Dicking Around At Deulmusae

I’ve been a total perv lately. Seeing as the time bomb is ticking quickly on my Korean journey, I’ve been trying my hardest to get myself and my fellow perverts to a Penis Park in this country, and to no avail.

BUT, I found the next best thing!

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Over the weekend I conquered two things: figuring out how to use the Seoul Bus app on my phone that has been lying dormant for 3 years, and visiting a penis themed PLACE. I successfully figured out what all the bus station codes mean and how to properly plug them into the app so that Chrissy and I knew exactly how much time we had until the bus headed for Pocheon was gonna fetch us from the non-existent bus stop stop at Wangsimni Station.

After a 2 hour traffic filled bus ride from central Seoul to the glorious green countryside of Pocheon, we landed at the station that came after the station we were supposed to get off at. In the theme of the day, we had a truly dickish bus driver who completely overshot our bus stop all together after we AND a group of Korean girls told him the station we would be exiting at. He exited the bus, turned off the motor, and lit a cigarette outside the mart across the street before we could even swipe our T-Money cards out. Don’t mind any common decency or customer service, for I am AJUSSI!

With that, we took a stroll backwards in search of the World Mart station, wherever it may be. We later discovered it was unmarked as well, and with no “World Mart” in sight.  Along our wander, we stopped to admire heaps of yellow Korean melon before stopping at the GS25 for directions to Deulmusae, the local penis cafe. The young guy working there had no idea what we were talking about, but a nice lady stopped to help us figure it out. Turns out she was with her hubs and 2 little daughters aged 6 and 8 or 9. This would begin the awkwardness of the day, surely.

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As her husband Navered the directions, it calculated that we were about 30 minutes away.  His phone was 100% incorrect. But, he told us to hop in the car and they’d take us to our destination. We tried our best to fenagle our way out of the generosity, but before we knew it, their 2 little girls were grabbing our hands, handing us a piece of candy for the road, and escorting us into their playground of a backseat. Sandwiched between our two little playmates and their Gak, colored pencils, and every toy under the sun, we were taken on a 5 minute drive, which resulted in the most horrendously awkward thank you and goodbye I have ever been involved in.

Turning right at the yellow sign we had been looking for, we drove across the penis lined bridge to the shrine that is Deulmusae. We were living up to the foreigner cliche that KBS tells the public is truth. Trying desperately to contain our laughter, Chrissy and I were graciously let out of the car by the giggling parents (who I could not look in the eyes), and were greeted by a garden of erections. A happy afternoon we were to have!

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This place is beyond unbelievable. As you enter there is a man baking penis bread filled with red bean in his penis mold bread maker.

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Then you’re greeted by a big ol dick, and a map of the world illustrated in…you guessed it.

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Walking through the cafe, it’s a pervert’s paradise, really. Dicks of every shape and size everywhere.

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Dick family portrait.

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In case one is curious as to what it feels like to be the opposite gender.

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Surprisingly, in a country so buttoned up about anything sexual, the place was overflowing with the elderly. Literally every other customer aside from us and one other group of foreigners were old people, and they giggled whenever their food was served and every time they took a phallic photo. Instant bonding with the monster breed in this country.

Double the fun. The bread was warm and yummy, though I’d like to make a suggestion for the Deli Manjoo creamy filling. More delicious and more realistic.

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Oh, and so this is a cafe/restaurant after all, so you’ve got to see the tableware! We ordered Dongdongju, fish donkkas and hamburger steak to share, and look at that presentation! The men are served their meals on vagina plates, and the women on penis plates, and the same goes for the cups. This is apparently supposed to balance out male and female energy, or Yin and Yang. Ok. Let’s just say a lot of thought went into every detail of this place.

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The also have tons of the makkoli jugs with faces of famous Korean politicians and actors on them. I even found one of Jin’s favorite politician, Ahn Cheol-soo, that we met last year when he was doing publicity by our school. I doubt they meant it, but how appropriate to put such people on a penis jug.

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I hope you found my brief tour pleasurable! Now, I will leave you with some more modelings, and failed-to-be-captured leprechaun jumps on the penis lined bridge.

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Twas a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, and I highly recommend for anyone wanting to get down with their inner perv and experience yet another of Korea’s oddly themed establishments.

Directions: If you’d like to get down with your inner 변태 out in Pocheon, you’ve got to hop on the 3201 bus. We caught it at Wangsimni Station, but it makes several stops en route to the north, so if one is closer you could surely do that. The Wangwimni stop also doesn’t have a designated bus stop for this bus, but rather just kind of stand in between the other two bus stops and wait for the guy to come and flag him down, kinda dealy. 

 

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Freaky Friday: The Day I Broke Into The Abandoned Gonjiam Insane Asylum

Since school is out for summer, as English teachers last week and this week consist of  teaching a 3 hour a day English camp.  That means we get off work at 12:40pm everyday! Not too shabby!

At around noon on Friday, Jee texted me, Josh and Tim asking if we had any plans for the rest of the day. Our plans basically consisted of errands and laundry.  That is until Joshy remembered reading about an abandoned insane asylum and threw out the crazy idea of breaking into it. Of course we were on board….except for Tim, who gets a bad case of the willies when anything scary is involved. Scaredy cat.

From what I’ve read briefly on the World Wide Web, the history of this particular asylum is hazy. It officially shut its doors in 1996 after a slew of mysterious patient deaths, and the head doctor fled to the states. From the looks of it, they ran in a hurry because the place is in complete disarray with overturned chairs, jackets dangling from closets, patient files scattered all over desks, and towels still hanging in the public shower area. The abandoned building gets about 1,000 bold and daring adventure seekers per year, and made it onto CNN’s list of the freakiest places on the planet!

