Sunday, April 24, 2005

Namsan: the alternate route

too bad I can't blog the smell

Do I look like someone who's just been up Namsan? Oh, good. Because that's indeed what happened.

Found an alternate route today: I can walk to Seoul Tower from my doorstep in under 50 minutes. Unfortunately, this means taking the stairs in that final stretch up to the tower, but it appears that, if you hit the stairs at a steady, plodding pace, your misery lasts only about ten to fifteen minutes.

The route from my door starts with a steep, concrete-slathered hill. This widens out until you hit a main road, pass a golf practice area, go through a tunnel, walk along a back street, then eventually find yourself walking past the Hilton Hotel, past the T'oegyero entrance, and up to the Namsan Library. From there, you're passing the mini-zoo, the botanical garden, and going up the Stairs from Hell.

I'm still able to do it without stopping, though, which is nice.

Doing this route every day will be a marked improvement over doing my normal route, for two reasons: (1) the steep climb gets your heart going and conditions your legs and other muscles, and (2) because I'm walking straight from my domicile, there's no longer a transportation cost. Free-- the best price of all, oui?

Oh, yeah-- here are some quirks about my place:

1. I guess it's because of the way the pipes are designed, but my kitchen sink gurgles and coughs violently whenever the 5th-floor washing machines are in their spin cycle, evacuating water. It's hilarious, though I can imagine it being a downer to have your candlelight dinner punctuated by the sounds of a building's borborygmus.

2. My room is directly over the concierge. I feel sorry for the guy every time I take a noisy shit. He's got to deal with the hollow poot and plop noises, followed by my toilet's flushing. I'm not ashamed, just feeling sorry about the shitty situation.

Final note: on the way back down the hill and not long before approaching the Hilton Hotel, I saw a cute little whitewashed building, quasi-European in style, that advertised itself as "Sole," an Italian restaurant. I'm going to check it out once I've got some cash. Maybe it'll be a find; maybe it'll be a nightmare. Or maybe it's closed for renovation and I somehow missed the sign.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. I stink and need a damn shower.


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