Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Seoul 2015 - 8/16

Another post from Seoul! Here's how our group spent the day on Monday July 27th!

Since we'd all gone to sleep so late in the night the day before, it took us a while to muster enough courage to leave our beds. Eventually it didn't happen before in the early afternoon.

And not before John had come to wake us up with his aegyo ~

For breakfast we went to the Japanese crepe place now that they were finally open again and I had the most mouth-watering banana and chocolate pancake ever.

When we'd finished eating, we hopped on the subway to Myeongdong (명동) for today's adventures: to visit a real cat café and, of course, some shopping!
It seems like I didn't succeed in catching many in any of my pictures but there were actually a 'lot' of foreigners here compared to many of the other places we went. Most likely this was because Myeongdong is one of the main shopping districts in Seoul.
You see the girl there walking with an umbrella - not because it was raining but as a measure to protect her skin from too much sun.
Ooh this picture. I really like it for some reason. Poor John in the background looks so tired though!

It didn't take us more than maybe ten minutes before we found the cat cafe in one of the side streets (and if you want to go and don't know where to look, worry not as there are people stranding in the street, dressed in cat (and dog) costumes ,with big signs to hand out folders and show you which way to go).

If you have some sort of GPS to follow, here's the address to the one we went to:
(2nd floor) 37-14 Myeongdong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul.
서울 중구 명동8길 37-14 3층 캣 카페 고양이 놀이터
Before entering the café, there's a small room outside where you must place your shoes and change into these pink slippers provided. I'll say this though - It's a CAT café. It's not a huge room and there are a lot of cats. Be prepared for the smell that might hit you like a wall to the face once you step inside.

Inside you will have to disinfect your hands and also pay an entrance fee worth 8000₩.

Here we're taking turns to order the optional beverage that is included in the entrance fee.
Everywhere you looked: cats. The chairs? Cats. Tables? Cats. Floor? Cats. On you? Cats. Even here on the counter. Of course you could buy cat scarfs (as seen in the picture) and other accessories for your own cat if you happened to have one at home.
There were also rules, mind you (you would be handed a paper with these (in English too) once you paid the fee). Cats wearing scarves in specific colours were not to be touched as they could be sick or too young, you could not take pictures using flash, you should not wake the cats up if they were sleeping, and you were not allowed to lift them. There were more rules but these are the only ones I remember now.
Down on the floor there were toys and boxes for the cats to play in. The girl you see with the red hair is an employee who sat down and began to brush some of the more fuzzy ones.
And do you see the naked cat right in front of me?!? That was the first time I had touched one of those and it was so weeeeird! It didn't like being stroked (it felt like touching someone's cheek right after they have shaved) so you had to clap it instead.

Our time there was short lived as Philip's allergies starter acting up although he'd taken medicine - but it was okay because time was flying by and we had more plans for the day. I'm just happy that we could all go together in the first place.

For a moment we split up - the guys went to look for shoes and clothes and Camilla, Cindy, and I looked for make-up. In many of the make-up store you'd see girls (a few guys too) standing in the door openings or right outside the shops and announce sale deals and what not. Most of them would have freebies to lure you into the store. I spoke to one of them as she handed me a face mask and she said that all costumers got one as long as we stepped inside to have a look. And if we didn't buy anything, that was fine as well. We could still keep the mask without trouble.
Seoul is the first city I've been to where you practically get something like that just to for entering a store. And although I know they do it to attract costumers, I prefer this method way over the way that people yell at you and almost push you inside their boutique as they do in some European countries.
We had one mixed experience though. Camilla was busy doing something so Cindy and I were strolling around when a worker from a SAEM store literally grabbed Cindy by the wrist, handed her a face mask, and proceeded to pull her inside. Cindy suffered no harm but it was quite a shock .___.
That only happened that one time though.

We reunited with Camilla and I had a minor fangirl moment outside the store.

banila co. was another make-up store that we went to and I love how everything in there was so pink and girly. One thing you must know about their make-up stores though is that the employees there cast their eye on you as soon as you step inside - and that gaze will stay on you until the moment you either leave or pay. However, compared to the gazes that I received from store owners in back when I visited Croatia, who seemingly did not want me to touch anything and thought that I was going to steal from them, these girls (and guys) more than anything want you to try their products and offer you advice. I've asked many workers for help regarding which products were most suitable for my skin type and also asked their personal opinions when I was unsure which lipstick looked best on me. Their gaze is something that one will have to get used to (and yes, it does feel a bit awkward when they look at you and stay close to you when you move around the store (some more than others)), but two things that you cannot take from them are that: 1) They know their products and they have answers ready if you ask for help. And 2) They all use make-up themselves and they look stunning. It really made me want to step up my game 0
banila co. was more pricey than a lot of the other stores we went into - just a heads up!

