On Thursday, I again took to the streets alone. This time, my pick was Itaewon, being one of the districts popular with tourists and military, apparently. And I did see a number of US people walking along the streets that afternoon. Most of the stores here are selling above average goods or branded goods, which are of course, priced higher than the other street markets.
Itaewon bus stop
Unfortunately for me, it was drizzling the whole afternoon I was there, so it was wet wet wet! Lucky for me, I had my umbrella, but still the streets looked gloomy and floors were wet. The good thing was that the street was quiet, of people, not cars.
Streets of Itaewon #1
Streets of Itaewon #2
One of the prominent landmark of Itaewon is the Hamilton Hotel, which was the hotel I saw just right after I exited from the subway station. So, I used that as my landmark to remember my starting point.
Empty and wet pedestrian streets
Calvin Klein Jeans
Surprisingly, I managed to buy some souvenirs from this street! I helped Saucer’s colleague buy an Amethyst necklace here, as well as a silk bag for myself! Interested to know how the bag looked? I’ll show it to you in my next post!
Hard Rock Cafe
Since it was pretty quiet, I left after less than 2 hours on the streets, heading towards Saucer’s office. I spent another few hours there playing with his PSP while waiting for them to get off work. Then, it was dinner time! This time, Randy, who was Saucer’s Korean supervisor, brought all of us out to have some authentic Korean food. It was this big plate of chicken with spicy gravy and transparent noodles. VERY good!
Korean spicy chicken with noodles
Can’t really see the noodles from the picture above because they’re covered by those glorious chicken. Randy also ordered a bottle of Korean wine for us.
Did you know that according to Korean culture, one is not supposed to pour wine for oneself? Someone else has to pour wine for you. This means that, Randy, couldn’t pour his own wine and had to wait for Saucer or someone else to fill his glass. We’re not that used to this culture that sometimes I had to remind Saucer to fill up Randy’s glass when it’s empty! *LOL* You see, it would be weird to ask someone to pour wine for you, especially your guests. So it’s good to keep this custom in mind, to avoid embarrassment for the other party.
Randy pouring wine to Saucer
Saucer and his colleagues
After dinner, we planned on taking the subway at Yongsan Station. This station is huge!
Yongsan Station, Seoul
Interior of Yongsan Station
Korail = Korean Rail?
But, when Saucer’s colleague saw the maze of railway lines and the interchange that we had to make, he just gave up! *LOL* And suggested that we took the taxi instead. I don’t blame him, look at the maze of colours on the subway network! It must come as a shock for someone who’s a first-timer there. Not for me though, for I can proudly claim that I knew my way around very well just with that subway map.
Seoul subway map
Therefore, we walked back to Saucer’s office to take a cab. From Yongsan station, we could see his office very clearly. It was this tall building in the picture below. So many lights! The Korean counterparts must be so hardworking to be working even at 9+pm. *gasp*
Saucer’s office in the background
We reached the hotel soon and had some fun watching TV and having local beers. The next day was a Friday! Apparently, they could leave work early. Or so they said. Stay tuned to find out!