Herro Korea! – 2009 World Tour Progress Report

[Original post by Elliot Mogerman – Transferred from yahoogroups.com]

Ok so Japanese do not really celebrate holloween but all the foreigners do. I decided to get some masks and go out with the german guy working at the hostel. We went to a foreign club and it was just like celebrating back home. Everyone was dressed up, there were too many people packed into small places, and extremely loud music blaring through the entire block. Wouldn’t trade it for anything. Our Japanese friend commented how scary and overwhelming it was. Kind of how Kelly probably felt in shibuya.

Then after along night, there was a long ride ahead. The weather was around 3 degrees Celsius which is like 40 degrees and lots of cold, sharp rain. But the ride was stunning and it was nice when I finally warmed up in the hostel. This hostel is at the sea port of Japan, Shimonoseki, was phenomenal. It overlooked the bridge and lighted city around it with a great view of the water. It very much reminded me of the view from Alan’s home in Sausalito. The next morning while mike packed his bike I spent a little time sitting on the porch and watching the water, the sky, clouds and great weather of the day.

We both arrived a the port to meet our liaison from customs. He took us to get the paperwork completed and within 15 minutes we had everything done including our own tickets for the boat. Then we had 3 hours to spend of free time and went to another observatory to have some ice cream and see the view. Took a trip to the store for some boat snacks and rode our bikes through inspection and onto the boat. We were so impressed at how easy the Japanese process was overall. Makes things so pleasant and easy for our next visit in the future. Then we took a video finally for everyone and will post it one of these days.

Arriving in Korea we experienced a similar impressive, efficient process. Only 30 minutes or so we were off the boat and on our way to Seoul. We know in Korea we cannot ride on the highway because it is only for large vehicles. But we decided to give it a try because the distance was so long. We get to the toll way and a guy runs out to us saying no way no entrance. But we cannot turn back in one way highway traffic so he tells us to go and pull out of the next entrance. We decide not to understand the request and rode for a few hours on the freeway until a cop noticed us on the many traffic cams and caught us. He was very cool about it all. He took us off to the next exit, gave us maps, told us the best way to Seoul, and escorted us to the expressway which we used for the rest of the day.

As we were riding in one of the cities, we detoured to a bmw motorcycle dealer on the side of the road. They came out and enjoyed taking pictures and looking at our foreign bikes. The manager took us in, turned on the heaters, and called for a woman to run to the dealership with fresh coffee. Once we finished the coffee she packed up the cups, creamer, sugar, and thermos, wrapped them in the jacket she brought them in and disappeared. He also gave us a map of Korea and bid us farewell with many good wishes of a safe journey.

The sky darkened and the sun started going down early around 4:30pm. We found a hotel that reminds us of Russia. From the empty restaurant without anything on the menu but hamburger steaks with pickles and the one person staff in the front that just wanted our money. In its hay day this place was probably the happening spot, now is pretty vacant and reasonably inexpensive. But for those of you that like to sing, there is a full karaoke stage in the 6th floor café and a business club of private karaoke rooms under the first floor. A little sketchy, but we decided not to press our luck and stayed in the room watching shows to relax. Tomorrow we should be in Seoul.