Carnivore

I’ve been wanting to go to South Korea ever since I met Na Young, a Korean punk girl that attended Varning from Montreal festival last year. I actually started talking to her at the Loud House after-party, after the set of SKULL AND BONE (INEPSY’s Chany’s side project). She told me that she came directly from Seoul (South Korea capital) after having traveled 16 hours, and had to return to work in two days. I asked her how was life in South Korea, and she told me that it was all about eating and drinking. I was instantly sold!

And oooooh man, she wasn’t lying.

The first day we arrived, Na Young invited us to some beers and then to feast at a Korean BBQ. We ate and drank for 6 hours!!!! And then the next day, I had another Korean BBQ… and two more the next day! We ended up eating four BBQ’s in three days! It was insane. I don’t think I’ve eaten that much meat in my life!

Slowly barbecuing marinated pork meat

Na Young!

Myself grilling the meat!

Employee preparing our mountain of meat

Our table. Never seen so many carnivore punks together!

Here is a totally drunken video of us cooking the meat (fatty pork). Everything was cooked on charcoal, giving the meat an absolutely amazing taste:

And we had some taste of local alcoholic drinks:

Dry finish, a nice refreshing summer beer

Soju, the evilest of evil Korean drinks. A kind of rice vodka.

Next day, we went out with Jae-Ho, a local real headbanger. He brought us to another BBQ restaurant, which served us beef as well as… pork skin and cow intestines. Both were quite good, but the pork skin was absolute pure fat and kind of got nasty after a while haha

Intestines! Considered a delicacy around here

Cut intestines with pork skin

Bubbling fat on the pork skins

After the meal, we went to witness quite a rare thing in South Korea; a real underground  gig! We went to see DARGE (Japanese metal/punk), as well as some other local bands:

Myself with Jae-Ho! Jae-Ho plays in NOCTURNAL DAMNATION.

First band was a grindcore band, who’s singer started playing with some giant white transparent jump suit and corpse paint… he then took it off, all sweaty, and kept on growling the whole time. It was obviously a joke band, but they were still pretty entertaining haha

Grindcore band

Then was a Black Metal band called SKALD. They looked like cute little guys, but their music was digestible. I was expecting much worse.

Skald, South Korean Black Metal!

After this was DOKKAEBI ASSAULT, a pretty good d-beat band, but I was too busy to take photos haha. Then came DARGE, who totally ripped live!!!!!! They played for a good 40 minutes and even did an encore!

DARGE!!!!! So fucking good!!!!!

Next day, we met up with Na Young and the DARGE guys again, and went to Na Young’s brother’s restaurant, who treated us like emperors. It was unlimited meat, and we ate until we exploded.

Raw plate of beef ready to be BBQ’d

Traditional side dish: a spicy spring onion salad

Kimchi, fermented Chinese cabbage in hot peppers. One of my favourite Korean things ever.

Steaming HOT soup of tofu, onions and evil peppers. The DARGE drummer called this soup “From Hell” and it made him cry because it was so goddamn spicy hahaha

One of my favourite parts of the meal; a huuuuge steak. You cooked it lightly on both sides, and served it still bleeding. It was so tender, it actually melted in the mouth like butter. And then you dipped it in spicy sauce… arghh, it was heaven!

DARGE guitarist, Oze! Notice the drummer, Shinosake, on the left, which is still red from eating the hellishly hot soup

And then, when we were already bursting up, Na Young’s brother brought us some thinly sliced beef brisket called Chadolbagi. It’s a very expensive cut of meat, and it’s very very  Korean.

Chadolbagi meat

Check out how it melts on the grill. Imagine how it melts in your mouth!

All of us posing in front of Na Young’s brother’s restaurant.

All of us together then headed to the second and last DARGE gig at Badabie club. We could bring our own drinks, cool! First band was SCUMRAID, which was really fast and violent hardcore with a female drummer! They were really good.

Scumraid

Then was TERRORMIGHT, a bad power metal band – which I didn’t take photos of. FIND THE SPOT was next – and played kind of generic hardcore, which was followed by GUKDO and SAD LEGEND.

Find the Spot. They were pretty good.

Gukdo. Some good hardcore as well! Very energetic and violent!

Sad Legend, a melodic black metal band from the 90's. It was ok, but not really my thing too much. Kind of reminded me of MOG RUITH and SIGH.

I was playing songs in between bands to help out Na Young. It was cool to do some DJ to a Korean crowd! But actually, half the crowd was “foreigners” – guys from North America or Europe haha

Finally came DARGE, who played even better than the night before… fuelled by the crowd, they played a truly intense set that totally snapped my neck!

Raf destroying his bass… arghhh!!

Oze!!!

We then went for ANOTHER BBQ with everyone from the show! Yes, the after party was MORE MEAT!

I didn't take that photo, Juyoung Lee did! Hehe!

We had to take a break for the next few days, and pretty much ate veggie meals at our hostel. Never in my life had I had such intense meat experiences hahaha!! Anyway, we spent the next few days exploring the city. Seoul is a beautiful and modern city. It’s considered a UNESCO city of design – and the downtown area is definitely one of the most “design” I’ve ever seen. Just check out that sky scraper!

Crazy wavy Seoul skyscraper

Sun coming down on downtown Seoul

Bridge over the Han river

An artificial river with light shows!

