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Insadong, Namdaemun, and Myeongdong

Do you ever have one of those days where you just magically have excess motivation to do things? Maybe it was one of those days or maybe it was just that I actually got a normal nights worth of sleep, but I was up at 7:00am, blogged, ate breakfast, showered, and was ready to set out for a day full of adventures by 10:00am.

Magic, I’m telling you.

A group of us (with the self-given name “The Squad”) decided to adventure together, and after everyone was ready we set off to Insadong–you may remember this from my scavenger hunt visit to Insadong last Thursday, and because of this previous visit we were all experts in finding our way there. Okay, so “experts” is stretching it, but we knew which train to take, and that goes a long way in a city like Seoul.

So we made our way over to Insadong and easily, thanks to last time, found our way back to the open stairway shopping center. And because we had excess free time and weren’t scrambling around for the next picture….WE WERE ABLE TO EAT POOP BREAD!

I’m not kidding its really called poop bread, or 똥빵. But no worries, there isn’t actually any poo in it–just enough red beans and chocolate to make you think there might be at first glance.

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We had a grand old time wandering around the rest of the complex, eating our poop bread and window shopping for things we might just have to go back and buy later on in our stay–particularly the miniature “emotipots”

Also there was a fantastic store with a sign (that I was not supposed to take a picture of) that made me giggle:

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^^The bottom right caption tells patrons to cheer up if they are alone.

After my friends put up with me getting pocket wifi (SUCCESS! WIFI EVERYWHERE!) we walked over to 청계천 or Cheonggye Stream in order to cool off and take some more pictures. The sun was out with a vengeance, and even though it was a beautiful day, the heat and humidity were making it nearly unbearable. Luckily for us, after walking along the stream for a bit we ended up at a section that was full of families playing in the water and couples sitting along the banks.

We all put our feet in…and then somehow got stuck resting and people watching for a good while. Korean children are incredibly entertaining, and I think people watching might be my new favorite hobby.

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Suddenly we started hearing a noise…and the noise sounded surprisingly like people protesting. We saw some people in the area with signs that said things about unique families and change, so I was guessing it would have something to do with gay rights.

And since we had just been told the day before to run the other way when we came across a protest, of course we packed up our things and walked closer to the noises. Half excited half afraid, we had to know what was going on above the stream.

We walked up…..and saw this:

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It was probably two hundred bank tellers going through some sort of orientation/initiation and thanking people for using their bank and coming to visit them. I have never seen anything like this before, and unless I continue to live in Korea I doubt I will ever see anything like this again.

I think we were all relieved that it wasn’t an actual protest, but it was definitely anti-climactic.

We ate Japanese curry for lunch and then hopped on a subway and went over to Namdaemun Market. I had heard about the Namdaemun market and how cheap everything was, and maybe (definitely) its because I am a snob but it was not as exciting as I was expecting. I would rather go to a food market of that size than a market of just really cheap things, but it was still a fun experience.

In order to take another little break and decide on our game plan for the evening, we headed over to A Twosome Place–which I was thrilled at both for the Green Tea Frappuccino and to finally go to one of the many places I had seen in KDramas over the years. If you watch dramas too you will understand–A Twosome Place is so often a sponsor of dramas that so many scenes are filmed at the cafes all over Seoul.

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After our rest we walked over to Myeongdong (it would be like one stop on the subway) for some more window shopping. I think its safe to say Myeongdong might be my favorite area of Seoul so far. I can’t exactly put my finger on what it is that I love so much, but the people, the shops…the pulse of this area of the city…everything was so exciting, and it was thrilling to wander around with the squad.

We ended our night with a near visit to Namsan Tower that ended up being a different adventure involving Ddeokbokki and karaoke. I say “near visit to Namsan” because we intended to meet a Korean friend…who ended up being late…and the bus we needed didn’t show up…and the taxi we found refused to take us because Namsan was “too close”…and the restaurant we decided to go to first wouldn’t let us share portions of food for an unknown reason.

But then we ate incredibly spicy Ddeokbokki in an incredibly hot basement restaurant and sweated out everything in our body before singing our hearts out for two hours.

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Thanks for reading about my adventures last Saturday (9/22)!

I have been having such an amazing time, and I have another several blogs that I need to work on for you all to read!! Hopefully once school starts I will also share some thoughts on culture shock, differences I notice in Korea and some things about the Korean language–so check back soon! ^_^

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