For the first time in my life I’ve made a trip to Asia. I was invited to this year’s Korean Electro-Acoustic Music Society’s Annual Conference, happening at Seoul National University. I wasn’t really able to explore the city much during the conference (fighting with my jet lag as well), just the vicinity of my hotel in Seocho-dong, next to Nambu Bus Terminal, an area mostly populated by white-collar business people by day and hungry and thirsty night owls by night.
Nevertheless I took my time to explore the city by walking. Seoul seems to be an incredibly safe place, even by night. For an average Korean the risk of being run over by a car due to permanently watching her or his smartphone probably imposes a much, much higher threat than any kind of crime… Nevertheless, Koreans are incredibly friendly, helpful people.
After the first week I moved from Seocho to Mullae-dong, a district of of small metal work companies. The air was permanently filled by pling-plings and the noises of CNC cutters. A nice contrast to Seocho and, as only found out very late, a vivid place for young artists who drive tiny galleries, cafés and other spaces for experimental practices. I stayed at Seoul JJ Hostel, a small, yet tidy and stylish place with friendly staff and guests. From here I made my excursions to the city center, Incheon, another three million “suburb” of Seoul, and more explorations of the vicinity.
All in all, though it’s a very “touristic” view, it has been an exciting experience of a true mega city, sometimes exhausting, loud, yet friendly and welcoming.