Friday, November 9, 2018

Korea7 | Day 5

Here's to day 5 of my 7th Korea trip!

Today I had an almost full day of hanging out with dongsaeng or "donsaeng," (돈생) as his nickname has turned into.

The weather was much better today after all the rain we got yesterday washed the dust out of the air. I took this picture while riding the subway.
We met at Suwon station (수원역), where I found these cool escalators that sort of evened out in the middle. Always remember to cherish the small wonders in life~
Neither of us ate before meeting up so our first plan was to have lunch. Donsaeng took me to a place called Pizza Mall where I,
after all these visits to Korea, 
had strange Korean pizza!
Okay mine wasn't THAT strange; it had sausages, rice cake, and hashbrowns on top. But even that is pretty non-standard for me.
But donsaeng's pizza slices were weird! One of them had barbeque sauce and big pieces of meat. I forgot the rest but I'm pretty sure they had put a bunch of 'Korean food' items on top of it - just like the rice cake on mine.
On the plate with ketchup, we had a side of 'corn cheese pop chicken,' which was pretty good.
Picking out the food was an experience in itself and I saw a lot of interesting food combinations.
Here at the sauce station you could choose between garlic sauce, onion dipping, honey syrup, hot sauce, and ketchup. Imagine honey syrup on your pizza.
And here's a quick shot of some of the pizza options.

Here we have sausage and rice cake pizza, gorgonzola pizza, pepperoni pizza, butter and cheese corn pizza (마약 in the Korean name is used to describe how addictively tasty it is), sweet potato pizza, cheese steak pizza, and BBQ and bulkogi (불고기) pizza.
Of course you could also have pasta.
How about some spicy chicken pasta, seafood rose pasta (what even is that?), or some sort of ramen pasta?

We were too full for dessert but look at this. The cake to the left of the brown and pink liquid had been shaped like a giant spider in the spirit of Halloween.

After eating, we walked to donsaeng's usual hair salon. He was getting a haircut and I had decided to get bangs again!
But before that, we took some pictures as we walked. Suwon has a completely different feeling from Seoul and I feel like the first picture here captures it well. It's a lot more quiet and also feels much older because the buildings aren't as modern as many places in Seoul.

At the hair salon, we were given drinks as soon as we came in and short after, donsaeng was placed in a chair.
It was a sweet, fruity drink.
While he was getting his haircut, I waited a couple of minutes before one of the hairdressers called me in to have my hair washed.
I love the contrast between the super serious-looking guy on the one side and then donsaeng and his thousand chins on the other.
The hairdresser was nice but she kept saying that I had super thin hair ㅠㅅㅠ Koreans don't know how good they have it with their super strong hair genes.
After the hair salon, we went straight to donsaeng's work, Daiso, to buy frames - we were going to a photo studio next!
I didn't think too much about it before going there, but now that I've come back (I'm writing this blog post in February 19'), I realize how unique an experience it was.

The photo studio was this small single room. You took pictures in one end-
-there was a waiting couch in the middle-
-and in the other end of the room was the editing and printing station.
A lot of the pictures in the studio were of couples or families.... AND THEN A BABY WITH A HAT. AAAAAAA
See when you go and have your pictures taken in Denmark (passport photos, which I believe Koreans also do in these studios?), they snap a quick picture, print it, and done.
But Korea is different!
 They will photoshop your picture for you!
Now that I've come back and looked more into it, I've found some hilarious blog posts by other non-Koreans, who found that their pictures had been photoshopped without them knowing. 

It was such an interesting experience!
After taking the pictures, she ran them through Photoshop and corrected little faults like the glare in donsaeng's glasses. They would probably do that in Denmark as well but
She was doing it so naturally and donsaeng was not reacting at all - as if this was completely normal!
I find it so interesting how they'll edit your pictures before printing them in Korea - as opposed to in Denmark where you'll have your picture taken and then be stuck with a bad hairday and messy make-up in your passport for the next 10 years (yes, my passport picture is goofy-looking).

I'll definitely be comparing the original vs. the Korean version next time I submit a picture for something official in Korea!
And here is the result! My only possibly complaint would be that my hair somehow looks a bit red here? and also that my shirt is blending in with my skin because everything has been lightened. But you know, it's a fun visual memory from a fun experience.

