Sunday, November 13, 2011

Seoul Day Trip / Seoul Journey #6

It's been over a couple of weeks since I've written and posted on here. Much as I'm loathe to use the sentence, "I've been busy," it's true. There's no such thing as a normal week here (or anywhere where teacher's concerned for that matter, but still...) and I haven't had much time to get pictures and words together to post here. This week alone has been among the busiest:

- Monday: teacher's dinner to celebrate/commemorate Thursday's SAT test for the high school kids. The SAT is a huge deal here and the kids take it very seriously. My HS went out for dinner and drinks. And after that? We finally got back to the karaoke room! It was about bloody time, I'd say.

Tuesday: dinner and drinks with my two co-teachers and two other teachers who are in my office. Again, an excellent time.

Wednesday: watched TV and drank beer with my MS's art teacher. He knows our EPIK group in Cheorwon and likes to practice his English, so we talked and watched Bones with Korean subtitles. It felt good to see some TV shows that I used to watch before I left America.

Friday: the Office of Education took us EPIK'ers and our co-teachers out to dinner (and, of course, drinks. In Korea, it goes without saying) after Scott and his co-teacher's demonstration class. And after that, we EPIK'ers went to the bar for a bit before I caught the bus home from Dongsong.

And today?

I took a day trip to Seoul today so I could meet up with some friends and check out a few record stores that I'd heard about. Usually I resize the pictures to make them a bit easier to see, but this time I didn't resize anything because I think the bigger pictures help foreground just how busy Seoul is on a Saturday afternoon.

Lunch went well. I did indeed find the record stores, too.

View outside the Namdaemun Market. Note the traffic and the Shinsegae Department Store in the background. Shinsegae's one of the big three dept stores in Korea. The other two are Hyundai and Lotte. Over here, department stores are quite different from the Boston Stores, Kohls and the JC Penneys in the US. Instead of being known for discounted or inexpensive stuff, like US stores are, the Korean dept. stores are known their glamour and for their high price tags. And their seemingly endless selection--that building is the store. Last week, Paula and I wandered through the equally big (and expensive) Hyundai Dept. Store in Sinchon and I thought, "well, this must be what it's look to shop on 5th Ave. in New York or something similar." The place just never seemed to end. It had floor after floor of clothes, housewares, and sporting goods.

Some insights into Korean parking jobs in Seoul. See the street on the left? To park, you turn and drive on the sidewalk for a bit before parking on an incline.

A beauty store called Skin Food? Hey, it's Korea. I'll go with it. Taken near Hongik University.

The area/market near Hongik U. Yes, people actually drive on these narrow streets amidst throngs of people.

More of the Hongik U market.

There'll be more to come. With Korea, there's always more. Today's trip marked Seoul journey #6:

#1 - 1st Orientation--late August
#2 - buying the guitar
#3 - 2nd Orientation/hanging out with Aly--late September.
#4 - wandering around Insadong/Daehok Ro with Paula--mid October.
#5 - DMZ tracking fest plus shopping near Hyehwa and Dongdaemun with Paula--last week.


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