Continued from Seoul Day 2.
Another day in wonderful Seoul where the internet works and the people are nice. We’ll be walking to the district of Myeongdong not too far away from our hotel.
Vandalism can be fun.
Oh, memories of headache and short of breathe.
Good, we are going in the right direction. The tower of the Myeongdong catholic church can be seen.
Some late breakfast in a Dunkin Donuts. I guess I’ll try their cronut…
Can’t say that it’s amazing. Tasted like a…donut.
Even God’s store needs security…seriously, who’s going to break into this place and steal a figurine of Mary?
OK, that’s that.
Very popular shopping area over here.
We are hungry, we want something to eat.
Ohhh, food court.
Still craving sushi…This place is filled with ladies who lunch.
Nice to come to a country where we feel safe drinking the water served.
Easily the best sushi we’ve had on this trip…also the most expensive sushi we’ve had on this trip. Still a little cheaper than Austin prices though. Soooo good!
Ohhhh!…But unfortunately, no one in Asia seems to carry Ultimate 81, which is what I wear exclusively.
Many people in Seoul wear snickers, and New Balance is very popular here.
This place makes handmade cosmetics, so I guess they are making it out here in public?
That’s a lot of shops. Shops everywhere in Asia.
Oh, look, Crystal Jade, we ate dim sum at this restaurant back in Shanghai. I wonder if the service is much better here in Seoul.
Some more walking and we arrived at the Seoul City Hall.
At least this bank is honest about something.
They had set up this in front of the city hall. We were guessing that it’s some sort of memorial for victims of some sort.
We were originally going to go to this park across from the city hall, but it seems like they had some sort of event…so we didn’t. We are tired of walking around, maybe time to go back to hotel.
Back on the subway to head home.
So many lines and stops in the Seoul subway.
This is one alley over from our hotel. All over Seoul, there are these Hof restaurants, which is just the South Koreans’ way of saying beer bar.
Street stalls setting up early, starting at 5ish. We had spent the second half of the afternoon chilling in the hotel room, but now it’s time to head out again.
This is very exciting!! We are heading out to meet my friends, MT, CT and baby CT. They had just moved to Seoul from Austin about a month ago for a job and now they’ll be living the expat lifestyle for the next year or so.
This subway line goes to Gangnam, the ritzy part of town. We very soon realized that there are plastic surgery ads covering the subway.
3 of the 4 ads in our little section of the subway were plastic surgery ads. I read online that as many as 1 in 5 Korean’s have had some sort of cosmetic procedure done. Eeekk!!
Reached our exit station in the Gangnam area. There is yet more ads for plastic surgery.
All those ads were all next to one another. We look at every single girl, and sometimes guys, with suspecting eye. Many who have had work done are a little obvious. They are really big into having double folded eye lids and nose jobs. So many of the Korean girls look almost exactly the same because they all shoot for this same idealized look, it’s kind of strange and odd. It’s the worst when you turn on the TV and all the actresses look the same.
The Koreans, like many other Asian countries, have yet to discover the sports car. Almost all cars here are sedans, and they are almost all in some sort of grey scale color. The orange cars are the taxis.
There’s a wine shop right around the corner from the subway, so we popped in to get a bottle of bubbly for their housewarming present.
Now, we wait at the exit.
We are supposed to meet at 6:40…but they are running a little late. I ended up popping into a nearby Starbucks to get some wifi so that I could try to contact them. Got an email from MT saying that they are running late since she got held up at work.
Look!!! It’s MT!!! So great to see an old friend(13 years…eek!) in a faraway land.
Followed by MT’s husband CT and baby CT!!
That’s a tall sign.
Samsung, who MT works for, gives her a company phone, an ancient Galaxy S1(I didn’t even know there was such a thing). Hahahaha. MT said that she couldn’t even find a case for it it’s so old. Odd that Samsung would give their employees such an outdated device.
Good to know that it’s good plastic surgery.
Found the restaurant…with very little help from the old Galaxy S1.
MT gave us three choices for dinner, traditional Korean food, Korean BBQ, or Chimek(fried chicken and beer). We chose traditional Korean food because we figured that’s a meal that RL and I would have the toughest time of knowing what to order by ourselves.
Look at how cute baby CT is! He’s got the biggest eyes!
Come on baby CT, you know you want it!
Geonbae!! We discovered this amazing thing tonight, Somaek!! It’s beer mixed with soju, and it is super smooth and delicious…not to mention potent.
Tofu covered in sesame.
Mung bean noodles.
