A SAMPLE OF SEOUL (added 17.07.11)
Arrived in Korea after an 11 hour flight from London with no television, as mine was broken (but the nice man did “do me a service” and try to reset it a few times for me – sadly he failed and compensated me with a glass of champagne and the most horrible tea I have ever tasted.
From the airport we jumped on a bus , got to a main road and realized we had no idea how to get to our hotel. Ami asks for directions in a shop, which results in two lovely Korean guys taking off with our hotel booking saying follow me; as we try to keep up through the narrow alleys, lifting our cases out of the puddles, we are greeted with a pungent fish aroma, and as we pass the ladies cooking fish outside in the alleys we find our hotel, thank our kind Koreans, check in, shower then race out of the hotel to explore.
We take photos of all the funny signs, stop for a mediocre beer and some fluorescent colored balls of something that can only be described as stale popcorn flavor, we people watch and decide where out of the exciting looking places to go for dinner.
It is at this point we wonder if we should have researched Korea as we have no idea if the food is safe to eat and the water is drinkable.
As we contemplate this we also notice the distinct lack of tourists; does the rest of the world know something we don’t?
We take a gamble that food is safe to eat and eat a delicious korean BBQ of meat and a range of miscellaneous items and just copy what the people at the table next to us are doing.
As we study our map and roughly plan what to do the following day for our one day in Korea we are beside ourselves with excitement as we notice the museum of chicken art and the owl museum – surely a must when in Seoul for one day.
Sadly as fate would have it, we did not make it to our museums, it quickly became apparent why every second shop sold umbrellas and gumboots as the rain continued to fall, we borrowed some umbrellas and set out to do some sight-seeing.
As the rain became heavier and soak through more and more layers of our backpacks and clothes , our explorations were considerably slowed. The rain was relentless, our one day of exploring in Korea was certainly not as adventurous as we would have liked.
Korean people are lovely, everywhere we turned there was someone willing to help us, as we were running through the streets wheeling our suitcases through the puddled, muddy streets, to get to the bus, we patiently wait on a street corner to cross the road when two Korean men appear beside us, holding umbrellas over our heads to shelter us from the rain.
We only sampled Seoul for 26 hours, but we loved every second of it.