Day 2 in Korea…I hope you’re ready! 😉
Despite the jet lag of that first day, I was, thankfully, able to get up fairly early the next morning. I had arranged to meet my friend Alice and two other friends, Yong Suk and Joo Ri, in the city of Bu Pyeong for a cup of coffee, some great conversation, and of course church service. Heh…some of my little minions were surprised that I still go to church when I vacation. *shakes head* Silly little minions. LOL
In any case, because a pastor who used to serve at my church before he moved back to Korea had kept asking me to visit him when I next came to Korea, I arranged to meet my friends nearby so that all four of us could have worship service there. It was like a mini-reunion since they knew the pastor as well.
With plans set for meeting at 10 am, I got up at 7 am to shower and to venture out into Seoul via the subway system. The above picture is the entrance/exit of the subway line that I used to meet up with Alice. Because the church was a bit of a walk from any subway station, she offered to meet me halfway in her car and drive me the rest of the way.
Unfortunately, the poor dear must have been exhausted from driving me around the previous day because she was running late…which gave me the perfect opportunity to take some pictures of the neighboring area while I waited.
Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the Korean subway system (and didn’t watch Answer Me 1994′s “Episode 1”), there are multiple entrances and exits associated with each station. You want to make sure that you get out at the correct one. Knowing this, I made sure that Alice knew exactly at which exit I was waiting. 🙂 You can see the exit number in the above picture.
But still, with an hour to wait, I turned literally 90 degrees to my left and found this picturesque park/walkway with benches and plenty of trees. Had it not been so cold that morning, I totally would have sat on one of those benches and started writing down some thoughts/ideas, but alas, it was too cold for me to even entertain that idea. LOL.
So, back I went inside the subway terminal to grab a quick bite to eat while I waited for Alice. I didn’t want to be starving, and from the looks of things, it was looking as though we weren’t going to make that 10 am meet-up time. Incidentally, I bought myself one of those spicy tuna triangular kimbap rolls. 😀
When I came back outside, it was to discover that I was near the Korea Manhwa Museum. Whuh?! There’s an entire museum devoted to Korean comics? And then it hit me. Of course, Korea would have something like this given the citizens’ penchant for comics and anime. Heh.
Across the street was the “famed” museum. Who would have thought it, huh? Thank goodness for Alice and her delay, huh? 😉
By the time I had finished snapping my pictures and had explored the immediate area, Alice was able to find me…despite her GPS sending her to another part of the street. *shakes head* Untrustworthy technology! 😉
The four of us met up, and our delay wasn’t a bad thing since Yong Suk and Joo Ri were held up as well due to traffic. With very little time to really chat, we walked into a neighborhood convenience store (sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the place) and grabbed some boiled eggs (Yes, the store sells those!) and some warm bottled coffee. I had forgotten that Korean stores have bottled warm coffee as well as chilled coffee for its customers to purchase. Perfect for the cold weather! 🙂
We had just enough time for a brief chitchat before we headed into the church for service. After the service, though, the pastor and his wife wanted us to have lunch there, but we were able to excuse ourselves since we were going to meet them for dinner later that day, and Alice and I really wanted to chat with Yong Suk and Joo Ri uninterrupted. As newcomers to the church, we knew that people would want to talk with us if we stayed, so off we went to a nearby barbecue restaurant for some yummy Korean grilled meat. 🙂
Of course, before the meal even came, I was captivated by the cute paper cup. *shakes head* Seriously, I was oohing and ahhing over all these adorable items in Korea. My friends, who know that I like cute things, just smiled indulgently as I whipped out my camera for pictures. 😀
They even let me take a picture of them. Here’s Yong and Joo Ri, husband and wife who met during college. Yong Suk graduated from Yonsei Medical (yup, he would have been Trash Oppa’s hoobae) and Joo Ri from Ewha Womans University, my alma mater’s sister college in Korea.
And this is me (left) with Alice (right). As I said, my friends were very indulging of my picture-taking for this blog. 😉
Once lunch was done, Yong Suk and Joo Ri left with promises to meet up again Thursday night since they had a slew of things to do that day. Like many people all over the world, these two try to do all of their errands and socializing on Sunday, the only day they have off from work.
