On the subway line, Seomyeon is the mid-south transfer station. It's the downtown of Busan, the largest neighborhood. The orange line extends further south another 18 stops, until you hit the end of the line on the south tip of Busan. There are several places of interest south of Seomyeon, and yesterday we visisted two of them, Beomil and Choryang.
Just two stops south of Seomyeon is Beomil, also accessible from the Northwest quadrant by Bus 111. I first heard of this dong in an article which declared it one of the top 5 underrated districts of Busan for its sprawling markets and location along the Eastern river. The next time I saw Beomil mentioned was in another article as the location of the famous Dragon Dream / Cave Bar. This bar is located in an actual cave tunnel, complete with water dripping down and rocky makeshift benches. We (BTX) were curious about this place, not because of the cave gimmick, but because a reviewer claimed they had the best kimchi and kimchijeon he'd had in 5 years of living in Korea.
With some help from the GPS, we found Dragon Dream tucked away on a side road. The inside was impressive in the way that makes you go, “yup, it's a cave.” It's not a full blown excavation with stalagmites and a lot of room like I thought it would be. There's a traditional lobby with a seating area for larger parties, then the mouth to the cave tunnel. Much like the perfect ex-girlfriend's vagina, the cave was deep, tight, and dripping wet. However, it was unsuitable for our party of three. The rock benches were immovable and only comfortable if you're want your knees massaged by the jagged rock table. On the plus side, the novel experience of getting dripped on by cave water is pretty fun for the first thirty seconds.
We were about to order some Soju and get their famous kimchijeon, when our waitress informed us of a recent menu change. They took kimchijeon off the menu and instead offered three set orders expensive bullshit. She didn't do a great job of describing what they were, but from what I saw, it was lots of octopus and miscellaneous brown-grey fish sludge.
I can only report this second hand from another group who ate their previously, but they said none of them could swallow more than a tiny bit of the stuff. Even the people who liked seafood couldn't tolerate the flavor. I saw a picture and said "This doesn't look bad, look at all the glass noodles," but it turns out they were no noodles, just loads of bean sprouts to compliment the seafood. In the end, they made a big brown pile of the leftover food, which was all of it.
Biggest letdown since the Obama administration.
Dragon Dream: Just as elusive as the American one.
Friday night I went back to Beomil with a friend of mine who is just absolutely awful at refusing a dick in his mouth. If that last sentence didn't clue you in, this time we were going for a different purpose.
If you do some googling, you'll find the location of the gay district right away: “Beomil-dong is right, the back alleys and the entrance is at the rear.” I'm not a stranger to gay bars- one of my best friends in college worked at one and I would go there with my girlfriends all the time for free drinks and hours of dancing.
If you take exit 1 from Beomil-dong, the gay district is about a block down and on the right. Me and Cum (Identity preserved, not his real name) stood at the corner before the gay alley drinking our Soju and tangerine juice for a while. The gay district is more or less hidden, the entrance is just a dumpy looking alley that smells like fish having anal sex, just like every other 10 seconds of walking down the street in Korea.
Contrast this with Silom Soi 2 and 4 in Bangkok. The street market turns from fruits, shirts and trinkets to Valium, Cialis, and dildos. Dildos everywhere! The biggest gay giveaway in Beomil is when you turn into the alley, there's a rainbow question mark on the window of what appears to be a tailor. Like what does that mean, “Do I like penises? I don't know, come in and try our fabrics!”
Before we finished the Soju, a group of Korean guys walked by us and rounded the corner to smoke. We both analyzed eachother's groups to decide if the other was gay or not, but it's always hard to tell with Koreans. I've met some very flamboyant Korean men who are reputed to be womanizers or have girlfriends. But come on, one of these guys HAD to have been a huge faggot. This dude was wearing a white, knitted fishnet sweater and had a severe case of manorexia. You had to be there to see it.
The smell of stale piss promised to linger longer than we did. Manorexic and his friends frolicked across the street to parts unknown, leaving us with our beverages and the old people hangin out on the stoop. It was time. Cum finished the rest of the soju, and we proceeded into the heart of darkness...