Santa Claus? 200 Santa Clauses? But why?

Yesterday was the Seoul Santacon event. If you missed it there’s always next year if you can stick around that long. Santacon isn’t an organization nor are they a flash mob as some Koreans were asking in the street. It’s really just a bunch of derelicts dressing up as Santa Claus and walking in a crowd together from place to place causing others who weren’t invited or were and declined a chance to gawk in wonder at 200 Santas walking down the street singing tunes together. In Seoul, living as a foreigner is a reason in itself to be stared at as far as Koreans are concerned so giving them even more reasons to wonder about our Western wiles should always be taken advantage of. This way, perhaps they will ask other questions aside from the top five: Where are you from? How old are you? Are you married? Do you have a boy/girl friend? Can you eat Korean spicy food?

The night started early at 5:30 at Beer O’clock in Sinchon which filled up quickly, which clearly the leaders weren’t expecting. With the power of Facebook and the amount of people that are accessing it and spreading events like this it’s a wonder they didn’t foresee the amount of Santas that shown to show. So, they put one lone Santa on the corner to direct a second group to another nearby bar called Yale Town. Since there were two bars and the leaders had nothing on them to identify them as such when people started talking about leaving at 7 to the next place no one really knew who to follow so no one moved. Finally, around 7:30 after the message was spread again that we were leaving and the Santas were to meet outside people got up to move. Out in the street our dear leaders decided this was an opportune time to sing loudly and get as much attention as we could. After completing a few rounds of tunes we started to walk to the next place, however, about a block down the street one leader, or one loud fellow, told people to stop in the convenience store and stock up for the walk. This was clearly a mistake as could be seen afterward when people started walking in first one group and then in smaller groups but with few people knowing the exact location of the next round of drinks. One group ended up ahead while a second group finally got a move on forty minutes later and with the below freezing temperatures this second group also decided to take a gander at a local bar half way to the next place to warm up and get a drink. By the time the second group joined up with the first it was an hour and a half after we’d first started off together. Back together in one large group it was difficult to find people if you left to go to the bar or to the bathroom since everyone was wearing the same outfit and from behind you could only tell your friend if you knew their height and the way they tend to stand. But even that wasn’t so helpful.

The group took over Ho Bar III, not to be mistaken with Ho Bar I, Ho Bar II, Ho Bar IV, Ho Bar Luxury or Ho Bar V, for a couple hours until the message was spread that we were to reconvene spirted Santa activities in Hongdae park just around the corner. By this time, even with the blow freezing temperatures, everyone was clearly much wamer so being outside for an hour wasn’t too much to ask for. Some people were dancing, some were singing the prescribed carols, and some were playing Santa games. When people started complaining of chills the party moved to Gorilla bar. All in all just the walking down the street with a group of people all dressed as Santas really made my night. Nothing absurd occured and for the most part everyone was a jolly old soul and even the Koreans around us perked up at the sight of us and said Merry Christmas. Yes, indeed, this will be a Merry Christmas.

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