Monday, April 6, 2009


After 6 months without one, I finally dragged myself up to Seoul and bought a guitar. It's a Korean Telecaster knockoff and a little 15 watt amp (with extra inputs for a karaoke machine, naturally). It was nice to know that I still know how to mostly play the same 5 songs I've been playing for the last six years.

Feel free to give my new guitar a name in the comments.

I bought my guitar at the Nagwon Arcade, a massive 4 floor music store near Insa-dong that has been putting the rock into the ROK for over 30 years. They claim to be the largest music store in Asia. To find it, go out exit 5 from the Jongno-3-ga station, and walk a minute or two until you see a large white building with a blue sign.

Inside there are over 200 little shops each sort of specializing in one kind of instrument. While this place seems like the Guitar Center Death Star, most of the shops are basically interchangeable clones of one another, selling the same 20 or so instruments. This seems to be a fairly common practice in Korea: huge shopping centers made up of hundreds of tiny kiosks (half of which are inevitably closed) all selling the same limited selection products.

I must have gone at a weird time or something, because it was surprisingly quiet inside. I was expecting the din of a thousand Korean Yngwie Malmsteen wannabes, but all I really heard was a 4 year old girl tear it up on the piano for a small crowd, and more than a few longhaired fellows earnestly playing saxophone.

After wandering around for a bit, I started picking shops to at random to try out some guitars. After finally finding a shop where the shopkeeper WASN'T eating, I played a few guitars before settling on the one above. The guy threw in a case, cable, and strap "service-uh" and made fun of the way I count large sums of cash. Then I got to schlep it all back home on the subway!

On an unrelated and non-musical note, I made some tortilla soup with the works tonight:

Certainly the best $4 avocado I've ever had.


  1. Chris so glad you will be playing again! can i put in for a song and tortilla soup when you get back to the states? Mary

  2. I think you should name it Dr. Brownfish. I was just thinking about what it would take to fly with my guitar. Ever done that before?


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