Summer coincides with the rainy season in many parts of Asia, and while some cities have been worse than others the intense storms are inescapable. I was wandering around Hongdae looking for lunch when a heavy rain hit. The fried chicken restaurant I had in mind turned out to be closed, but I happened to notice a familiar face across the street. My cousin’s friend Art was sitting in the window of a coffee shop with some friends. I went over to say hi and they invited me to join them. The rain didn’t let up for ages so I spent a comfortable few hours just chilling in the window while my cousin wrapped up his work.
Eventually my cousin freed up so he found me and we went out for jeon which is a traditional rainy day food. It’s basically a selection of meats and veggies that are battered and fried. We sat and talked for a long time, and then continued the conversation over a glass of wine at a nearby bar.
After we finished our wine he wanted to take me to a favorite bar of his, a craft brewery named Magpie. Unfortunately they were closed for a company party, but while we were chatting with a friend of his who works there I heard a voice directed at me: “I know you!” There were no familiar faces so I just sort of gaped at the speaker waiting for forthcoming explanation.
It turned out this guy Tyler had met me years back at Blackbird in Ballard when I brought in a friend to upgrade his wardrobe. He was friends with Jon and had recognized a photo of me on his Facebook wall, but hadn’t gotten around to asking him about me yet. Once he explained it immediately clicked since he’d been super helpful that day and I remembered it well. Who would have thought that I’d be recognized by a person I’d met once, halfway across the world!
We chatted for a bit and I ate one of their pork sliders before moving on. While walking to our updated destination Jon recognized a familiar face on a bike, and talked him in to joining us. We headed over to a cute little bar that his friend Song works at. Art showed up, and then Mark and Mary whom I had also met at the coffee shop that afternoon. We did shots of soju and drank many gin & tonics.
After a few hours Jon needed to leave to meet up with Sehee, but the rest of us moved on to a tattoo parlor to continue drinking. There was a hyperactive puppy waiting for us, and two new people whose names I can’t recall. It was nice to let loose a bit and made for a very memorable final night out.