Saturday, February 6, 2016

Seoul 2015 - 12/16

Weeeeeelcome back to my mini series about our vacation in Seoul! Today's post is actually way too overdue due to me having been so busy with school. I'm truly sorry > <
But ey! Now it's up! This day, Friday the 31st of July, was one of our more lazy days.

Although John had stayed out partying until 3am, he still managed to get up in the morning and on a bus back to Masan where his [then] girlfriend lived. I was impressed. Cindy and Alex were still in Busan (부산) so today it was just me, Philip, and Camilla.

I don't have anything written down from this say so I apologize for this not being able to elaborate more. However, like I just stated in the first piece of text, today was a lazy day, which is probably the reason I didn't bother to write anything down.
The day started out slow with us sleeping in and when I finally decided that it was time to leave my bed, I walked down to the convenience store and bought a kimbap (김밥). When we first came to Korea, some of us had troubles opening these without breaking the seaweed so while Camilla was getting ready, I took a couple of pictures to show you how it's done!

Step 1:
Follow the instructions on the packaging. If you succeed = great. Enjoy your kimbap. If you failed miserable = go to Step 2 to learn how to do it correctly the next time.

Step 2:
Alright, here's how to do it. Grab the piece of wrapping above the little red '1' and pull it straight down and up again when you get to the backside.

Step 3:
Grab both lower corners (I obviously couldn't do it since I had to take the picture) and pull simultaneously.

Step 4:
Now you're ready to eat! 잘 먹으세요!

Okay back to the post!
Camilla was all ready to go but Philip had promised to go meet and help an acquaintance from Sweden, who was moving to Korea, so we went out alone. Since we didn't have any specific plans for the day, we thought that this was the perfect chance to buy the last souvenirs before going home. When we came down, James, the owner of the hostel, and some of the guys working there were sitting outside the hostel eating these packs of mango jelly that one of the guys had bought and sent home from Taiwan.
Not minding the fact that it was a rather strange feeling eating jelly from little packs of paper and plastic, they were good! It was a refreshing treat in such hot weather.

If you're going to buy souvenirs, Insadong (인사동) (and Namdaemun (남대문) I've heard) is the place to go! After having thought about a suitable gift for Emilie for some days, I had finally decided upon buying some of the dragon beard candy sold there.

Other than Emilie's dragon beards, I also bought myself a backpack like Camilla's and some cute bags for Maria and Jasmin. Camilla also finally found something for her dad and stepmom.
Philip joined us around this time and we ran into this guy, who had been entertaining a group of kids.

The guy was promoting for a shopping center down one of the side streets and we went in there to check it out afterwards.
There was a piano placed in the middle of everything and a guy was playing but other than listening to the live music, we didn't spend much time there. If I remember correctly, it was more of a place with a bunch of coffee shops and not-the-cheapest clothes stores.
Around 5.30-6pm we decided to move on. Philip was going to watch some of his friends perform as well as dance himself in Hongdae in the evening so I went with him while Camilla returned to the hostel with our souvenirs. She was having a stomach ache and really didn't feel well.

Hongdae (홍대) was already way crowded by this time and we were quick to find the popular spots with people dancing. As we were standing there watching, some of Philip's friends called him over. Short after, two Korean women came up to me to chat while we were watching the dancers. When they left again, Philip was still with the group of dancers waiting to perform so I walked off on my own to discover more of Hongdae.
I stopped at the next big gathering of people to watch a magician perform just a bit further down the street. The guy didn't speak but instead flapped his arms like mad and made loud exclamations for a comical effect all the while The Lion Sleeps Tonight was playing in the background.
Ever since a magician performed in my my kindergarten, I've been impressed by this trickery. And I actually managed to get a clip of one of his tricks! How did he do it? I don't know!

After having watched for a while, I walked up towards the Trick Eye Museum (트릭아이미술관) since there are a couple of clothes stores there that I really like. I looked around for a while but it was getting late'ish so I thought I'd go back to Philip and see if he'd like to grab some food with me. On my way back, a group of 3 passed me up (I hadn't seen them so I jumped back a little when one of them suddenly talked to me). They were from out of town and had a foreign friend coming soon so they'd like to know if I knew of any good places to eat in the Hongdae area. Well, I was jut a tourist so I was unable to help them and we ended up just chatting a bit instead. 
I think I must have accidentally forgot to save these somewhere when I cleaned up my old phone because I couldn't find them anywhere when it was time to write these posts ㅠㅠ At least I was able to screenshot my Instagram but the quality is absolutely horrible;;
After having exchanged Kakaotalks and taken the mandatory selcas, we parted and I went back to Philip. He was still busy so I decided to go back to the hostel and check up on Camilla.

Once I came back, Camilla was nowhere to be found and she hadn't brought her phone. I thought that maybe she had just gone for a walk so I walked down and bought a piece of bread form the convenience store to chew on while waiting for her.
This was one of the better sweet breads that I ate while in Korea but it was still miles away from being even close to as good as good ol' Danish pastry. I have learned my lesson; stay away from breads in plastic packaging. To me it all feels like I'm eating a sponge without taste.

Selcas from the hostel room because I was content with my make-up that day!

After a while of waiting and still no Camilla in sight, I went down to the lobby to meet the hostel owner and some of the guys from the hostel. They had just come back from playing beer pong and told me that Camilla had gone out for a walk as she was feeling better and then later joined the Spanish girls going drinking again.
Amazing timing indeed.

I texted Philip telling him that Camilla was okay (we had both been super worried since there was no way of getting in contact with her) but that she wasn't coming back anytime soon. He told me to come back to Hongdae (홍대) and hang out with him and the Swedish girl.
James and the guys were now sitting outside the hostel enjoying ice cream that James had bought and he handed me one as well as I was on my way out.
Today was the first time I took the subway alone and I was so happy that I, on that exact day, had asked Philip to tell me how to get to Hongdae (홍대). If you have been riding the subway in Seoul, you'll know that a voice will tell you the stop you at and also the next stop every time you reach a new station. Well, I didn't pay enough attention and thought that this was the stop I had to get off at - It turned out that I got off a stop too late. This station was a little different than the other stations in the way that I could just go to the other side and take the subway back but had to go up the stairs and then down some other stairs to get to the one that would take me back. At that point I didn't know that so I went over to ask some guys a bit older than me for help. They hadn't a single clue about what I wanted or how to help me (but were fascinated and jumped back in surprised when I pointed at a map with the stations and said '이건' (= this/this thing)). One of them waved a young woman over and she was SO pretty I swear! The woman spoke English really really well and I got the help that I needed while the 3 guys were completely blown away by her beauty and English proficiency.

Because of my moment of getting lost, I was late to meet Philip and the girl, Sena, so our adventures together were short. Sena had arrived on that same day and needed to buy a few things. We hit it off well during the short time that we spent together though. Look at this hat that we found! (Try sing it like the Mary Poppins theme).

← Return to 11/16                                                                                                        Continue to 13/16 

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