Trip Start Jun 19, 2010
31Trip End Sep 14, 2010
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Our lunch yesterday was another interesting buffet, Seven Springs. The highlight of this was one was the dessert: green tea cake, green tea chocolate chip cookies, and blueberry ice cream. Of course there were "real" foods as well, like bibimbap, miso pasta, smoked salmon, spinach soup...
We also received our 400,000 won "allowance" yesterday, so most of us excitedly went out and bought an official red shirt for the world cup game that we'll be going to go watch tonight (tomorrow morning) at 3am. We're all looking forward to the mayhem that supposedly occurs in the streets of Seoul when the Korea's world cup games are broadcasted outdoors on giant screens
We were treated to a traditional Korean type dinner, which is completely family style, and was cooked in front of us for the most part. We ate kimchi soup, miso-style soup, kimchi, and beef that you either wrapped in sesame leaves with various ingredients like kimchi-style radishes and chili paste, or ate over rice bibimbap style.
A few of the girls went out to an "American-style" pub/restaurant called Crazy Hook (as in, Peter Pan). We had our first Korean draft beer (while in Korea), Hite. We walked around a bit afterward and managed to take some cool photos, including ones with a famous Korean drama actor Kim Hyun Joong (a cardboard replica anyway). We definitely got some stares for being very tourist-y for that one. Luckily, one of the girls in the EAPSI group is fluent in Korean, so we had a pretty easy time getting around. I'll have to learn to get around on my own though very soon!
Today was more of a fun/sightseeing day, which began with a trip to Yongin, a Korean Folk Village, which is pretty tourist-y, but still fun. There were a few performances of traditional Korean dance, as well as a pretty impressive tightrope walker. I have videos of both, but Korean You Tube won't allow me to upload for some reason...
After the folk village, we ate at yet another salad buffet, "Ashley". I'm getting better at figuring out what I'll actually like to eat before putting it on my plate... There definitely are a bunch of "exotic" foods offered here; I ate (and loved) a pumpkin-cherry side dish, as well as a variety of other noodles and salads. Lychee is also growing on me quite a bit. And as usual, there was ice cream for dessert (ice cream seems to be really big here; I'm definitely not complaining!)
We had a pretty busy (and memorable) day after lunch
On the walk back to our bus, there were a bunch of Korean high-school-aged looking kids in the parking lot
Following this museum, we visited another one, the National Museum of Korea, which was more of a history museum. After the typhoon experience, we assumed this museum would be pretty dull. We randomly picked an exhibit to start off with; it turned out to be pottery that was recently discovered, that belonged to royal families and was used to store babies umbilical cords (gross, I know). A curator there was telling us this (the signs were all in Korean), and then he insisted that we let him interview us (again!). But this time, he wanted a video interview to be featured on the museum's website. The four of us girls that were there were trying very hard to politely say no. His English was very minimal, and we certainly didn't know what we would say, as his question was, "How does this exhibit make you feel?" After fifteen minutes or so of him following us around and insisting we be interviewed, we finally gave in. Of course he picked me and another girl to be the interviewees, and he had our fluent-Korean friend act as a translator. Our answers to "how did the exhibit make you feel?" were pretty bad, as this was our very first exhibit we saw at this museum, and talking about a "placenta pot" isn't exactly easy to make sound appealing
Next stop: Insadong Street tour, which is a bargain-type stretch of stores selling typical Korean goods (again, touristy). It was suggested that we just browse today, so that we' know what to actually buy next time we come back (which was a pretty good suggestion). We also ate dinner at a nearby restaurant. Again we had a family-style Korean dinner, but this time we had to remove our shoes when entering the restaurant, and we also sat on the floor to eat. Our meal was accompanied with soju, a distilled Korean alcohol that tastes like cheap vodka (this was our consensus anyway).
it's almost 11pm now, and I have to go get ready for the world cup game! We've got our shirts on (as you can see in the photos from today), and we're also going to get decked out with bandannas and temporary tattoos... it should be fun!