Thursday, August 16, 2012

Korean Diary Day 7

I can't believe I forgot to mention the incident on the subway yesterday.  While we were going to meet Sung Hyun's family for supper an ajumma (older lady) told me that because I was pregnant I should sit down in the special chairs designated for old, pregnant and disabled people.  Hahahah, there's no holding back in Korea.  At least I wasn't offended!  I just laughed and said "it's okay".  Sung Hyun couldn't believe it.  He's become so Western and was completely offended by the comment.

Today it was raining so hard.  It was as bad as this!  Ohhh if only Annie were here.

Korean grapes for breakfast today.  To eat these grapes you suck out the middle and spit out the seeds.  Yuuuum!  Mom bought these especially for me!

Today we set out to meet a Korean friend of mine.  Sung Hyun is doing a good job of tagging along.  I'm doing a good job of keeping him busy.

I'm in love with all the Korean side dishes that come with the meal.  They are so delicious.

Korean bulgogi (marinated beef) soup in Insadong.

With my Korean friend/ former boss.  I had a lot of part-time jobs in Korea and have managed to maintain friendships with all my bosses.  It's so nice to reconnect after two years.  Thanks for lunch Kyoungmi :)

After lunch I wanted to visit a traditional tea house.  Kyounmi lead us to a cool outdoor/indoor cafe.  If only it wasn't so miserable outside today.

This is the restaurant where my parents meet Sung Hyun's family for the first time.  You can read about that meeting here.

Kyoungmi and Sung Hyun had cold tea.  It was tasty.

I'm in love with that wooden chest in the background.

My lover and I

I had green tea.  It's my favourite.

It was lovely to see Kyoungmi again.  Next time I meet her, I bet she'll be married (teehee)

After lunch and tea Sung Hyun and I wandered around Insadong.  This is a traditional area that sells souvenirs.  Last time I was here it was much more traditional with cobblestone pathways and shops that were piled high with Korean loot.  Now there are makeup stores and neat little shops with bright lights and expensive price tags.  I was more than disappointed!

Yuck!  I didn't even recognize the area.

In Korea they often have food displays in the front of restaurants showcasing their menu.

Here are some Korean goodies.  We picked up a couple of coaster sets for our neighbours because they are keeping an eye on our place.  I used to be able to bargain in these shops but it appears like everything is a set price.  And that price is much higher than I last remember.

Deep fried dough with cinnamon and sugar (much like elephant ears at the circus)

The streets of jongno.  This is the area where Sung Hyun used to attend English classes!

Traditional palace in city center with modern restaurants in the background.

The candy shop.....this one's for you Annie!

After exploring Sung Hyun and I went to the Dragon Hill Spa. 

Cood entrance

First you put your shoes in the box.  Then you change into the clothes that they provide for you.  Btw, it's $12 for this sauna/ spa and that includes an overnight stay in a group sleeping room if you are interested.

We were just interested in hanging out in 'hot' rooms and sweating our ass off

Sung Hyun drank a traditional sweet rice drink

We sat on heating lamps and Sung Hyun fell asleep for a good 20 minutes.  I was attempting to sleep but people kept bumping into my legs.  There is no such thing as personal space in Korea.

10 minutes in the massage chairs for $2.  This was actually a little painful.

Sung Hyun insisted we eat eggs because they were a common sauna food

Off to the cool room we went.  After a couple of hours we had enough and decided that it was time to eat.

The prostitute strip outside of Yongsan station is gone!

Dinner at Kimbabjongkuk at 9 pm: rice omelet with ddoekboki and spicy kimchi soup and rice.  All for under $10

This guy is happy!

Observations of the Day:

1.  We're averaging about $150 a day for the two of us.  That's a long way from the $50 we first anticipated, however we are doing a lot and seem to be gone for the entire day.

2.  Sung Hyun is tagging along with me.  Even though I've got most of the plans he wants to voluntarily join me.  Usually he's happy to just do nothing.

3.  In Korea it's usually NEVER dutch pay.  For example, Kyoungmi paid for our lunch today and I paid for our tea.  This seems to be the way things go in Korea.  The dutch treat thing is very Western!


*Krista* said...

AH!! I miss the sauna! That way so fun to go and try out all the different rooms with the different rocks and substances that were supposed to give you different benefits. I loved it! That food looks so awesome too!! Oh, and as for your ajumma/pregnancy story. Did I ever tell you my experience with that? Glad to see you are having fun and making the most of your time! :) xoxo

Anonymous said...

ARE you pregnant?

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I like how that bulgogi soup is BOILING! It looks so good! I am seriously getting depressed that I am in Regina right now and not Korea :-(

Why am I here??? said...

Haha I don't remember your pregnancy story Krista but I know that my friend Anne-Marie got that a lot.

No no not pregnant anony.

Hi Jolene if you ever go to Korea we really need to meet first so I can tell u all the places to go. Also in Korea they often cook food in front of you. That soup is sitting on a portable burner so that's why it is burning!

Anonymous said...

Bulgogi soup? You mean galbi(rib) soup? I don't think they make a soup with bulgogi in Korea.

Why am I here??? said...

No it is bulgogi mushroom soup in Insadong. It was awesome and kind of reminded me of shabu shabu

Anonymous said...

I'm sad about your posts about Insadong changing....and I REALLY miss the Sauna too. I used to go almost every weekend. I will never forget the one time that I went to a different one and it had a hot tub that smelled like Mr. was weird but I tried it anyway because that's what you do in Korea, lol!