That time I ended up in South Korea and didn't land a chaebol.
(For those unfamiliar with the world of Korean dramas, the 'chaebol' archetype is basically an individual who is ~really, really ridiculously good looking~ who also happens to be ~ridiculously rich~ because they are heir to a ~ridiculously wealthy~ company. Ridiculous, I know. But based on the number of chaebols in kdramas, you'd assume half the population was secretly wealthy)
Anyways, I had originally intended for this post to go up right after the Japan post, but the photos weren't as cohesive nor aesthetically pleasing as its predecessor, and for a long time, it was something I couldn't get over. Finally, I said "YOLO FUQ MY BLOGGING STANDARDS" and so, uh, here we are.
For our South Korea trip, we took a guided tour and had a few days to ourselves after to explore Seoul. On the guided tour, we visited Seoraksan National Park, an observatory near the DMZ (where we got to spy on some North Koreans! OHOHO PLOT TWIST), Nami Island, and a few historical sites of Seoul. After the tour, my mom and I stayed in a tiny and cozy room in Myeongdong (~a major shopping district~~~), which meant I could run out and buy socks at 10pm (#latenightsockrun; I actually ended up buying ~3 dozen pairs of socks on my trip).
- I have no idea why, but my mom ended up buying 60 sheet masks (though to be fair, she also gladly accepted ALLLLLL the free mask samples to compensate). It's been five months since we got home and I don't think I've yet to see her with a sheet mask on??
- Also, my mom is scary when she bargains at the market. Two cheap people trying to out-cheap each other? BRB popcorn, but MOM, THEY NEED TO MAKE A LIVING TOO
- Night markets are amazing for grabbing just about anything. Questionable looking fruit? Check. Socks with kpop idol faces on them? Check. Dog meat stew?? Uhhhhhhhhh check ._.''
- Seoul subway fares are ridiculously inexpensive. It's roughly $1.50 CDN (₩1350) for ONE WAY FARE. ONE WAY. ONE WAY. I PAY $3.25 FOR ONE WAY FARE IN TORONTO, FAM.
- Korean food. All day, errrday. #Authentic Korean cold noodles and pork bone stew...ALKDJSKDL. McDonald's bulgogi burgers. Korean fried chicken. (Korean cold noodles is probably my favourite Korean dish—the more sour, the better. I actually got a large bowl of it at Gwangjang market for $5!! FIVE DOLLARS.)
- Dog cafes! Cat cafes!! Hello Kitty cafe!!! ...raccoon cafe? Sheep cafe???
- Kim Soo Hyun's face is everywhere. I'm not sure if I should swoon or be afraid.
- I was walking around Myeongdong on a Saturday afternoon and stumbled across a kpop boy band performance. Casual. (IIRC, they're a rookie group named 'Astro')(Should've kidnapped one of the members to take home LOOK HOW CUTE AND BABYFACED THEY ARE)
- I got hit in the face by a heavy glass swinging door LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. #GetRekt
- I also tried soju for the first time (~when in Korea~) with a few tour buddies, and uh, kinda got hella tipsy. We also befriended a bar owner??? And his bodybuilding son??? Honestly, the night was a blur.
Real talk—I've been riding the Hallyu wave since high school, which means I've wanted to go to South Korea for a very, very long time. I won't lie though, Seoul was vastly different from the expectations I've constructed over the years from the endless kdramas and other Korean programming that I've seen, and as a result, I was a touch let down in some aspects (e.g. WHERE MY CUTE KOREAN BOYFRIEND AT??? I kid, I kid). However, the trip pleasantly surprised me in other ways—I got teary eyed at the War Memorial museum, I learned how to take the bus and subway in Seoul (#AUTHENTICAF), and the glorious view from our room (3rd last photo above) was a constant reminder of how busy this city was and how wonderful it was just to be a part of it all for even a brief period of time. While I left this city thinking I wouldn't want to go back again, after five-ish months of reflection, I actually recently asked my mom if we could go back for our next trip, hah.
SEOUL HAS SOUL, YO.
SEOUL HAS SOUL, YO.