Afterwards we walked back to donsaeng's home and brought his dog out.
Korean and Danish pet cultures are VERY different. VERY.

Seen from Danish standards, I didn't feel like his dog, Howl (하울) was too well-behaved. He was pretty wild and I kept my distance. This might sound like I'm bashing on him but that is not my intention. I know that he would do anything for his dog and that it (sort of) listens to him - but it doesn't listen to his family members.
In short, I guess many Koreans see pets as animals whereas many Danish people see pets as members of the family and therefore treat them differently than Koreans.
It's a cultural difference that would probably be interesting to look into more.

Donsaeng's plan was originally to take Howl to a dog salon(?) and give him a bath. Then that plan changed into having ME give it a bath at the salon (please NO).
When we reached the salon.. there was nothing. Apparently it had closed down and there was no other pet salon in the area we were in. Howl could not get its bath today, which was perfectly fine with me.
Instead, we took Howl to a park. Donsaeng said that this was a very popular place for people to bring their dogs.
It was a pretty big place so I imagine it would be a good place to let them roam around.
I managed to get these adorable pictures of them.
Howl looks like a doof with its tongue hanging out like that. A cute but wild doof.
We were sitting down and everything was fine. There were some big speakers in the park that played soothing classical music and all. But then the leash slipped out of Donsaeng's hands and Howl was aLL OVER THE PLACE!
After a dramatic chase, donsaeng caught Howl and we could finally head towards their home to bring him home.

We crossed into a pretty little walking street with art from around the world.
It was time to take more strange selfies.
On the same street, I spotted this café. The name reminded me of this SHINee song and I had to have a picture to show Emilie later.
Here is another picture that I feel shows off the feeling of Suwon well.
Now that it was later in the day, the traffic was getting worse.
The picture below is also very Suwon'y to me.

After bringing Howl back home, we took the bus to another area with a lot of restaurants, karaoke rooms (노래방), arcades, and bars.
Inside the bus, donsaeng pointed out this holder for dust masks. If you didn't have one with you, you could grab one from the bus for free. It was nice to see them protecting the whole community's health.
Aaaand we arrived at the more lively place.
Donsaeng wanted to have 무한리필 ("infinite refill") meat so we quickly found a small, but popular-looking place.

One of the guys working there saw that I was wearing a light shirt and brought me this adorable blanket to protect my clothes with. I looked around and saw a couple of other girls with blankets too.
Time for another fun selfie session~

After eating, we took a short stroll around the place. There were now a LOT more people out in the streets and the restaurants were all busy. Many people were in the streets (but still nothing like, say, Hongdae in Seoul).
I like how colourful this picture turned out. It's often hard for me to catch the colours of the lights at night but this one was successful.
We still had a bit more time before I had to take the subway back to Seoul. Donsaeng had originally wanted to go to a jjimjilbang today and sleep there but after many attempts, I'd finally convinced him that that was NOT an option unless I wanted to look like a poodle. It's simply too steamy and I didn't want to have to spend an hour in the subway looking like that the next day.

Donsaeng was disappointed that I changed his plans so we looked around for something fun to do, before I left Suwon, and ended in up an arcade where we were the only customers.
- except for this man but I don't know what he was doing there.
We played a few games and then took some pictures in the photo machine outside while waiting for a bus to the station.
These turned out pretty good - even in the absence of photoshop!
+ another slight possessed-looking selfie!

Donsaeng gave me a little box with small presents today and I gave him cookies that I had brought from Denmark. Inside the box were also a bunch of letters that he has written during the days leading up to my trip where I'd been busy and unable to talk.
I put all of my souvenirs away once I got back to Denmark so I actually have yet to read them. One day I have spare time (and nothing additional to study or blog about), I should open them.

I'd hoped to be able to go back to the guesthouse and get some studying done (since I have to turn in the first draft of my finals paper soon). Before that, however, I wanted to relax a little since I'm pretty much spending all day, every day being out and about. So I chilled a little and BAM it was midnight and I was too tired to get any work done ㅠㅠ

Oh well.
I'll have a bit of time tomorrow to study in.

•°☆~〜Music of the day〜~☆°•

← Return to Day 4                                                                                                        Continue to Day 6 

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