When I arrived at Down Undah Backpackers, there were a couple of Thai girls sleeping with their computers (does not everyone these days?) in the air conditioned comfort of this guesthouse. I did not get any pics of them, but I managed to get a pic of some of the products that they bought (see Makeup Galore, below).
After they left, there arrived some girls from Russia. Guzel and Leisan are from Kazan, in Central Russia, Tatarstan to be precise. Here they are. They are Moslem, but when asked more about their religion, Leisan admitted that “We are not serious Moslems. We drink. We eat pork.” I asked them what they did on Ramadan, Leisan responded: “On Ramadan maybe we send each other a text message or two.”
Leisan was a crack up. When asked to explain why they slept in (not nearly as much as the Swede), she responded: “We are on Kazan time. It is 5 hours earlier there.”
This is Simon from Sweden. I have never met anyone who sleeps as much as he does. He usually wakes up at 7pm, and goes to bed around 7 the next morning. He wears his baseball cap reversed, hence the nickname “Justin Bieber.”
Below is Nika from Russia. She was part of the second wave of girls from Russia to invade Hongdae in the last couple of weeks. It’s the Russian invasion. Yikes!
I met Duc at Down Under Backpackers (actually, Bridge Backpackers), in Hongdae. She is from the USA, although she moved there from Vietnam at age 3. When I asked her why people from Vietnam love Americans, in spite of all the bombs, she had this to say.
“The older generation does not really like Americans. It is the younger generation that never knew the war. As for me, I am grateful for the opportunity to live in America. If it had not been for this war, I probably never would have had the opportunity to live in America.”
Duc had insect bites on her arms and legs from Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean moquitoes
Jill is a student studying business. She is from Germany, and she came here to learn Korean. She will be doing that at nearby Sogang University. Here she is showing me a picture of her flying in a glider.
Felix, or Schnitzel as I refer to him, showed up one Saturday evening. The next day, Sunday, we were completely smashed by 9am. Schnitzel will be studying Korean at nearby Ewha Women’s University, the creme de la creme of Korean institutions of higher learning. Jill says, “Yeah, that is good for him. It is all women over there, so he should be happy. Could you imagine going to school surrounded entirely by women? That would be absolutely crazy (think of a strong German accent at this point). I could not stand it.” That is Matahari from New Zealand in the middle, and Nick from England in the straw hat.
Joyce is from Singapore. She is studying Korean at Hongdae University. She is not quite sure that she likes Korea. “The people here are a bit rude,” she says. Still, she perseveres, often by killing time watching Japanesee anime subtitled in English. Here she is hard at work.