Meanwhile, Alice and I had about 5 hours to spend before we were to meet the pastor and his family for dinner, so we headed off to explore Bu Pyeong and its shopping centers. What’s the first picture I took once I got to one of the shopping malls?
Yup, a picture of the bathroom. LOL. You’ll have to excuse me, but this semi-modernized-yet-not-modernized toilet was too cute and unexpected for me to not take a picture. I thought that all the public bathrooms in Korea had sitting toilets.
Apparently, I was wrong. LOL
And for those of you wondering where the toilet paper is…there was a dispenser outside for people to tear some toilet paper before walking into the stall. LOL. Needless to say, this was the first of this type of bathroom that I had seen in Korea. It was certainly a novelty. Good thing I realized the issue with the toilet paper before I walked into the stall, huh? 😉
By the time Alice and I had walked through the several floors of various boutiques–I think the mall had three floors–we were famished. Alice suggested this little sushi snack place in the middle of the food court. As you can see from the picture, there were many items for us to choose. 🙂
In our efforts to be “healthy,” we opted for some salad, pineapple slices, and, of course, some rolls. 😉
And then off we went to meet back up with the pastor and his family. As we drove through the streets of Bu Pyeong, there were a number of open markets like the one above, so Alice slowed down enough for me to snap a photo for you. all. 🙂
Now, imagine my slight stunned surprise when the pastor and his family wanted to take us to a buffet called Ashley. Mind you, Alice and I had just had a “snack” an hour before meeting up with them. LOL Are you starting to get an idea of how the rest of my trip to Korea was like? I met with various people, and they fed me…and fed me…and fed me. LOL. I just kept thinking, “It’s a good thing I’m only staying here for about a week.” 😉
The incredibly awesome thing about having dinner at Ashley was that it was inside yet another shopping mall, this one much bigger than the one Alice and I had just visited. And I couldn’t believe the prices! One of the things that I had on my shopping list to buy in Korea was pajamas and comfortable cotton play clothes for my little niece and nephew. My family always claims that there’s no country that does cotton clothing better than Korea.
Well, at this mall, I found a woman who was selling play clothes/pajama–tops and bottoms–for under $10! The clothes on the left were for my little nephew (each about 7000 won or $7), and the ones on the right were for my little niece (each about 9000 won or $9). Yes, my niece was born in the year of the rabbit, so I always try to get her rabbitty things. 😉
And just as I was lamenting to the pastor’s young daughter (Yea Young) that my nephew was going to be sad since there are no cute dragon dolls to commemorate his birthday year, Yea Young discovered the above little dragon displayed on top of a pretty high shelf! In disbelief, I told her it was a dinosaur after a quick glance, but she pointed out the wings and insisted it was a dragon.
Heh. Gotta love smart kids! I thanked her profusely for saving me since I had already resigned myself to not being able to find my sister’s requested dragon doll for her son. 🙂
As for the bunny backpack beside the dragon in the picture above, you can easily guess what happened, right? It’s an imported bunny that’s fairly popular in Korea. She’s called “Le Sucre Rabbit” and detaches from the backpack. Too cute, right?
Yes, the indulgent aunt that I am, I bit the proverbial bullet and paid about $25 for the backpack. *grimaces* The things adults buy for their beloved little relatives, right? Anyone thinking yet about Joo Joong Won’s comment about how one little kid brings in an endless supply of revenue for him? 😉
However, it was all worth it because my sister later reported that my niece absolutely loved her Le Sucre Rabbit backpack and went around everywhere with it for days on end. 🙂
This is how Day 2 in Korea ended. I met up with friends whom I hadn’t seen in quite some time, attended church, and shopped and ate to my heart’s content. What a blessed day it was, right? 😀
Now, before I end this post, I thought that some of you might like to see a picture of my niece with her new backpack, one that my sister sent me. Enjoy, and I’ll see you in my next installment of “Romps in Korea!” Obviously, the little one’s hair is a bit of a mess after a day’s romp outside. 😉