A colourful side street

We saw some pretty interesting sights during our 10-day stay, including this beautiful gift set:

50$ worth of SPAM! Who the hell would give this away? Haha

A gigantic living crab in the aquarium of a sea-food restaurant. That thing was creepy as hell. It looked like a giant spider! It was the length of an arm!

Local ladies posing with some really expensive-looking ginseng roots

We went out for tons of food of course, including the infamous BIBIMPAP – rice, raw egg, veggies and meat served in a dangerously hot stone bowl. The rice and egg cooks directly in the bowl – and becomes crunchy. Oh man, that stuff is SO good!

Bibimpap

Every meal is paired with kimchi; fermented ultra-spicy Chinese cabbage. It’s one of my favourite Korean things ever, but doesn’t agree with my stomach at all. After eating that for a week, I got an intense ring of fire hahaha!

Cabbage kimchi, with marinated radish

We also had some Korean “sushi”, which is basically marinated veggies and ham wrapped in rice and sea weed. Not very good unfortunately, but ok for a quick meal:

Kimpap

We also spent time with Craig, a Canadian metalhead from Prince Edward Island, whom we met at the second DARGE gig. He brought us to eat Ginseng Boiled Chicken soup (ABSOLUTELY KILLER!) at a traditional restaurant, and then we went listening to metal at his place:

Craig with the CD of his old band, UIGG.

Our restaurant table

The soup, still heavily boiling at our table. There was a whole chicken in there, which was stuffed with rice!

Seoul is surrounded by gigantic mountains and beautiful natural parks. We decided to go hiking to discover Korean nature. We didn’t really know what we were doing, so we just took the subway, got off, and followed two Korean guys who were also going hiking at the Bukhansan National park. They hike every Tuesday, so they knew some really good trails. We thus hiked the tallest mountain in Seoul, Baegundae, at 836 meters! I didn’t even know I was able to do that!! Haha! It was quite abrupt and took about two hours to climb, thanks to nice windy weather.

François on the trail

There were some colourful temples along the way

A sign, halfway through the hike

Myself! Good thing the trees were there or else I would be falling HAHAHA!

A beautiful view of Seoul nearly at the top

Some parts were too abrupt and needed some cables!

Victory Snickers bar at the top of the mountain! Notice the bite marks haha I could barely wait for the picture.

Panoramic view of the nearby mountains! We had a picnic there. It was the most epic picnic ever. On the right, in the very distance, you can see North Korea.

My legs were killing me for two days after that, but it was totally worth it. There were tons more hiking trails, I wish I stayed there longer to explore more the area!

On Thursday 22nd, we visited Seoul’s biggest imperial palace, Gyeongbokgung, which has been constructed in 1394 and reconstructed in 1867 (it was almost destroyed by Japanese military and later by the government).  The whole area was huge! They were tons of colourful smaller buildings, and a nice big park.

The Gwanghwamun gate

The changing of the guards. Check out those flags! So colourful!

A beautiful swamp located in the garden

One of the gates, leading to the main palace

The interior of the palace was what impressed me the most. I’ve never seen such details and colors in a building before! Check out those ceilings, man!!

Palace ceiling

Another angle

So many details and beautiful patterns!

You could see inside some of the imperial rooms:

The emperor’s chair

The emperor’s dining table

And around the palace were some relocated traditional Korean-style houses:

Hanok house!

We then had our “last” restaurant meal, at a place nearby. I shouldn’t have eaten more spicy stuff, but it was there, and I couldn’t resist… haha, so I got stomach burns all day, but it was worth it!:

Bulgogi - sautéed thinly sliced beef marinated in soy sauce

Our table! François had ordered a bibimpap, but it turned out to be spicy octopus bibimpap, which was spread out on the table, ready to be mixed in the big bowl at the back

Anyway, we had one hell of a killer time in Seoul, and it was mainly because of our friends. So, thanks to everyone we met – Na Young, Jae-Ho, Raf, Oze, Sun and others… you guys were AWESOME!!!!!! See you one day in Montreal!

We still have a day left in Seoul, which we will use for relaxing before we head out to Beijing, China – and we will be staying in China for a month. Now, this will be quite a challenge because they control the Internet there and I’m not sure how I will be able to update the blog, but I think I’ll manage. Anyway, if you don’t hear from us for a while, you’ll know why!

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4 responses to “Carnivore

  • Véro

    La photo panoramique est trop épique! Awesome. Et toute cette viande me donne faim. 😛

    Vous allez pas visiter la Corée du Nord? Voyons, un pays si charmant… 😉 jk bien sûr.

    Bonne chance en Chine!

    Dis, je pense que je vais ajouter ce groupe Darge à M-A… ils sont plutôt punk mais thrashy pas mal quand même.

  • GoreBag

    You probably made a good call about sticking to vegetables after that party. Hangover meat sweats would have sucked.

  • marsineraTOR

    funny, most punks are vegetarians and vegans….GO MEAT EATERS!!!
    haha

    I laughed so hard with that snickers picture after having climbed tall ass mountain…lol
    excellent pictures and stories as per usually Annick.

    Cheers!

    “you don’t have to be old to be wise”

  • marsineraTOR

    btw, DARGE shreds!

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