Okay, so if you use Korean make-up products you are likely to have come across some rather interesting products once in a while but have you seen this before? I was a somehow shocked, yet somehow expected to see a patch for the baby belly fat... but an elbow patch? I almost wanted to get one just to see what it'd do.

Our group came back together and we went into an H&M to look around. When the rest of us were done, Camilla was not even halfway and she ended up spending half a century and a day in there.
Philip and I spent the time outside the store talking and people watching and I realized how many of them actually watched me as well.
The spear that you see above the Pacific Hotel building is the Namsan Tower (N서울타워).
I also went around a little on my own and looked at some of the many stands in the street. There were food stands and stands selling things like clothes, scarves, jewelry, etc.
Time flew by that day and it was getting close to 6pm. None of us felt hungry enough to have a whole so we snacked on food from the stands.
Among this was fried twirl-cut potatoes on sticks (tornado potatoes), chicken on sticks, and waffles with ice cream.
This was a store that we passed by while eating our food. You can find so many Samsung products; phones, TVs, fridges, and even elevators made by Samsung (the elevator at the hostel was made by Samsung), but have you ever seen Samsung clothes? It was super stylish! There were even watches in there but it was preeeetty pricey so we just walked in, had a look, and left again.

Seeing how k-pop idols all the time most of the time show off some really cool hairstyles and since Martina from Eatyourkimchi had recommended the place, we wanted to check out a Korean hair salon. I don't think it was that much cheaper than the prices I'm used to, but it was cheap compared to Norway so Camilla ended up perming her hair. Cindy had hers cut to and dyed and John got the typical 'Korean boy bowl cut' hairstyle. Philip stayed and waited for them and Alex and I went out to buy presents for his younger sister - that mostly consisted of make-up.
He knew that I had a beauty blog and had some knowledge within the field so I was really glad that I was able to help him (^◡^‐ ).
One of the stores we went to was an Etude House and we discovered this small staircase in the back of the room. Upstairs was the most princess'y balcony I had ever seen and I couldn't help but take a picture.

Perming Camilla's hair took a long time so once we were done buying presents, we just strolled around and discovered Milky Bee at:
11 Myeongdong 8ga-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul.
서울 중구 명동8가길 11
Milky Bee is an ice cream shop that sells ice cream cones shaped like roses. There are four different kinds, practically named A, B, C, and D.
We were mesmerized so Alex bought one and we sat down inside to chat. The white ice cream tasted a bit like yogurt while the pink was strawberry flavored. This actually tasted like real strawberries, not the generic strawberry ice cream that just tastes... like ice cream. Aaah, it's hard to describe. I guess you have to try it yourself. My point is: it was good.
When Alex had finished eating, we messaged the others to check if they were ready to go. They almost were so we could just head back. The problem was that we had forgotten which way we came from... Alex, too, had a really bad sense of direction so that was just great ^^;
All we remembered was the name of the hair salon so we tried asking people and at some point we found it - it turned out that there were two of these hair salons in the area and we had gone to the wrong one. In the end we found it and just in time for them to finish.

Back at the hotel we split up. John and Philip went to their room while Alex moved into another room for the night as he was feeling ill in Myeongdong (명동) and didn't want to get them sick as well. Us girls went to our own room to chill and sing. Both Camilla and Cindy sings and after having heard me join in on them singing a few times, they wanted to try harmonizing. It was so much fun and I actually think it sounded pretty good!

Some hours later, our internal clocks were completely messed up and NOW our bodies decided that it was time for dinner. At 2.30 in the night.
Alex stayed home to sleep but the rest of us went to a place not too far away. It felt kind of like a bar and I was so excited to hear that they were playing I remember and B.A.P in there! Ermergerd.
Our nightly snack dinner consisted of fries, fried chicken, potato boats, smiling potato faces, chips, and salad with some of that sweet apple-flavored dressing/sauce.
When we got home we went straight to bed. So much for trying to follow the Korean time zone.

Our adventures from today from 5:06 to the end of the video.

← Return to 7/16                                                                                                         Continue to 9/16 

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