So I just came back from my third Korea trip and the first thing that I wanted to write about was my visit to a bar in my last night in the Land of Morning Calm.
First things first. Yes, this is my third visit. I have not written about the second trip in this blog much as I wanted to because the second trip happened shortly right before TJ died. And I had been mourning in the past months, so I don’t know how to write about the fun I had in the country amidst my overflowing sorrow. Hence, that second Korea trip might just remain unwritten in this blog forever.
So now, I pushed with my third trip, that is despite my hesitations – you see, I have been struggling with finances lately. Also, I believed I would just miss slimly the cherry blossoms, which was the initial point of the trip. Plus, I will be going alone, as my sworn companion had already departed for heaven. (Sorry if I am talking about death as casually. Trust me, I have had written about this in my personal journal many many times in the past months.)
Going back to the entry title, yes I did visit a bar, and it was named BAR ESCAPE. I googled for possible drinking places in Seoul that is not far from Namdaemun and Myeongdong, and perhaps from where I was staying, which is in Ilsan. I had encountered a long list in my google search but Bar Escape was the one whose name was exactly what I was looking for… a “bar” where I can “escape”.
I wanted to spend a cold night out by myself, drinking, enjoying solitude, in the middle of a city, where no one knows my name. And that’s what exactly Bar Escape has provided me. A priceless solace that I would treasure very much. I know I would keep that nice warm feeling in one corner of my heart forever.
There is nothing much to say really. I just went down at Jongno Sam-ga subway exit 4 and looked for the bar. Enjoyed the view of the cute waiter (Well, when I arrived, the bar had just me and another guy by the counter who looked like a confused angry teenager so engrossed in his gadget). I liked the ambience because it was dark enough, music was audible enough, price is okay. As I was drinking away from tequila sunrise, to mojito, to Bailey’s, the bar was starting to fill in. Also, the manager (or was he the owner?) arrived and stayed by the counter. More eye candy for me. 🙂
And then I felt sad. It was what I exactly wanted to feel at that time. So I whipped out my notebook, and wrote another letter for TJ. I sometimes imagine that he is able to read my letters, that whenever I start to scribble ink on paper he will be able to read it from up there in heaven. So yes, it is a no-brainer that I was crying there in my corner in Bar Escape, just writing. What with the alcohol softening my nerves and the lovely music, and the beautiful people around me. It was perfect. And it was one of the reasons why I wanted to push with the trip.
“Woh oh, I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien, I’m an Englishman in New York… Woh oh…” Funny that they played Englishman in New York. I used to like this song a lot back in college, and I have not heard it ever since. I was trying to sing in my head replacing the lyrics with ‘I’m a Filipino in Seoul’, but it did not sound right.
When I checked my watch, it was almost eleven. I stood up immediately and paid at the counter. That was when I realized that the manager or the owner speaks good English, and that he has this sort of warmth in him. It was blurry as I was a wee bit tipsy. But I remember him asking me where I was from, and whether I had visited Itaewon. I answered him and then rushed out.
“I’m sorry, I need to catch the subway. And I had an early flight tomorrow”.
I wished I did not have to leave Bar Escape right away.