Monday, March 23, 2009

Seoul - Summary Of Day 5

The main gate to the Olympic Stadiumm which hosted the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

  • The weather forecast said that it was going to be cold today, so I went out in wearing a white t-shirt and an jacket I bought at Namdaemun Market a day earlier. Went to KEB Bank to exchange my money, but found out that the rate is much lower than what I can get at the money changers at Namdaemun Market.
  • Had breakfast at the McDonald's' restaurant near Anam station. Did a minor change on my plan of the day by taking a detour to Namdaemun Market first to exchange my money. That money changer guy was telling something he saw on his laptop screen. I saw it was about some baseball game's result but I think it has got to do with the Japanese team. Just nodded at him and smiled even though I didn't know anything lol. Stopped by to grab a few more souvenirs there, and walked to the oldest train station in South Korea - Seoul station.
  • It was certainly not a sight I had imagined when I walked to the area around Seoul station. Beggars in shabby clothes were everywhere; they were practically loitering there, sleeping on the benches and floor, sunbathing while some were gambling at one spot.
  • Took the subway to my first destination of the day - Seoul Sports Complex. Met a group of American guys from California when I asked them to help me to take my pictures inside the train. They were currently doing shootings for some documentary program about South Korea and will be here for three weeks. Prior to this trip, they have been to Vietnam and Tokyo. One thing I can't comprehend is why it is more often that the Westerners recognise Malaysia compared to the Japanese and Korean, although both are Asian countries.
  • First thing I did when I exited from the Sports Complex Station was, I went "wow!". The Olympic Stadium was sitting majestically right in front of me, about 400 meters away. Quickly took a few shots before going closer to the main stadium. Several workers were washing the floor of the entrance to the stadium but I asked (using sign language, as usual lol) them if I could go in to take a picture. The lady said "no" at first, but I made my "muka kesihan" and signalled them that I will only take a few moments there, and the guy beside her just told me to go ahead. When they were busy doing their washing, I ran up the staircase to sneak into the spectators seats to get a better view of the stadium.
  • Stopped at a KFC restaurant outside the sports complex to have my lunch, which was Bulgogi burger set. The name of the burger is super funny, eh? The staff told me the french fries was out of stock and she was going to replace it with a box of coleslaw. I actually didn't understand when she told me about that, so she just point to the menu on the wall and I just barely managed to make that out.
  • Walked across Tancheon stream to the happening area of Gangnam. Got lost inside COEX, a huge shopping mall there for a while, but managed to get to the next destination with the help of the information counter staff. Planned to visit the Kimchi Museum but too bad it was closed today. Walked to the Bongeunsa Temple, a Buddhist temple in the middle of the city. Prayed inside the main hall for a short while and saw the biggest Buddha statue in South Korea inside that temple.
  • The next destination was supposed to be the Jeongneung Tomb and Seonneung Tomb inside the Seonjongneung Park, but too bad it's also closed on Monday. Decided to go straight to Itaewon from there but stopped at a stall to grab two pieces of doughnut like snack; one of them was round in shaped with red bean as the filling. The lady was smiling when I took the picture of her stall; I could be the first or at least one of the rare person to do that lol.
  • Was approached by a Korean lady who looked lost and I guess she was asking me for some directions in Korean. I didn't want to make her lost even further and I just said I don't speak Korean. Yesterday, people were talking to me in Japanese, and today it was Korean. I think today I looked like a Korean lol.
  • Walked around Itaewon - the main spot for foreigners and you can see as many foreigners as the Koreans here, and also hiked up the slopes to the one and only mosque in South Korea at one part of Itaewon. So far, I've been to a Catholic cathedral, a Buddhist temple and a mosque. Ain't I truly Malaysian?
  • Again, my battery was weak already, otherwise I would have gone to the N Seoul Tower. That plan has to be postponed once again to another day. Came back home and had dinner at "kedai muntah" once again. The bibinbap was not bad; in fact that lady charged me cheaper than the price shown on the wall. Maybe she thinks I'm cute lol.
  • Came back to Skype with baby since I saw her still online. Since it was still quite early, decided to go out to the main campus of Korea University to snap a few shots of the main building of the university. It was freaking cold that I swear I would never go out in two layers anymore. The spotlights shining on the building was turned off exactly when I finished my photoshot session.
  • Came back and make this update. Will finalise tomorrow's itinerary after this as I already draft it up a bit inside the train and while I was having my dinner just now. will try to sleep as early as possible as I will start my day early tomorrow morning.


mg said...

lol dun ss ur cute k! hehe..

Anonymous said...

habis la , hai ya !!!!!

calvin said...

@ michelleg:
if that's not the reason, i can't think of another better one already xD

calvin said...

@ anonymous:
do these updates annoy you that much that you want them to end as soon as possible?

Anonymous said...

kalo ko ade org salah igt korean x pe lagi calvin...muke aku yg jauh gile dr korean ni pon de makcik sesat tanye arah kt aku dlm bahasa korea tau!haha

calvin said...

@ ulya:
so far, people have thought me as a korean, japanese and chinese. but for them to think that you are a korean, then that is something very rare lol xD