Monday, October 23, 2006

Where There Is No Coffee

The Parentals, Part 2

I suspected that Starbucks would actually be closed at 6:30 in the morning. It was. Not a good start. I had inferior instant from GS25 instead.

Made it to Seoul quite alright, sleeping most of the way.
I was greeted by dad with a big hug and by mum with big tears (I expected they would happen) and a big hug. It was great to see them :D

Well, we walked and walked and walked; Namdaemun, the tower, Geumbokgung Palace.... The palaces were having this enormous historical re-creation festival with 'changing of the guards' and all sorts of stuff with a lot of people looking and acting historical-like. It was really interesting and I'd never seen anything like it before.

With extremely tired aching feet, it was 4:30 when I realised I hadn't had anything to eat since dinner the night before and hadn't drunk anything since the coffee. Unsurprisingly, I was a bit of a grumpy bugger.
And I was frustrated. From the palace, we'd gone to the hotel (which is down a tiny little alley and you'd never know about it unless you'd been there. Even taxi drivers didn't know about it). From the hotel we went looking for food.
I was starving. My blood sugar was skydiving. My brain wasn't reading the Korean properly and I couldn't find anything I recognised. I was looking for a 'normal' kimbap place. Or an outback steakhouse. Preferably the latter.
The hotel was really close to Damdaemun, so we headed there. I swear I remember there being an OS on the corner. There wasn't. Arrggggg!
We ended up in the basement of Doota shopping mall and in KFC where I scoffed a twister, a coke, and two and a half serves of fries.

Much better.

From there we walked around Damdaemun markets, which were pretty cool.

As an aside, and for those of you in Korea, I could not find any Family Mart, Mini Stop, GS25, By The Way, or any other little quick stop store ANYWHERE in Damdaemun where we were staying. It was amazing. There were about 10 pharmacies, but no store. I also couldn't find any Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts (although aparently there was a DD down a street around a corner). It is the furthest I have ever walked in Korea without seeing one (or all) of the above. Just amazing (and irritating, as it turned out).

After sleeping, we checked out of the hotel (we couldn't get the room for a third night) and dumped our stuff in a locker at the station, then headed for Insadong Street. It was early, so we went for coffee. Starbucks! Which still had the Pumpkin Spice Latte!! Yay!!!
I love Insadong. I bought a scarf. And almost all of my Christmas presents to send back home. :D
Unfortunately, it began to rain early afternoon, and we hadn't found a new place to stay for that night, so we went back to the station around 6 and got tickets for the first KTX back to Busan.

We arrived in Busan around 11:30 and ended up with the worst taxi driver I've ever had in Korea. Not only was he generally extremely rude during the trip, at the end he tried to tell me that the bridge toll was 2000. At least I assumed that that was what he meant by "toll i cheon". I got pretty angry at him, since I know it's only 1000.
It was a pretty upsetting end to a good two days.

Captain Scene-Maker, who has no qualms about yelling at taxi drivers at midnight.


Aubrey said...

Ok, I admit it. I was happily reading your update, but all I saw was "they still have the Pumpkin Spice Latte." SOB! What's wrong with Busan? Why aren't they still here? That's it, I'm moving to Seoul.

Ang, surprising about the taxi driver. What a jerk! Did you get his number to report him?

Ang said...

I didn't think to get his number. I was too pissed off.