During dinner, we caught up and talked about life in Korea. The Ts mentioned that on tv there is a lot of cussing in English that’s not censored. Lit cigarettes are blurred out(but only when the person is actually smoking it, not just holding it). We also saw on the tv in our hotel that knives are blurred out, but guns are not. It’s odd what they try to censor over here. Hey, at least the internet isn’t censored!!
Our waitress prepares more food. They also have call buttons on the tables here in Korea. The waitstaff does not come by unless called or bringing food.
Fancy looking kimchi.
Little Korean tacos.
See JB, tacos all over the world.
And the food just keeps on coming.
OK, think this is our last dish! That was a lot of food, and it just kept on coming and coming. CT and I are having a good buzz from drinking somaek all night. Neither of us has had a drinking partner for awhile(RL is a lightweight) and its good to have someone who can keep up!
The baby gets hungry and is tired of watching us all eat.
FEED ME NOW!
And of course…with formula comes the portable diaper changing station. According to the Ts, there are no diaper changing stations here in Korea.
Oh wait, this is the last dish.
Baby CT is intrigued with my beard(not a common thing here).
Happy after meeting up with old friends and drinking somaek!
How strange, there’s a sign here for Jim Thompson Casa…Why would House be in Spanish? I wonder what it is and whether it’s actually related to the Jim Thompson House in Bangkok.
The night is not quite over yet. We got on the subway once again in search of dessert. This is the actual Gangnam subway station.
Looks like a rather compromising position. One of the extremely rare beggars that we’ve run across in Seoul.
Gangnam is happening!! It’s Friday night and there are thousands of people roaming the streets here. This is like the Beverly Hills of Seoul and has some of the most expensive real estate in the country.
Came all the way here, might as well get a couple of photos with the sign.
What everybody does when they take a picture with this. We will be one of the pack!
This is the place.
I know baby CT, everything is fascinating!
Delicious shaved ice with fruits and milk. Good stuff.
After dessert, we parted ways with the Ts. They’ve got a wedding to attend tomorrow morning, actually close to our hotel, and if schedule permits, we may meet up again tomorrow for chimek. Either way, it was great seeing them tonight and we had lots of fun. It was so relaxing, almost felt just like hanging out back in Austin.
Down the subway again, and this time another beggar. I guess since all the rich people are here in Gangnam, the beggars figured that this was the place to be.
The buzz is starting to wear off, and with that, we are getting increasingly tired. But no, must rally! Our night is not over yet! We are going swing dancing here in Seoul. Seoul has probably the biggest swing dance scene in the world. It would be a shame to come all the way here and not go swing dancing here.
Ugh, the train is super crowded tonight.
And we’ve got a long way to go. I think something like 17 stops.
RL is fading…
Seriously, why is North not pointed up on this map? About an hour later on the subway, we’ve finally reached our stop. Ugh, so far.
LOL!! This is indeed Friday night.
This area is near Hongnik University, so there are a lot of bars in this area.
This makes me want to hang out with the RSC. We’d tear this place up.
Found the swing dance bar. Much of the swing dancing here in Seoul happens in swing dance bars.
We hear the music!!!
We paid a cover charge of $5 and that comes with dance shoes. You can’t dance on the floor with the same shoes that you arrived in, so you either dance in their shoes or bring your own dance shoes. Believe it or not, I’ve never worn dance shoes before in my life.
Let’s see, what’s the dancing like here in Seoul. First of all, it’s about 11:45pm and the dancing keeps going until the last person leaves. The check in thinks that it’ll last until about 12:30 tonight or so. I suspect that’s the time these people leave because the subways stop running at around 1am.
The dancers here tonight at this hour were all advanced level dancers. Seriously amazing dancers here, with tons of flare and style. This part I expected. Now, what we were most impressed about was the music. Song after song, they played the most amazing swing dance songs. Many are songs that I already know, but just of a better rendition. I wish we had their DJ’s playlist for the Fed in Austin.
RL, being the only foreign girl here, gets asked to dance song after song.
I had a blast. The music is just so amazing that I just felt on the top of my dancing game. RL was really tired, so she couldn’t quite share my enthusiasm the same way.
Time to leave and try to catch the last subway home. We think the last train leaves a bit before 1am, and we checked with the front. They were really nice here and confirmed it for us.
Yes, still running!
Beat, we did a lot today.
Haha, the subway display has the blue screen of death.
We showed up at our end station, and it’s completely empty.
The urban stream at night. It’s so quiet out here right now at this hour.
The street food stalls are still going strong though.
To be continued at Seoul Day 4 Part 1.