Saturday, September 2, 2017

Day 11: We tried hanboks

Hello all you lovely people following our adventures~

Our first day of school is nearing so we I am trying to get as much out of the days left while I we can.
Remember the girls we met in Hongdae on our second day here? the ones who invited us to join their Culture Club!

Today was one of the days they had arranged a get-together! I really wanted to go since we were going to try on hanboks (Korean traditional clothing). Celine seemed to have preferred a lazy day at home but she ended up going with me.

We met up with a bunch of other foreigners and Korean girls at Gyeongbokgung station and walked to a small underground place where you could rent and possibly also buy hanboks. The Korean girls had arranged with the store that we could all get discounts because we were such a big group - so that was pretty cool!

There was a normal section and then a section with fancy looking hanboks. We decided to stay simple though. As long as I could wear a pretty-looking hanbok, I was happy!
They also decorated the hair on those of us, who wanted it.
The man to the left was super funny. When Celine paid, he asked her if she were Miss Denmark and when he did peoples' hair, mine included, he pretended to be licking his hand before giving it a final touch.
We ended up being a lot more than the girls had expected! This meant that we had to get outside the shop and split into groups while waiting for the rest.
One girl handed us these little mission cards that we could follow if we wanted.
Some of the other girls. The 3 to the right were all wearing the more fancy hanboks.
Once everyone had gotten out, we headed to Gyeongbokgung Palace!
I asked one of the Korean girls why they had made this club and she told me that they saw so many foreigners come to Korea but that many of these foreign guests didn't know about the Korean culture. That's why they made it! To share their culture with us. I think that's a great cause!
It's not easy to tell from this cloudy picture but that day the weather was suuuuuper hot! There was a real-feel of about 34°C!

  I suppose the good weather also meant a lot of visitors because HOLY COW THERE WERE SOOO MANY PEOPLE
The girls would stop, point to our surroundings, and tell us things like "this was the King's road and if anyone but him used it they were killed" and "this is called a 수로 and means a channel (literally a water way", etc.
This was the King's throne.
We split into even more groups and our group somehow got separated from the rest. Our Korean wasn't very familiar with the place and we ended up walking all over the place. But that meant we got to see this beautiful place.
It was a happy day. I felt so beautiful.
Celine told me before that she felt awkward in pictures but reality is that she shines through in 50% of the pictures I take of her. In the other half she blinks.
The tall building you can see in the background is part of a museum that is located near the palace buildings.
We reached a very picturesque spot!

Celine has this thing about walking in front of me as I'm taking pictures. I caught her mid-blink!
I don't know whyyy we look so elongated here!

The Korean girl, Chaeyeon, said she really liked this picture! It felt so natural to her, she said.

Sitting like this was a lot harder than it looks like.

Celine and I take good care of each other here. We always grab the other when she gets too close to the cars and especially Celine likes to grab my wrist or arm when walking down stairs in the subway. This picture shows that part of our friendship 
Zodiac sign statues! Representing the year of the pig!
By this time we were feeling hungry but wanted to find something ourselves. The girls thanked us for coming and told us that they had yet another event this next weekend and that they would tell us more later. We parted with tham, changed out of hanbok and went to Insadong where Celine wanted to look for a present for a person, whose name I won't mention since they might be reading this.

A few days later, I received this video from two of the Korean girls, who had arranged the trip. It's so cute!

Back to the story! On our way to Insadong we passed these green spinning... things?

Last winter we had the greatest churros ever from a small shop in Insadong but it was no longer there and had been transformed into a clothing store. Celine saw another churro-selling shop and of course we bought some. We had to.
See? She's beaming!

We had stopped somewhere for food and while Celine had gone to the bathroom, I had noticed a large group of policemen walking down the street.
They had all gathered by the end of the street and on the opposite street there were even more!
We had walked right into a demonstration!
There was someone saying stuff into a mic or a megaphone and whenever he stopped, the crowd would aggressively wave their flags around.
And older Korean man told us how they were pro the impeached president Park Geun-Hye. They were making a new nationalistic party (I forgot the name) and were about to walk to the Blue House nearby where the current President stays.
Suddenly!! The crowd started moving and this very old and upbeat song started playing out loud!
The old man, who told us about the protest, asked Celine if he could have a picture taken with us and then he gave her a Korean flag to hold. We suspect it might be used for some sort of pro-Park propaganda later. Like, "Look! Even foreigners support her!" or something like that.
As we were watching the protest unfold, someone said my name. The two girls we took pictures with in hanboks had found us ! We walked with them shortly before parting again.
The shops seemed to be slowly closing and I wasn't feeling well due to a stomach ache so we only had a short walk down Insadong before heading to Ahyeon station to get home.
We did get to meet and donate towards some homeless dogs. Celine looked happy to have a chance to pet so many dogs at once.

In the evening I got a text from one of the girls, who had stopped us back in Hongdae saying that she was sad we didn't get to hang out more since much more people than expected showed up, and that she hoped we could hang out more next time. I'm looking forward to it. Those girls were really sweet!

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