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Monday, November 28, 2011

千九百七十一:Korea

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time waits for no man (or woman..)

I'm back from the Seoul super short trip! The temperatures were freezing (need 2 thick jackets above my heattech top & normal sweater & gloves) which really tired me out; I spent all my energy fighting the call and was dead tired by early evening.

The flight there was quite short, around 2 hours, but the trip to the hotel took around 2 hours as well. I should have taken the airport express bus to Myeongdong, but did not know of it until when going back, which was a pity, because it was cheaper and faster. I'm glad I got a room at Skypark hotel, because it was like 3 minutes from the subway station was was just plonk in the middle of the shopping area. I finally met up with Marini & Qling at around 4pm and we headed for my first proper meal of the day - bibim cold noodles. It was delicious! but very spicy. & I think I ate it wrongly w/o using the cold soup. hmmm.. We walked a little around, saw a demonstration in progress, escaped the confusion and crowds and met the bride for dinner at a crab place. I didn't know that crabs were famous in Korea. & they were pretty good! Unexpected food of this trip. After dinner, they brought us to Dongdaemun for me to look around a little - it's like MBK in Bangkok with all the small wholesale type clothing shops where there are lots of shops u have to bargain with and they all carry similar clothes after walking around for a bit. Maybe we were there too late, but the area isn't as happening as portrayed by the Japanese travel programs. (>.<)

The next day, we had brunch or actually an early lunch - some sort of hot pot. The luncheon meat was surprisingly good :) Then we went on to Red Mango for some dessert. I think I ordered a different item .. I wanted frozen yoghurt but the person didn't seem to understand me & I ended up with Yoghurt icecream. This is the problem with going to countries where they don't understand me! By the time I realised someone else did order frozen yoghurt, it was too late (because I was too full to eat anymore). We headed for the spa after lunch & it was a very very interesting experience. The old aunties who were the "scrubbers" were also in their undies (which was super weird) but practical & I dunno why we paid to torture ourselves in the oven sauna! At least at the end of it, I was scrubbed super clean & probably that "detox" session burnt some fats as well, because I was very hungry after 2-3 hours of spa activities. We had Ginseng Chicken for dinner, which was only so-so because I didn't like the sticky glutinous rice in the chicken. After dinner, we shopped a bit more & went back to the hotel early (too cold & we had to wake up the next day early for the wedding)

On the wedding day - it actually got colder. Cloudy overcast sky. I swear, I'll never go Korea in winter again. We made it to the wedding venue via shuttle bus, the wedding was quite an interesting affair. The usual ceremony was quite similar to a church wedding except we didn't understand what the officiating guy was chattering about - he made a speech for >15 minutes. The table arrangements were weird too, there was no eating no drinks, so why were there tables in there? They should have put in more chairs as >half of the people had to stand at the back of the hall. The traditional ceremony was funny, and I'm glad I was able to witness it. It was almost exactly as the dramas portrayed it, (with whichever few dramas I watched) the husband had to piggyback the wife around the room! I'm very glad I got the chance to see this, but most of all, happy that a friend who has been like a big sister to me has found her own happiness as well.

After the wedding, we went back to change, (dresses & heels are not for the super cold weather) and we headed for some tea at a store called Tea Therapy. It was a very cozy place, with half herbal teas and half herb teas, at a very reasonable price & we tried the very delicious ice kachang too! After that, we headed to dinner, finally we had bbq pork & chige & that was the last of my trip.

Headed back to JP yesterday morning at 6am for a 9am flight, I'm so glad JP is so warm (at 15 degrees it feels so warm!).

Now I'm just looking forward to Singapore to avoid the cold winter here for 2 months! :)

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