Monday, April 20, 2009

Why does the weekend have to be over :( ?

Well I am finally back in Usuyeong and am pretty bummed that the weekend is over. As always, it was absolutely FANTASTIC. There is just something about Seoul for me, where I just always end up having an amazing time no matter who I am with even if I'm alone and nothing seems to bother me, and I don't know how to describe it. It's actually kinda scary just how much I love that city. Definitely my second favourite city behind Boston, and the closeness of my love for Seoul to my love for Boston is kinda scary. Alright well here is how my weekend unfolded. Just warning,  a lot happened so this will be long!

Left on the 8:50 am bus from my town to Mokpo, got in a taxi to go from the bus station to the train station (not even close to being a walkable distance, its about a 10 minute drive maybe 15), and did all this at a LIGHTNING SPEED so I could very barely catch the 10am train from Mokpo to Seoul (yongsan station) which would get me there at 2:45pm. Usually I take the 11:10 am train which gets there at like 2:20 or something but its more expensive since its faster (less stops, faster speed) and I did not have to be there at a certain time I go onto the cheaper train. 
Eventually got to the hotel where I would be staying at, and got the key to the room I was staying in (my sister's friend Jessica who she went to grad school with was still at work). I was tired, but then when I was looking at my little book on Seoul, I saw that there was a giant mall not too far away from where I was that actually had an amusement park in it, so I decided that I had to go! 
The mall is called Lotte World. It even has a hotel connected to it! I swear Koreans like to just lump everything together which is quite nice. The amusement park is indoors I guess like the Mall of America although its quite hidden in the giant building, but I guess I have a kind of sixth sense for roller coasters as I pretty much just walked right to it even though there were no signs and it was really hidden. I managed to get a cheaper ticket inside the amusement park since it was after 4pm. There were a lot of little kid rides in it, and also some haunted house esque things. I went inside one which reminded me of what you would find on Halloween in New England, but not nearly as scary. In the beginning it was because there was a person in black hidden around a corner, but after that it was just lots of things behind glass jumping out when you walked by. 
Then I got on this one roller coaster which was just like a giant circle that it looped you around..first you went 1/4 way around then 1/2 then all the way around a few times. It was still fun. Finally I found the giant roller coaster and got in line for that. It was a very short line and I ended up getting to sit in the first car!!!!!!!! Only one upside down part and very quick but it was still awesome! And the picture that was taken of me ended up being AMAZING so I bought it. I took a picture of the picture with my camera so I could post it on here :) 
Went to dinner at TGIFridays (i nearly flipped when I saw it! Its one of my favourite restaurants at home and I had never seen any in Korea! Had a great strawberry banana daquiri and an okay caesar salad for dinner. 
Went back to the hotel, showered, and Jessica came back from the goodbye party at her work (their project was over and Sunday they were all headed to Hong Kong). I was in my pajamas and she told me to get dressed as we (us and another girl from her work thats Danish) were going out to get our nails done. No places ended up being open, so we ate ice cream at Coldstone Creamery and then went back to the hotel and went to sleep. 

This was a very long day! First we went to the Namsangol Korean Village (a traditional Korean village which was moved there from somewhere else in the nearby vicinity and a nice tourist attraction). We ended up being able to try on hanbok (traditional korean dress) which we took pictures of. Then we went to Seoul Tower which I had been to before so Jessica and Mette went to the top and I went to the Teddy Bear Museum. I thought it would be like a history of the teddy bear, but it ended up being in two parts, one part being a history of Korea reenacted with Teddy Bears (not the wars part with the north) and then the second part showed Seoul today with different parts of the city also reenacted with teddy bears. it was ... strange. 
We had lunch at a korean BBQ restaurant which was really good. Then we went to Dongdaemun which is a shopping area and had a lot of fun there. We ended up getting manicures there as well, and I got my nails painted this beautiful blue/green color! 
After that we went to Itaewon for dinner where once again we had Korean BBQ for dinner. It was a little bit of an overload on the BBQ but thats okay! Then we went to see this play thing called "Jump" it was a mix of martial arts and comedy. It was alright, but probably not worth the 50,000 won I paid. We were all really exhausted by the end, so we went to sleep at 10. Plus, they had an early day the next day. 

Jessica had a 10am flight, so she left around 8am. I stayed in the hotel room and we agreed i would check out as her when I left which was fine. I called my dad via skype on my ipod touch, and in the middle of our conversation I decided to turn on the TV. Flipped through the channels and saw THE RED SOX GAME. I screamed. Thank goodness Renaissance hotel has thick walls otherwise someone might think something bad happened! It was in Chinese using NESN feed. It was SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!! I was originally going to go to Everland the korea version of Disney, but with the sox game decided to forgo that! Sox game ended in a win (YAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!), and I called my mom to share the exciting news. Checked out of the hotel, and then checked into my new hotel that I would be staying at for one night. It was small, but only cost $50 a night. Then I went to the World Cup Stadium, home of the 2002 FIFA world cup (soccer). I wanted to go inside it and maybe take a tour, however all the entrances were gated so that didn't happen. Went inside the museum that was there and was pretty disappointed, but it was only 1,000 won so not a bad deal. Had some cool memorabilia, but I really wanted to see the inside. 
After that went to Children's Grand Park which at first I thought was just the adult version, but turns out its two different places. Lots of people my age were actually at Children's grand park so it was alright I did not feel that out of place. It was very large and no signs telling you where to go. There were lots of areas for families to bring picnics which I thought was very cool since in America you can't bring in your own food to a place like that. Entrance is also free!! Went to the zoo section, and was pretty sad by what I saw. The cages that the monkeys/chimps/etc were in were really small, and just had cement and some weird things to climb. There were doors which I saw led to an outside enclosure with some grass, but the doors were closed and the animals were sectioned off from each other. They looked pretty sad and I was depressed for them. 
I went to the amusement park part, and had trouble figuring out how to pay for the rides as there was no english anywhere, but figured out you had to buy a ticket for 4,000 won for each ride. I went on one roller coaster which was fun. Then went to dinner at Itaewon where I had a chicken caesar salad which was AMAZING!!!!! 
Went to the Coex mall today which is a giant underground mall located at one of the subway stations. Was raining all day so I didn't want to do anything outside. Went to a bookstore with a large english language section and spent a lot of time between buying books for myself and seeing if there was something I wanted to buy to help teach English (didnt end up buying anything for the english classes). Then it was time to come back to Usuyeong and thats where I'm at now!

^Taxi cab driver in Seoul had 2 gps! This is not normal...only 1 is. But then any time he went even teh slightest bit over the speed limit a giant circle with the speed limit would flash and make a noise. It was annoying! Here's a picture of the speed limit flashing. 
^2 lions at the zoo. 
^One of the cages in the zoo. So sad!!
^Red sox game on tv in Chinese!!!

^My pretty nails..also still wearing my ring from my last trip to Seoul of course. Still in love with it!
^The bears at the teddy bear museum.
^Jessica, Mette, Me wearing Hanbok!

^ Oops its sideways but look at my smile!


Apparently I was watching on a Japanese network!

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