Me being stupid-elevator-Seoul
Seoul is great so far. We are really enjoying it. We have been walking around everyday pretty much all day and the jet lag has been hard to shake off. Does that get harder as you get older? I don’t know. I don’t recall my mother or my in-laws being tired when visiting us in Japan-they were pretty much raring to go. But last night I slept through the night so I know I’ll feel much better today.
Hello Kitty Cafe!
The weather here has been gorgeous and we’ve been wearing t-shirts and no jackets everyday. It’s a lot more smoggy than I thought it would be and that took some getting used to but after the first couple of days, I didn’t notice it anymore. It was hard not to think of Japan, coming here and to draw comparisons even though I really didn’t want to. That is my main resource of Asian experience and being so close, I expected there to be some similarities. Living in Japan, you hear about Korea taking cues from the Japanese in areas of fashion, music etc. I’ve heard a few negative things about the people here that made me wonder what it would be like. But I’m happy to say, I was very pleasantly surprised. The people here are friendly and warm and in comparing Seoul to Tokyo, a bit more relaxed than Tokyoites. They seem to take a bit more time for socializing at lunch time, laughing and having fun. Fashion reigns supreme here but there is a bit more variation in the women here-there are girls here of all sizes and fashion to accommodate them!
I’m not saying people aren’t image/weight conscious here as they most certainly are, but just that you see a bit more individuality in the city here, or at least that’s my impression so far. Living in a city is very different from being a tourist so I’m sure there is a lot to learn. But so far we are really liking it here.
We have been to Bukchon Hanok Village which I really enjoyed but because some of our company at the time was less than desirable, I think we are going back there today so we can check it out further. It’s an amazing old village of hills and unique shops and cafes, independent designers and vintage stores. I loved it.
The food has been great here and while you definitely do not see much vegetarian food on a menu, we were surprised to find strictly vegan restaurants and restaurants willing to accommodate our requests.
Rice, pancake, tofu soup and makolli (korean rice wine)
We spent time the day before yesterday in Myeongdong, a huge shopping district and Namdaemun, a massive open street market. Yesterday we hung around our district a bit more, which is full of restaurants, shopping and bars. Seoul has a VERY active nightlife and it doesn’t seem to matter if it’s a weekday or weekend. People here are out drinking and socializing EVERY night.
You can check out my flickr set for more photos. I would have uploaded more but that little bit is already 1/2 of my one month space allotment. I think I need to change to another photo host that allows more space. I realize this post is a bit convoluted and all over the place-hopefully that will get better with practice!