Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chapter Thirty-Four: Insert Soul/Seoul Pun Here

More about this weekend in Seoul! On Saturday, after we went to the palace, we decided to go to Insadong where we could go Christmas shopping and get some lunch. We got directions to somewhere with Western food, but it was so cold that we couldn't handle wandering around looking for it. We settled for burger king and enjoyed our first french fries in a long time.
Here Layna enjoys the BK.

The view of Insadong from Burger King. I love that pretty much no matter where you go in Korea, there's a mountain in the background--even in a touristy shopping district, as viewed from a Burger King.

After we were fed and warmed, we headed back into the cold for shopping. On the way, we met two groups of Free Huggers, who unfortunately do not exist in Daegu. Here, Layna gets a hug.

This might be my new favorite photo of all time. Because it is a Western tourist district, this guy totally expected us to take photos--excellent!

Just a shot of Insadong shopping. There were so many Westerners in Seoul that I was having a bit of culture shock. I'm used to actually going out for hours at a time and not seeing another Westerner the whole time--but in Seoul, they're everywhere!

This guy just looked so content with his fish frying stand. I took the picture because I realized that I had no photos of all the little food stands that are everywhere in Korea. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of how Maureen Ryan described Rome during the end of the Republic.

This was the other Free Hugger. She spoke English and after giving us hugs, asked me to sign something. She was incredibly impressed when I wrote my name in Hangul. She asked me where I was from and, as it turns out, she has lived on Long Island! She lived in Manhassett, which makes me wonder...what on earth would cause someone to go from Korea to Nassau?

At night, we tried to get to Namsan Tower, but got lost on the way. Here's one of the shots I got of Seoul at night from the very wrong path. It was better, though, because we were exhausted and ready to go back to Layna's apartment and roast chestnuts!

The next day, when we went out, it was snowing! It's hard to tell here, but there's definitely snow. Daegu had our first snow on Friday, so this was all so exciting. Apparently, we even got snow before NoHo.

Snowy park near Layna's apartment.

All and all, it was an excellent weekend! I'm so glad I got to go to Seoul before I leave. Layna was a wonderful host, as well.

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