Sunday, March 16, 2008

Insadong, White Day, Korean comedy, and the mysterious pirate

In my V-Day entry, I had posted a picture of this heartthrob:

Fast-forward one month later to White Day - and he's (eerily) baaack (over the shoulder of "Mr. LA")!

The streets were packed on White Day. It was really cute watching all the high schoolers skip out of school in uniform - some boys running out with little gift baskets for their gals, girls giddily texting away on their mobiles, couples walking hand in hand.


I recently crashed a trip to Insadong, an area known for its antique shops, art galleries, traditional restaurants and tea houses. We went to one called Min's Club, which was housed in a structure characteristic of Korean homes built in the 1930s.

I wouldn't consider myself a tea type of person, probably in part due to some of my unpleasant encounters in the UK (and at the office in Boston), but minds can be changed. As I opted for one of the safer green tea selections, I was met with vehement protest... "흔하잖아!" ... and therefore chose a glass of iced yujacha (유자차), aka citron tea. ("Yuja" is the Korean word for the more commonly known Japanese-named "yuzu" fruit.) I've had it once before, only it wasn't quite as refreshing, as my uncle made me gulp down a warm version when I was under the weather. This one was quite tasty.

We walked through a modern art exhibition which was fantastic, and I hope to go back soon for closer observation. I haven't had the opportunity to check out any galleries in Seoul, so that's next on the agenda. I did, however, get to put a check mark next to the "pound some rice cakes" box on my to do list. ^^

We also strolled by some cute shops, but keeping in mind that we were with the three musketeers who were more entertained by this (I will spare you the close up version, and we'll just leave it as "an art piece")...

...I'll have to check out the area again some other time on my own, or with some girlfriends. ^^

We also went to Cheonggyecheon (청계천), a stream in downtown Seoul that flows out to the Han River, and one of my favorite places to walk along. There's something very beautiful and calming about it, and the view at night is especially wonderful. I don't think the "we don't know any better because we're white" dudes (their words, not mine) shared quite the same sentiment, rather, they thought it would be funny to scare the **** out of me by half jokingly (?) attempting to throw me in.

Last night, I met SJ at Daehakno (대학로), a young area known for its street performances and small theatres, accessible via the 헤화 subway stop on line 4. OR you can learn how to not be so intimidated by the bus system like a certain someone *cough cough*, save yourself some time and transfers, and even take in a view of three palaces en route, by taking the 272 to 성대입구. (It's those little pieces of trivia that I'm grateful for... so thank you, my friend, YS, if you truly read this blog like you say you do, here is your shout-out, haha! ^^)

We caught a mini rap performance, then headed out for some yummy budaejjigae (부대찌개) and at that moment, I really started to crave chicken vienna sausage, turkey spam, and turkey hot dogs. (My stance on processed meat wavers from time to time.)

SJ took me to a live comedy performance called 웃찾사 in a very cozy (in real estate terms) theatre. Apparently these guys have their own TV show, which explained the deafening screams from the all the girls in the audience. ^^

I didn't realize I had indeed watched this on TV a couple times, until I did some research on YouTube. This was one of my favorite sketches, probably b/c it was the easiest to understand in Korean? ^^;; Anyway, I'm always a fan of audience participation!

Time for eats!

Bibim mandoo (비빔만두)... fried dumplings mixed with hot sauce and veggies. It's a shame I haven't actually eaten mandoo in Korea yet - I have yet to run into a veggie or chicken version!

Cheese ddeokbokki (치즈떡볶이)... rice cakes in a hot sauce mixed with onions, fish cake, and topped with American cheese... come on, you know American cheese tastes good on anything.

Bibimbap (비빔밥)... well... y'all know what this is.

Red Mango... I've honestly forgotten what Pinkberry tastes like already!

Gamjatang (감자탕)... I didn't really eat this, just observed, but it looks pretty good, minus the pork. ^^

And if you got this far... pat on the back!

2 (or 3?) more tests to go (tomorrow)!

1 comment:

Grace said...

is insadong mentioned in my sassy girl?