the people were getting off the train, and the train was becoming empty. When I arrived in Itaewon there were only four or five other people on my section of the train. I was beginning to wonder if my teachers were playing a joke on me, and had sent me to the to wrong place.
Onward I climbed up the stairs from the train and arrived in the town of Itaewon – I thought.
When I got to the top of the stairs there were very few people around the train station – it was as if I was in a deserted place (again) in South Korea. No people – no expats – but as I turned to my left I saw a large sign that said welcome to ‘China Town’. I started laughing out loud! I thought I was back in downtown Toronto!
I pulled out my iPhone and checked out my location – I was in Incheon!
I was never very good at directions and I am a terrible speller. I began walking around and realized that I was on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. I decided to take a half hour walk around China Town. I took some pictures. You will noticed that I even found a friend that didn’t talk back to me. I had a lady take a picture of me with my friend.
I t decided that I still wanted to go to Itawon, but I was not going to take the train. I flagged down a cab and off I went to Itawon. It was about a forty-five minutes drive – it probably should have over an hour, but the guy was travelling between 120 km and 160 km on the highway. I finally arrived in Itawon at 2:00 pm, and yes there were lots of expats. When I got out of my cab, a sharply dressed guy approached me and asked me if I wanted to buy a made to measure suit. He took a look at me and knew that I would not be able to buy anything off the rack here. He told me he would give me a deal – 500,000,000 won – i.e. $500.00. I smile and told him I was a poor guy from Canada that never wore suits.
I spent the next two hours walking around Itawon. I had lunch at Burger Kind – burger, fries & coke – it was my first since arriving. (sorry David Norah & Philip)
By now my phone was dead and I could not take any pictures. As well, I needed to open my Seoul Subway App on my iPhone to get me home, so I went to a coffee place and purchased a Latte and recharge my phone.
I got back on the train in Itawon and arrive back at my apartment by six. It was a great adventure and next time when I go to Itawon I will take some pictures.