The other night I made plans to meet Ant after work so we could go to Suyu (waaay up north on the blue line) to check out a climbing place.
So I got to our designated meeting spot a few minutes early. And I waited. And waited. And waited some more. I finally dug Rockzilla out of my backpack, so at least I had music to help make the time pass quicker. Finally, about 20 minutes after we were supposed to meet I got a call from Ant asking me where I was because he couldn't find me.
"Dude." [translation: I'm exactly where I said I'd be, and it's freaking freezing out so hurry up!]
He was actually in the same station, so he told me to wait and he'd be out in a minute. And I waited 20 more minutes before he called again to say he couldn't find me.
"DUDE!" [translation: I'm the only freakin' person in the ENTIRE COUNTRY with red hair, and I'm wearing a bright green puffy vest!! I'm surprised people aren't hanging Christmas ornaments on me!! If the red hair and vest don't tip you off, why not just look for the only white girl within a 10 mile radius?!?]
What can I say? Tired Jes + Hungry Jes = Totally Bitchy Jes. Luckily Ant knew enough to pour a vanilla latte down my throat and tell me to shut up.
Finally, I went back to the station and found him and we hopped on the train and made it to the climbing gym. It was pretty easy to find, but it's not really close to our place. Nothing is close to our place, though, and I'm slowly getting used to having to travel at least 40 minutes to get anywhere.
It was a pretty small area, just some bouldering routes set up in a basement. The owner was super friendly and helpful and spoke passable English, and there seemed to be a pretty regular crowd of male and female climbers who were all really cool. Everyone was way more advanced than us, and it would have been easy for them to just choose to ignore us or make us feel totally out of place, but instead they were practically standing in line to help us out. It's probably not the nicest or biggest climbing gym in Seoul, but I can't imagine you'd find a better group of people. There was absolutely no elitism. People cheered the other climbers on, and even individual chalk bags were cast aside for a big community box of chalk in the middle of the room that we all helped ourselves to. Everyone was eager to help us with routes and techniques, which was awesome for a newbie like myself. Suyu is a hike for people living in the central or southern parts of the city, so it probably wouldn't be worth the hike to get there, but if you're in the Nowon area I'd totally recommend checking it out.
So, we're going back tonight. We've decided to get a membership for 1 month to see how it goes. Seems like a much more productive way to spend my afternoons than what I've been doing lately, which is pretty much limited to napping and soduku puzzles.