I went to Seoul last week – all by my brave little self~! ^o^ I have always wanted to visit South Korea and this trip was something I had been planning for a while. A couple of years back, I made myself a promise that I would travel at least once every year to a new place/country and since last year I made a small conference trip to Toronto I decided that I would do a big (Seoul) trip this year.
I actually made the trip in secrecy, which added to the sense of adventure 🙂 I left on Valentine’s Day morning. When I booked my flight months before, I actually did not remember what an important weekend that would be and was just focused on planning my schedule. I was elated when I found a really good price, and it was only the week before I left that I realized why the price was so awesome, lol, because it fell on Valentine’s Day~
The night before I
ditched the guy forego going on a real date (heehee~!) and opted for grand time with a friend, who planned a very special and wild night out just for me – and boy was it wild >.< I stayed out until 3 am in the morning, and my flight was at 10, so I only slept for a couple of hours before my ride came to pick me up and rushed me to the airport. Must be my youth, lol, but I was very energetic despite the little sleep and the draining night only hours before, and I was able to enjoy myself on the flight. I had a layover at Seattle Airport and saw the glass-blown art. The original art was drawn by children, and then recreated using blown glass by professional artists. They were sooo cute and creative 🙂
My flight to Seoul was mostly uneventful saved for the turbulence, lol~ It felt like a rollercoaster, but thankfully I never get airsickness 🙂 I also watched a few movies on the plane, lol, instead of sleeping, because the selection was quite good with Bond: Spectre, Burnt, Maleficent, etc. The in-flight meals were Korean and Western-themed. I had a bibimbap for lunch and chose a fish course for dinner~ Soon after dinner, I arrived at Incheon International Airport. I exchanged some money and headed out the gates, only to be dismayed (slightly) by the better exchange rate in the other bank @.@ Lol, thankfully, though, the difference was not significant, and I was too confused by the language shock to care. The airport was busy, and there were much less English and Japanese than I had originally anticipated. As I did not understand any Korean, it was difficult to navigate, and I spent a good half hour just circling around the front gates @.@
I finally found a counter where the clerks spoke other languages, and managed to get out of one of them the information to get a T-money (travel card) and the way to the trains. I relied on the instructions given to me by the guesthouse, and through complete dumb luck I managed to get on the right trains and arrived at my destination, the Kimchee Seoul Station Guesthouse 🙂 Despite being a bit shabby, my room was clean and VERY warm. I also had an ensuite bathroom, which, other than the location and price, was the main reason I booked this accommodation~ Little me has to have her own bathroom and privacy!!!
By the time I put down my luggage it was already past 11 at night and most restaurants nearby have already closed. I was hungry and did not want to go into the convenience store, so I mustered up my courage and went into a 24hr restaurant beside the guesthouse. I literally did not know ANY Korean, but naively thought I would be okay armed with the other three languages (especially Japanese) purportedly common in Korean. Boy, was I wrong >.<~!!! The server/manager lady ONLY spoke Korean, and I made a spectacle of myself when almost every customer decided to come up to help me communicate with the server/manager lady. There were only a few customers in the restaurant, but it was still embarrassing when you were the center of attention because of language barriers >.< Thankfully, the menu was partly in English and had pictures, so I pointed to one of them and the rest was history 🙂
Apparently, my choice was something similar to a hangover soup. At first I was worried the portion might not be big due to the cheap price – it was only 5000 won! – but it came with rice and ramen so ended up being more filling than I originally thought. The soup had ramen, blood sausages, and slices of pork. It also came with shirasu brine (top left) and two types of kimchi, one radish and one cabbage. I soon learned that Koreans love serving in earthen stoneware which keep the food boiling hot, and so that is why there would always be a little plate that you can use to scoop out the food and let it cool. I opted not to do so and just dugged straight in. For the price, the soup was very yummy ^o^ Most importantly, it warmed me up and prevented me from going to beddy time with an empty stomach~ I felt snuggly and happy after my late-night meal and went back to the guesthouse for a hot shower and much-deserved beddy time 🙂