Sunday, March 30, 2008

5th Installment: Cherry Blossom Festival & Men in Uniform!!

Before you read on...thanks for replying to all these long emails.^^ They brighten my day. Also, when I move on the 16th, I can't guarantee I will have access to internet, so you might not hear from me for a while...booo...but we'll deal with that when the time comes.

Cherry Blossom Festival =) and Hangang Riverside Park (Yeouido)
Even though Des and I already saw a street of cherry blossoms, we wanted to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival at Yunjungno Street. There are 1,400 cherry blossom trees there, so we walked A WHOLE LOT! Beside us was the Hangang Riverside Park (Yeouido) and the Han River. We bought some gimbap and ate it while we walked. We passed by this place that was giving out free bottles of water. Des asked me to pass her one so I did and then I looked at the guy and indicated I would like 1 more bottle and he gave me two. hahaha... Des just laughed at me and I gave her the extra bottle. It was nice just walking at our own pace...

National Assembly Memorial Hall
We weren't exactly sure what this place was at first b/c there was no English sign and a guard at the open gate. Everyone else was going in and out, so we went in too. There was lots of information and video of protests and other stuff. We didn't stay too long though, b/c we couldn't read the info. We also walked by the National Assembly itself. Huge!!

The whole time we've been here, I keep bugging Des about how I want to take a picture with men in uniform. I thought it would be fun. While we were doing the cherry blossom walk, we saw a whole bunch of them. I started to chicken out, so we walked in between them and then stopped by the curb to look up "Can we take a picture with you" or something to that extent in our phrase books. Suddenly a couple of them came up to us. One of them, who was quite good looking, asked me if I speak Korean. I told him only a little bit in English and I made the hand sign for little bit. His friend asked in English if they could take a picture with us. I told him of course. Des was smiling and laughing. So 2-4 guys huddled around us and next thing we knew, all of them came. There were about 21 of them! they surrounded us and took the picture. They were really energetic and happy.^^ I got them to take a picture with my camera too. lol..They kept thanking us and the one who talked to us shook both of our hands. Des said to me later that when he asked if we spoke Korean, she thought, "For you baby, I will speak Korean"...ahahahhaa...lmao. That was the highlight of the day. Des and I will be hanging in an army room somewhere in Korea. Those guys were insane. They'd walk in formation and then break off really quickly for photo ops with trees, mascots, etc. Des also took a picture of me with two guards...ahhaha we tried to read "take a picture" from our books but I think they understood our English.

The Elderly, the Cutest Kids Ever, and Dogs with DYED tails?!
We people watched for a while, sitting on the curb. We would say "an nyoung haseyo" to the elderly and bow our heads. Most of them would acknowledge and smile or wave. Some would give us weird looks, but most of them were very nice and polite. They are really nice people. The kids were hilarious...they would walk by and we'd say hello in Korean and they would wave and smile or say it back to us. A couple of kids would make these confused faces hahahaa. One kid, i think was still learning how to walk...we said hello and he looked at us and then fell down. OOPS! Another one was crying in the stroller, heard us, stopped crying and just stared at us. The cutest one heard us...ran away...came back to us and then ran away again. The next thing confused us a lot...we saw a dog fully dressed with a green dyed tail...what was that all about? I took a picture of that, but not that well. Another one had a pink dyed tail...what the heck? That dog even had some fancy booties for it's paws...almost looked like stilettos? (sp?) Isn't that animal cruelty?

In this area was also SBS, KBS and MBC. We went looking for them. Des is really good at reading maps. I couldn't figure out if one the stations was there or not. Des told me it was the one under construction, but I asked someone anyway to verify. Des was right of course...she's rarely wrong with a map in her hand. Aigoo...bad Sam. SBS had moved to Mokdong... We went to KBS, which was high security one was getting in there without a pass. It was then I realized I had dropped the camera case somewhere! TT____TT We retraced our steps, but couldn't find it. >_< I owe Josie a new camera case. We went through Yeouido Park which was very nice and full of green and scenery. We walked/ran across a lot of streets. Finally made it to MBC and took the pics. We ate some mandoo from a vendor. They were sooooo good. Took a picture of 63 building. I can visit it next year...yes, I am DEFINITELY COMING BACK NEXT YEAR! Other than that we pretty much visited the whole island we were on. Good on us. Took the subway back to Myeong-dong without being accosted..ahahaha

Home again, home again
Got some take-out of ramen, gimbap and duk bokki...I love that stuff and headed back. We were both really tired. Up the hill we went. Des was wearing sneakers, so not in pain like yesterday. She thinks she can live here, I agree. We are both amazed at how ppl pull off some of these outfits. They mix some unique clothes together and boldly walk outdoors without a second thought. There are things they wear here that would grant them strange looks in Toronto.

We got back and talked to Robin, who works here. I overheard him say the other day that he drank 10 bottles of soju. What the heck? That's a lot of alcohol. I told him I like the bomb drink (when they take a shooter of soju and drop it into a glass of beer) He says he can drink 9 before he gets drunk and can't remember anything. Des and I have a date with the soju tent her last night in Korea. But that hill...uhhh dunno how we're going to climb that drunk. Maybe we'll drink some in the tent and buy more to drink in the guesthouse. There's a soju tent right at the bottom of the hill next to the subway station. Robin says he can recommend some good places to us. Don't worry everyone, we'll be responsible.

For those of you who are wondering...we have not soju-ed up, b/c we've been too darn busy. Everyday we are out there late adventuring around Seoul. We've had our share of beer, but soju awaits. The best things are worth waiting for right?

There are so many ppl coming and going here it's hard to keep track. We just met a Korean girl who is Swedish. She was adopted and just met her dad. Her name is Louise. At first when we heard her talk (we didn't see her) we thought she was caucasian. She talked us up and we listened to her. She staying here for a month. I met some other Singapore girls too. This morning I met girls from HK. Man...I can't keep track of all of these names? Can everyone get a number for a name?

It's 8:00pm right now...morning for the north, I get so confused with the days and times here. There are many things to see and do here. I don't think I'll get everything done, so next year it is! I think I'm due for a nap soon. I'm currently fighting some insect. Yesterday I fought with a small fly and I swear it scratched my nose. I have a small wasn't me...I cut my nails...that darned fly is vengeful. Ok, now I'm just wasting space....I'm off to relax and listen to some music, maybe watch some k-tv.

Until the next read,


originally written: Apr 12, 2006

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