The country of South Korea was not officially on our itinerary, but a chance meeting with a lovely brave Asian girl, had us adding a little detour to our trip to visit with her.
Our reunion with Sarah was surreal as we’d met her a mere five months before. She took us under her wings and insisted on making our visit to Seoul a memorable one!
So first there was a walk around the markets and the beautiful Hanook village where original Korean houses are still lived in and visited by tourists. Big signs announce for silence and somewhere down, or up, a steep street are two houses who open there doors for tourists to see an authentic Korean house(Hanook). The area is mostly inhabited by rich Koreans and it’s evident in the cars parked outside. Someone say jaguar??? No Daewoo here!
We sample traditional Korean fare, of kimchee, dumpling soup, pork and some meakju(beer). The palace was a must see, but we missed the opening time, so did the museum instead. I threatened to join an active protest against the government, but Sarah and Fin refused to bail me out so I gave up the idea in exchange for a night out.
The area of Itaewon, are full of scurrying foreigners looking for a night out, but we are connected and meakju is not long in coming. Our night ends at an eighties bar that still plays records and we sing loud and boisterously to the tunes of Wham, David Bowie and the like.
Sunday, was reserved for the best sushi this side of Japan! And it came with the added excitement of trolling the fish market scouting for the perfect fish to make our meal. We meet three more lovely Koreans, in Jenny, Tom and Jerry. Of course their Korean names are a lot more interesting than this silly English ones, but that’s for another blog.
What better way to explore and taste the goodness of a city than with its inhabitants. We drank soju, ate sushi, hopped on busses, played Jenga and Rummikub at a board game café, then explored the street markets.
Many hours, selfies and conversations later, we ended our day in university town, where we sipped rice wine while eating Korean pizza made from cabbage and potato, with some tofu and kimchee. No one makes kimchee like the Koreans, so it’s a must do.
I could’ve stayed another few days in Seoul, but our time was up. Of course we left a bit of our souls there, so we’ll be back.