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  • Day8

    Day 7: The silence of Seoul

    November 14, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ☀️ 1 °C

    I was wrong…the library and the food is tomorrow…I forgot Thursday.

    Thursday was a quiet day. Quiet because we were lazy, and quiet in Seoul because of the exam. Remember THE exam I talked about on day 5? It was administered country-wide on Thursday. We knew it was happening…the evening news had feature stories dedicated to the exam. We heard about parents and grandparents praying and giving gifts to students. We even had to schedule our lunch with Alice’s Mom and her work friends for the next day because one was busy supporting her grandchild on test day. Even though we anticipated it…the silence in Seoul was startling.

    We started Thursday out in Insadong, the neighborhood from our first day, full of fun shops and cute tea houses. I don’t know who said it, but someone said, “We could eat there?” and that is what we did. That’s why I love to travel with people who know a place. They know where to find the good food. Jogeum (DoriKing) specializes in kamameshi (Japanese rice cooked in an iron pot,) "sotbap" in Korean. Everyone orders the seafood sotbap. Trust me. If you try to order the mushroom (I’m looking at you, Alice,) the waiter will look at you like you have completely lost your mind, will shake his head in disappointment, and will point to the seafood sotbap. It was seafood all around. Thank you, kind Sir, for saving Alice from herself and for saving me from having to guilt-share. The seafood was delicious.

    After lunch we visited the Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Dongdaemun has become a main landmark in Seoul and of the Korean design industry. Designed by Zaha Hadid, the center is comprised of 5 buildings and is a venue of conventions, design shows, and fashion shows. We were there on a cold, Autumn day, and the day of a massive country-wide exam, so the main attractions were a) the building itself, b) some warm, Italian coffee, and c) a hanbok-hat purse I will always regret not purchasing. Granted, now, after 6 months in quarantine, I have nowhere to carry a hanbok-hat purse, but also, I have no reason to have saved that money. Travel regrets. I am full of all of them right now.

    Next time, we know to do ALL the things on the Thursday of the national college-entrance exam and to absolutely buy any hanbok-hat purses we might find.

    Next up: “There is more food coming???”, a massive library in a massive mall, and VIP fruit
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