Okay today I’m gonna tell you what I did yesterday, my first day in Seoul.
Eventhough a british guy I met at the airport advised me to take the much cheaper shuttle bus and use the subway after to get to my hostel I knew how easily I get lost so I went for the taxi. The ride in the cab over to my hostel was of course, compared to swedish prices, so cheap!
60 000 korean won = 60 dollars = 360 swedish kronor was the price for the hour-long drive over and then I tipped him 5000 won included in that price. In sweden the price for that taxi-ride would’ve cost over twice as much, so I was really happy about that.
It was snow by the Incheon airport as well and really cold. But since it was really sunny during the day (I felt like the sun was much closer here or something, it was much brighter during the day than it ever is in Sweden, even during summer). Seoul is so beautiful, I noticed that in the cab. Eventhough they’re having winter here now and until February, to me it looks like someone’s planted a lot of strange more exotic trees in a swedish autumn landscape. However, Seoul is nothing like Sweden – except for having the same electrical plugs.
This is a part of our conversation;
“So since you said there’s many clubs and pubs in Hongdae, does it become dangerous then during the night?”
“But for you it will be dangerous”
“Because you are so beautiful”
After being chatted up by my taxi-driver (who was of course the same age as my dad) I arrived at the hostel in the very orange cab. Once inside it turns out that the guy that was going to check me in was out for the hour so I just took the time to chill back at bit and talked a little to a danish girl that lives here at the hostel too. Then when DJ (which is the hostel “owner”‘s name – wicked huh?) arrived he was incredibly helpful with giving me maps and telling me a bit about sightseeing places around Seoul.
I went to the 14-bed-room I was going to sleep in for the nearest week and someone was still lying there sleeping – and by then it was around 2PM.
The guy that just woke up and I afterwards went and ate lunch together. His name is Tony, he’s (chinese) american. It was very interesting to order because either the places were only serving pork and rice (and I don’t eat red meat) or the menus weren’t in english. We bought some kind of noodle soups and a “fish egg stew”. The later of the two had some kinds of mushrooms in it and also when we asked the waitor what it was he just rubbed his belly and said “Fish eggs”, we assumed of course that it was caviar, but the waitor said it wasn’t.
What the fish egg stew turned out to be was cooked fish eggs (in a sausage-skin, which made it look like small weird pieces of brain), mushrooms in my favourite korean spicy sauce – gochujjang ❤
But yeah… The fish egg thingies just tasted like eating a bunch of really dry breadcrumbs (like the ones you use when you bake).
Also in South Korea it’s allowed to smoke inside bars, restaurants and coffee shops. It’s so weird but I think it’s really nice too.
Later we went drinking soju – which I’d never tried before – at a bar. Then later me and Tony picked up two of his friends that also joined us in drinking soju. We drank both the regular kind of soju and then the plum-flavoured kind (it tasted like soda pop and apple juice, very confusing).
Also I bought a packet of circle lenses (also called Doll-eye/cutie eye lenses, they actually have several seperate shops here in Hongdae where they just sell them). I’m so nervous about trying them on though because I’m worried they’ll fold and get stuck or that I’ll poke my eyes out…
Also walking around Hongdae I decided to drag Tony along to look for a lipstick in a few of the make up shops. It was hilarious though since as soon as they realised we weren’t korean one employee strarted following us around the shop, ready to help us. I asked someone for a special shade of lipstick, and she didn’t know english. Here’s the funny part though, whilst helping me, she starts rambling/babbling to herself in korean. I mean like, I didn’t understand a word of what she said, Tony who at least looks asian, was speaking in an american accent so she knew we didn’t understand a word of what she said.
So funny though, but it freaked me out a little… ^^
Hongdae isn’t the most central part of Seoul, but it’s stacked full with coffee shops and make-up stores, one for each brand. And also there’s little tents everywhere on the street where they serve you cheap food and tea. There’s even a Taco Bell here – which we don’t have in Sweden nor London. So strange.
Oh and soon whilst walking around Hongdae, I noticed I’m the only one who’s not asian, and people tend to kind of halfly stare when I walk by. Which takes some getting used to. I was happy I had company cause otherwise it might’ve freaked me out a little.
In general koreans seem really nice and helpful, although I asked some chinese for direction and they quickly when “Aniyoo aniyoo!!” because they didn’t understand english (they were about middle-aged).
Some korean words I reciently learnt (or remembered):
hof – pub
cho-ai-oe – cold (being chilly)
chil-gup-sayo – did you sleep well/Good night/sleep well (one of the three, can’t remember which now…)