Seoul SantaCon 2010
About a month ago, someone posted on the Daejeon group on Facebook an article about an event called Santa Con. Apparently it takes place all over the world (even in Ottawa!), the idea is that a ton of people dress up as Santa and take over the local bar district. A bunch of my friends started making plans to head down to it, and eventually we all decided that we would make a weekend of it. Originally my plan was to just find a Santa hat, and be amused by the other people who showed up in full costume. This plan was formulated mostly out of laziness, Christmas is not nearly as important in South Korea as it is in many other parts of the world. In fact, I even remember seeing more stuff for Christmas in India compared to South Korea. According to the SantaCon website, you could buy Santa suits at the event for 40,000 W (approx $40 CDN) but that seemed a little steep for something to wear as a joke for a few hours. Luckily, Ali mentioned to me a few nights before the weekend that the Daiso (Korean dollar store) had them for 5,000 W. I told her that I had been in there to check, but could only find Santa hats. She was right when she said that they are kind of hidden in with the hats and some other decorations, I managed to score one for myself and Ruthie as well.
Saturday came around and I met up with Anne, Sara and Michelle at Daejeon Station. The plan was to get up to Seoul, find a hostel, wander around for a little while and then head to Hongdae. The trains on Saturday morning are always full, so we ended up with standing room tickets on a slow train. It wasn’t too bad though because we managed to grab seats on the floor of the snack car right when we came in. Got to Seoul and found out that Sam, Ruthie, Andrew and Lauren were on the KTX pretty much right behind us. Anne still needed a Santa suit, so we decided to check at Lotte Mart while waiting for the others. Possibly the most epic shopping trip of all time.
After meeting up with everyone, and calling Kev and Ali who had come down to Seoul the night before we decide to head down to the Hongdae area right away because there are supposed to be a ton of hostels in the area. We wandered aimlessly in first one direction, then another completely without success. On top of that, it was one of the coldest days we’ve had this winter which made it less than ideal for aimless wandering. Eventually, we went into a Starbucks to warm up and steal some WIFI. Just our luck, we end up in the one coffee shop in South Korea that doesn’t have Wifi. Sam finally managed to get the phone number for a hostel in the area on her phone, and I gave them a call. The good news was that they had enough beds for all of us, the bad news was that the woman was just stepping out so we would have to wait for about an hour before we would be able to check in (only in Korea …). She was nice enough to offer to come and meet us an hour later, so I gave her my name and we decided that we would look for something else but if all else failed we would stay at this place. After walking aimlessly for another half an hour (and it felt like a lot longer!), Lauren suggested that we just get a drink and wait at TGIF for the lady to call us back. Best. Suggestion. EVER.
By the time we finally got to the hostel, got settled in, got dressed and were ready to leave, it was getting close to 9pm. Santa Con had started around 6pm. We headed down to the original meeting spot, which was just one metro stop over from where we were. Of course when we arrived, there was no one there except the Koreans who were very amused to see a bunch of Santas standing on the corner in front of 7-11. Around the point we started picking up random Santas, I called one of the Santa organizers and we figured out that SantaCon had moved over to Hongdae Park. We got back into the subway (at this point, the Santa count was nearing 15 – we were quite the spectacle) which was a mission on it’s own and luckily found Hongdae Park.
Mission: SANTA CON
So many Santas!!
If you want to see some amazing pictures from Santa Con, check out my friend Sam’s album here.