Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Korea7 | Day 2

Aaah, a good 12-hour long rest was just what I needed after a long day yesterday.

Today was one of my more relaxed days. I was still a bit tired and my throat felt strangely stuffed today.
Before coming to Korea, I'd cleaned out my wardrobe and donated about 1/3 of my clothes away.
Today was a calm day where I just wanted to shop around for clothes a bit and look for things to buy for my family and closest friends. For this, I headed to Myeongdong (명동) - both because of the big variety of stores and because this was where I could find the Chosungah22 brand according to Olivia, whom I will talk about in another post.
I took quite a few random pictures in the street today. They aren't all completely clear but I think they caught the overall busy feeling of Myeongdong even on a less crowded day such as today.

More random pictures from today's adventures!

I found a pretty dark green shirt and a black skirt in Forever21. While I was in the changing room, I heard that same emergency alert we heard back when the earthquake struck Pohang last year.
It went off twice but I couldn't figure out where it was coming from so my original thought was that maybe the building was on fire? I couldn't hear anyone running around or panicking so I figured that probably wasn't it and put my clothes back on. Turns out one of the alarms was coming from my phone in my shorts and the second was probably from another customer.

It's always a bit freaky getting texts like this since I'm still not fluent in Korean. You know that something dangerous is happening somewhere but not exactly what it is and how afraid you should be. This one said Seoul so I was a little shaken at first. I asked my friends what it meant later and it was essentially just asking people to use public transportation tomorrow since the level of yellow dust (미세먼지) was going to be high tomorrow.
Discussing the reason for why the air was this bad yesterday and today (this was the reason my throat was acting up) can quickly get political and since I haven't looked too much into the subject, I'd prefer to not talk too much about it. The thing about this dust is that there, to my understanding, are different sized particles and that the smallest ones are tiny enough to enter your blood streams. The best thing to do in these cases is to spend as little time outside as possible and to wear protective masks if you do go out.

One of the things Jasmin had asked me to buy was jjajangmyeon (짜장면) sauce. I went into this cool underground market to look for it but sadly couldn't find any.

I try to take at least one picture of myself every day while I'm here and as you can see, today was pretty warm compared to what I just came from back home. It was supposedly around 19°C today and then a little more chilly in the afternoon, which is why I'm wearing my Yonsei shirt in this picture.
Before this, while the day was at its warmest, I was picking out face masks for my mom when the workers asked me if I wasn't cold. "It's not summer now," the woman said. Well I was sweaty so~~
Back outside I saw this super fast-walking, important-looking guy that I decided to follow. I know that it sounds creepy and stalker'ish but with his fast pace, I was curious about what exactly was so important that he was almost jogging through the side streets. 
I lost track of him but I DID find this cool ramen place that I thought I'd come back to later during my trip (I didn't, sadly).

Outside again. This picture I took outside while standing in front of a big underwear store! I was quite excited.
It must have been one of the largest underwear stores I've been in so far and everything was adorable.

 I stayed in Myeongdong long enough for the street food stands to open (they open around 4pm) and got myself a nutella crepe before heading back home.

The subway was STUFFED and in my confusion about the many people getting off to give space for more people and then coming back in, I got off at the wrong stop. As I left the station, I was met by the beautiful night view of Dongdaemun Design Plaza (동대문디자인플라자 (DDP)).
Sometimes when people ask me what I like the most about Korea, I tell them 'the lights at night.' Coming from a smaller country, I really don't get to see lights on tall buildings like these very often.

Back in Hongdae (홍대), I had a late dinner at the Japanese restaurant that Celine and I went to a couple of times when we lived here.
I hadn't realized that it was already 9pm by the time my food arrived and soon the other guests left. The staff there chatted with me a little in Korean while cleaning up and preparing to close. I felt bad that I'd come this late since I didn't know exactly when closing time was but they seemed to like me. When I went up to pay, the guy there told me that I was the last customer today and he would give me this 30% coupon so that I could come back again another day. How neat!

I spent a little more time outside Hongdae before heading back home.
Every neighborhood has its own charm.

Back at the hostel, I met a French/Italian guy on the stairs and took the opportunity to ask him if he knew how to get to the rooftop. I was in the mood for exploring a little and my family always asks for pictures of the places I'm staying and the people I'm with.
The upper picture is taken at our rooftop and the one below is from the neighbor building. Imagine having grill parties at the same time and doing a cheers with the people on the other roof.
I went back to the common area to grab a glass of water before going down to my own room to take more pictures. The French/Italian guy was still outside in the midst of a video call with a friend as as I opened the door, he screamed something in Italian and everyone's eyes went wide hahaha.

This is the hallway and the first thing you see when stepping inside the floor I stayed on. At the end is the biggest bathroom, my room, and a beauty area.
I appreciated the full body mirror in the morning when I was checking my outfits before heading out.
But the beauty area was my favorite spot. It's the first time I've been in a guest house that had a place like this and I tell you, the light was just perfect. I did my make-up here almost every day and this was also where I made my two new friends Delphine and Sojeong (소정).
To the left is the bathroom and the dark door leads to my dorm room. The doors to the rooms are covered both on the outside and inside in foam to better isolate against noise.
I'd brought my computer so I could work on my finals papers while here but the security lockers outside were too small. Sojeong, who worked at the hostel, offered to keep my computer with her or to let me borrow her lock for my luggage if the one I'd bought didn't fit. It did fit but that was incredibly sweet of her.
The last picture here is from inside the room. There are two other bunk beds that I couldn't fit into the picture but the top bunk to the left was my bed.

Tomorrow I have a meeting at the Danish embassy here in Seoul so I spent the rest of my evening preparing for that.

I might have mentioned in other posts how I like to find songs to listen to over and over while I'm traveling so that I, when I hear it again at a later time, automatically think back of my adventures.
I didn't pick any specific songs for this trip before coming so instead I figured I'd just share some of the songs, new or old, that I've been listening to today in one way or another.

•°☆~〜Music of the day〜~☆°•

← Return to Day 1                                                                                                        Continue to Day 3 

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