Our Friday was about to get a whole different kind of CRAY!

Jee had Mama Kwon’s car for the weekend, so she fetched Josh and I from Hyehwa, and then we sat in traffic for about an hour before even getting out of the center of Seoul. What was supposed to be about a 30 minute drive to Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do, took about 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Am I back in LA??

The only real directions we had as to the location of the Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital were a pair of coordinates that Joshua kept telling us to plug into Google Maps: (37.362433, 127.33474). Well, those didn’t help us much, but thanks to our resourceful Korean, after arriving in Gonjiam, we crossed a bridge and continued up a narrow street which felt creepier and eerier as we got closer. Then, low and behold, there was the barbed wire enshrined gate and a massive DO NOT TRESPASS because CCTV has its eyes on you, sign. And voila! We had arrived!

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After jumping out of the car, not forgetting Josh’s mom backpack fully equipped with the necessities:  whisky, candle, bloody props and tarot cards, we came face to face with our first creepy sight of the afternoon. Looks like somebody was sent running for their life and poor Havaianas got left behind.

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And after rounding the corner of the building just past the barbed wire fence, we stumbled upon a shed filled with mannequin heads and busts.

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Just a wee bit spooked by now, we found the trail that would lead us into the unknown. Note to future trespassers: Wear runners because your feet will get MUDDY. Don’t dress in the name of fashion with studded sandals like I did.

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After trekking through spider webs and muddy forest, we reached the road that leads up to the building.

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When we finally got to the building, we were greeted by broken glass everywhere, cigarette butts, broken windows, swampy moldy stairs and the ever present predicament of how on earth we were going to break in!

To the right of the main staircase, there’s a wide green ladder perched to one of the top windows.  This ladder is secured in place by nothing but what appeared to be a heavy duty airplane seat belt, or belt used to buckle crazy people to their beds.  When Josh took the lead to try and climb in, he got a little freaked and thought it was going to fall or break, or that we’d contract some disease from the rust and dripping something coming down from the window.

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This ended up being the way we broke in, but for now we decided to put a hold on that way of entry and scope out the rest of the building for an easier way in. We found a window on the lower left side that we climbed through.  We scoured past moldy chairs and glass to go up a flight of stairs, only to find that it was shut tight.

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Not ready to give up, we walked to the far end of the building and found some rusty bars and old bed springs blocking what we thought was maybe the entrance to a dining hall.  We shimmied on in there, tiptoed over a path of junk on the muddy floor, and found tons of graffitied walls, an old table and overturned chairs and trash.  Unfortunately this was as far as we could go from this entryway since everything was boarded up tight. LET US IN!!!!!

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Two fails behind us, we went back to old faithful Mr. Wobbly Ladder. Josh went first to forge a path for his ladies. After getting caught in the seat belt fastening, making lots of strange man-grunts and moans, he had successfully moved the tetanus filled desks, chairs and cabinets that were barricading the door shut. I had a moment of panic while climbing through the window. With my history of falling in Korea, I saw my life crashing down 30 feet below me. But alas, I set a new record and successfully made it through, only to have a chair fall in front of the door forcing me to flex my muscles and move it myself in order to get into the asylum halls.

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AND WE WERE IN!!!! Once inside, saying it was creepy is an understatement. The halls were so swampy and wet and reeked of the stench of mold, cigarette and hospital having a baby together. The Dr’s office was cluttered with piles of old patient records, overturned cabinets and jackets on the floor, and the bathrooms still had towels and buckets and blankets scattered everywhere. We even found a letter on the floor of one of the bathroom stalls, though it looked freshly written, so was probably placed by one of the other 1,000 sneaky daredevils.

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We ended up squishing through all three floors before heading up to the roof with a view. Too bad we didn’t have any makkoli to cheers our daring feat and ward off any ghosts.

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After coming down, we went back into the “KILL ROOM” for a seance of sorts. Remember those Spanish Tarot cards and candle Joshua brought with him in his mom bag? Well, our fortune teller took those out, handed out props and had us pick our fates in card form. With a swig of whiskey, a light of the candle and a knife through Jee’s head, fortunes were told.  Looks like Jee will be getting a visit from the Devil and/or a douche bag disguised as a gentleman. Or so the spirits told him.

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Of course we left behind our candle. The marker of our presence there, and a token in hopes of no spirits following us back to Seoul.

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We ended up getting out a much easier way than we got in. We went out this door that was thrust open from the bottom up, saw where a massive tree had fallen and brought the whole structure down with it, and then shimmied ourselves out between some rusty bars.  Cue second mini panic attack as I thought the bench we had to step on was going to fall forward as I stepped.

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With the spirits, tetanus and mold behind us, we forged our way out through the spiderwebs and muddy pathway back to the car, where water bottle and hand sanitizer showers were in order. You can’t really tell here, but my feet and sandals were covered in mud, and not to mention, dirt and mosquito bites all over my arms and legs. It was well worth the adventure though!

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This was definitely one of the coolest things I’ve done in Korea, and really ever! I love reading stories and watching shows about haunted places, so to actually have the chance to creep through one was awesome! Thanks Joshua for the random Friday jaunt suggestion!

For those looking to do something spooky in Korea, you have to head to Gwangju in Gyeonggi-do (NOT the one in the South). We didn’t take a bus there, but I know you can get one from somewhere in Gangnam.  You have to get to Gonjiam, and from the center of town cross a little bridge and turn right and keep going up the narrow road.  It’s a ways up, but the path starts just after you pass a 2 story brick house (pretty vague, I know). If you want, you can try and plug the coordinates into Google Maps: 37.362433, 127.33474. We weren’t too Google Map savvy, so we didn’t figure out how to do that, but it’s worth a shot if you know what you’re doing!

Happy Haunting wild thing!!