Day: January 19, 2011

Was Upstairs, Now Downstairs – Foreigner Info Desk

Not going to win any prizes for that headline, but it’s been nearly a year since the “Foreigner Lounge” at Seoul Race Park was closed. During that time, there has continued to be an information desk outside the old lounge – which is now opened to all punters – offering support in various langauges. However, as that was on the fourth floor, nobody actually went there, so the KRA has relocated it to a prime position next to the general information desk on the first floor of the Luckyville Grandstand right by that stand’s main entrance.

From A Distance: The new "Multi-lingual Information Desk"...that's what we're going to call it!

The KRA operated a lounge with reserved seats for any overseas passport holder for a number of years but decided to stop offering this service in April 2010. While it was well used, the regulars generally consisted of those who had no need of its services – mainly Koreans holding foreign passports while the visiting groups could often prove a substantial handful – Gyongmaman was, on more than one occasion, thoroughly ashamed of the behaviour of some large groups of young foreigners who would bring in and consume large quantities of alcohol (banned by law at the track) and proceed to abuse the infinitely patient staff when they asked them to calm down. And it’s not as if they ever bet anything so it’s no surprise that it was eventually shut.

With many automated betting machines around the track offering service in English, it was felt a designated room was no longer required, however, the information desk remained and has now been made much more prominent. The desk provides multi-lingual staff (English, Chinese and Japanese) as well as guides on how to bet in several different languages. Although when Gyongmaman stopped by to clumsily attempt to flirt with say hello to the staff on Sunday afternoon they had run out of English language racecards, these too are generally available.

The desk is located next to the main Korean language information desk by the main entrance of the Luckyville Grandstand.