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Sunday, April 12, 2009

My weekend in Seoul

This weekend, the 8 of us ventured over to Seoul. :) We were able to take the KTX train, which is the high speed train for 32,000 won each way, and within 3 hours, we were in Seoul! Here's us at the train station, arriving in Seoul. (Carlos, Jess, Kate, Rob, Colin, Kevin, Me, and Kristin)

We were able to get seats that faced each other, so 4 of us were on one side of the isle, and the other 4 were on the other side. I couldn't get Kev to take a normal picture with me, so this is what I have to show you the inside of the train...

Kevin and Carlos are always coming up with 5th grade games to play. This time it was, "Who can stare into each others eyes the longest." They are always trying to make each other as uncomfortable as they can!

When we arrived, we went to dinner with Sunny, Stella, and Chigan (3 of the EPIK volunteers that we befriended at our orientation when we arrived in Korea.) They took us to a restaurant that specializes in a drink called Makali and we had lots of different Korean foods that we all shared. Here's all of us outside the restaurant.

Kevin and Sunny

After dinner, Carlos, Jess, Kristin, Colin, Kevin and I headed over to a 24 hour Jim Jil Bang where we all spent the night! This is actually a fairly common thing to do in Korea, because it is so cheap! It was 12,000 won for each of us and was an interesting experience that I won't soon try again. People slept like sardines in heated rooms on wooden floors with strangers all around them. Enough said I think.

Since we didn't actually go to sleep until 4am, we all woke up late the next morning, got ready and headed out for some lunch! As we were walking, we stumbled upon a "red light district." I had no idea Korea had one, but sure enough.... there is was! Here is a picture of the street. During the day, it's like a ghost town.

We decided to drop our bags at the hostel we had booked for Saturday night, so we jumped on the suwbay and off we went. I actually don't have any pictures of the room at the hostel, but I think the sign says it all...

Kevin actually got really sick with a fever on Saturday, so I stayed with him at the hostel while everyone else went to a Palace and a shopping market. After sleeping for 5 hours, Kevin was back in the game, and we were able to meet up with everyone for dinner and dancing! We ended up at a club called Bunker, which played awesome american hip hop!

The next morning, we headed over to a Flea Market that someone recommended we go see! It was actually really awesome. I bought an amazing ring for my sister, and something for my mom and dad that I think they'll really like. The building in this picture is NOT part of the flea market... just the sign! :)

After the Flea Market, we jumped on the subway and headed over to another part of Seoul where we had heard we could get Mexican food, which we had ALL been craving! When we got off the subway, I saw a huge crowd forming around the "Paris Baguette Bakery." I pushed my way through the crowd to see what all the hype was about, and it turns out they were filming one of the most famous TV shows in Korea! I was able to snap a few pics with my camera. This morning, I sent the pictures to all the women teachers and they went crazy! They were so excited!

After walking for a bit, we finally spotted "Dos Tacos" and enjoyed our moment of paradise! Mexican food is literally nearly impossible to find in Seoul...

Sometimes the spelling of certain things is a little bit off. We loved this version of tequila...

After Mexican food, we walked around the city and did some street shopping! (Jess and Stella)

We also found this "luxury" norebang (Karaeokee). If you look closely, you can the the people singing in the windows. If we had more time, we all would have loved to go, but we had to catch our train.

We headed back to the train station and said our goodbyes to all our favorite Korean girls and headed back home!
When we arrived back in Pusan, Kevin and I both walked outside and breathed in the ocean air and agreed that Seoul is cool, but we are soooo glad we chose to live in Pusan!

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