Anonymous asked: Hey. Sweet writings. I've got a good friend going to Seoul soon. Anarchist, queer, punk (the real kind), working-class fellow. Consciousness much like yours. What would he enjoy in Seoul? What should he see?
Seoul is difficult. So big. I avoided the expat areas for the most part. It’s hard to suggest what to see in Seoul. My favorite part of Korea is outside of Seoul. The smaller towns and their perspectives on Korean food, language, and culture interested me more than the urbanity of Seoul and its complacent conspicuous consumerisms.
I highly recommend buying good hiking or trekking shoes and visiting all the hiking spots in Seoul. I was never much of a hiker, but that changed with my time in Korea. I regret not having camped while there. I didn’t really have time and my friends weren’t into it.
Lots of foreign punks in Seoul. They tend to hang out in Hongdae at and around a place called The Spot. At least, that’s where I’d send a newbie to Seoul. The Korean punk and hardcore scenes are easy to get involved in. There are a lot of right wing punks in Korea as many are military, former military, or born into military families. I’m no scene purist, so don’t get me wrong. I do always get let down, though, when my new punk friend begins spewing social conservative nonsense. Anyway, punks are gregarious, no matter what their politics, and it shouldn’t be too hard to meet like-minded scenesters. There’s no trad skinhead culture to speak of, but the Korean kids like the style of it and you’ll find Korean skins around. Lots of fashion punks. Lots. And lots. And within that scene is an obsession with Japanese punk. That’s fine, but I really had a blast getting to know the Korean hardcore and traditional punk scene. There are several great bands.
There’s a great little reggae bar in Hongdae called Roots Time. I spent much time there listening to rock steady and roots reggae and dub.
Anyway, I’m rambling. Let me know if your friend has questions. It’s hard to answer anon questions. I can’t get too personal because I have to publish in order to respond.