Sunday, February 28, 2016

Seoul 2015 - 14/16

Welcome back to my posts about our trip to Seoul last summer! Let's just continue where we left off and let me tell you how we spent the day (and night!) on August 2nd.

Today I went to Insadong with Camilla to buy the last presents for our families and friends.
At that point I still needed to buy something for Emilie, whom I never feel like I can find something good enough for. That day, too, I feared that I wouldn't be able to find anything for her until I saw the stand selling dragon's beard. No. It wasn't beard and especially not from a dragon but rather a traditional Chinese sweet. (I thought it was Korean until I read up on it) and it was just 'exotic' enough to be the perfect gift.
So I bought a package (it was like 20 pieces I think) and while the guy working there was making them, he asked me where I was from. "Denmark," I said, to which he replied: "Oh cool" and finished wrapping them up.
Camilla was trying to find the most Korean gift possible for her dad and had gone into a traditional pottery store. Back then I wasn't very interested in ceramics (It changed after I learned how important celadon had been during Goryeo and the Joseon dynasty) so I just stood outside waiting. I guess if you stand there long enough and look like you're considering buying something, they'll lower the price like they did to me.
Anyways! While I was standing there and Camilla was inside the store paying, I made eye-contact with the guy who sold me the dragon's beard and he called out: "Denmark, Denmark!" and waved me over the moment Camilla was leaving the other store. We did a brofist before he turned to Camilla and asked if she wanted some as well but she had already bought some yesterday by one of his colleagues.
Then he asked: "How old are you? Do you have boyfriend?" to which we both answered no.
We both shrugged our shoulders before he reached out to shake our hands.
"I love you! "Give me your number. I am king of Korea!"
Camilla and I turned to each other and laughed.
"Okay welcome to Korea! *shakes our hands again* Have a good day and enjoy your stay!"

When we were leaving, we noticed a big crowd had gathered and as we got closer, we saw the cameras. We suspected that they were filming something for maybe a drama because in the middle of the whole thing there was this tall guy in a white shirt who seemed to be the center of attention as he walked around, seemingly talking to himself.

A quick picture that I snapped on the way back to the hostel. It's a preeeetty different environment compared to the other places we went to. But was safe and clean and in the nights it would be filled with the scents from various restaurants.

Back at the hostel I messaged Kong and we planned to meet up with him in Gangnam (강남) to have dinner when he was off from work. He picked me, Philip, John, and Camilla up at the subway station (I rushed into him and we had a dramatic reunion in the form of a hug) and then we headed off to a place that a friend of his had recommended. Cindy and Alex had come back around this time but they were too tired from the bus ride to join us.

The place was called JangEO and if you'd like to go, you should find it on this address:
24, Gangnam-daero 55-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul.
(서울 서초구 강남대로55길 24 장이오)

When we got inside (or actually down. You'll have to walk down the stairs), we were greeted by the receptionist who lead us to a table at the very end (beside the little cart with a handkerchief hanging).
The place looked really fancy and was also a little more pricey than the other places we had gone to - but nothing that would ruin you financially.
We weren't sure what to get and just let Kong order for us. Soon after, the waiter came back with soup, side dishes, and some cold tea that was supposedly really healthy.
Afterwards each of us had a bowl of rice and some more side dishes placed in front of us. The little 'pancakes' in the small bowl to the right were made out of vegetables. They came in two different colours and one of them had pieces of squid in them while the other one was just vegetables.
Other than that we had what I remember to be some fermented vegetables, kimchi (김치), and some sort of soft nut that we tried eating with the cold tea.
Then came the main dish! To the left we have some more kimchi (김치) and to the right pork pieces and enoki mushrooms, which I have grown to like a lot. As we were sitting there, eating the other foods and chatting, Kong suddenly stops and asks: "Why haven't you eaten? Don't you like it?", referring to the meat.
Now that we'd grown accustomed to black 'plates' like this being grills to cook our food on, we were surprised to hear that the food was already done when it was served! The mail had been boiled and was supposed to be eaten like this while the black 'plate' just kept it heated.
And here we were waiting for it to cook..
When we'd finished, my eyes fell on the other side dishes - especially these little white things. I jokingly said that it looked like little animals with eyes. Well, Kong took a look and confirmed my statement, they were tiny shrimps!
We decided to all give them a try and as I was about to eat mine, I made eye-contact with it! Oh.Mygod ˚º·(˚ ˃̣̣̥ д ˂̣̣̥ )º·˚
But I ate it and it was like eating pure salt. There was no taste but salt.
Afterwards we walked outside to look around and find a coffee shop.
At the coffee shop Kong asked me what I thought would be good and we found two interesting smoothies. He ordered one, I ordered the other and then we tasted the other one's afterwards. Kong and I were the last ones to order due to my ever-so-amazing indecisiveness and when it was my turn to order, he gave me a small push and told me to order in Korean. I semi panicked right there.
"하나 [name of drink] 주세요" (horrible incorrect Korean for 'one [name of drink] please'), I said.
*le cringes*
Then the girl taking our order asked me something in Korean and after having stood there looking blankly at her for a couple of seconds, Kong asked me if I wanted it hot or cold.

My mom had been very excited about Kong and I meeting again after so long but we forgot to take a picture together in the airport (as she'd requested) so we snapped a few before leaving the café.
I love how we matched! Kong had grown so much taller since last time I saw him (he was just a few centimeters taller than me) and bleached his hair. The one below was blurry but I like the face he was making ♥(ˆ⌣ˆԅ)
Kong rode the subway with us some of the way before he had to get off and then Philip, John, Camilla, and I went back to the hostel.
In the morning, Jinbo and Bangjoo had invited us to play basketball with them and their friends from the bar at 2am. Yes, 2am. I think it was Jinbo who told us that they all used to play basketball when they were younger and they would play in the night because it was a lot cooler in the night. So when the bar closed, me, John, the Spanish girls, the guys from the hostel, and the guys from the bar split up into the different cars and then they drove us to... I forgot the name of the place but It was close to the river.
We divided into teams and one of my teammates was a tall guy from the bar that had caught Camilla's interest. He didn't speak a word of English though. I forgot his name so every time we passed to each other, he'd yell 'Rushi' while I'd go 'tall guy'! That was a beautiful friendship right there.

After one game we took a break before the next. I went with John to buy some water and then we took a stroll down to the river.
It wasn't as hot as during the day... but it wasn't cold either. I ran around in a tank top and it was perfect.
Down near the river you couldn't hear a sound. Everything was so peaceful~ (except for a horde of bloodthirsty mosquitoes that were out to get John).
We climbed down to some big rocks bordering the river and stayed a while to have a chat. I had let some things build up the past few days so this was very much needed on my part and I was so happy that John would stay with me and listen.
John dropped his phone down between the stones and was scared half do death for a moment. With my phone we lit up the hole it had fallen into and saw that it had landed, face down, so that it just exactly didn't touch the water and in the end we got it up without the slightest scratch. Phew!
We walked back to the others and stayed for maybe half an hour before being driving back to the bar by the bar guys and returning to the hostel.

← Return to 13/16                                                                                                         Continue to 15/16 

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