Saturday, May 06, 2006

To market, to market

If you're headed out on the town for exploring, be sure to bring tissue paper, because it would really not be fun if you have a poop attack but you don't have the paper you packed because you had a fight with your boyfriend and ya'll decided to spend the day apart and he took your daypack and all you have is your notebook so you have to tear a bunch of pages out and use that.
Would it?

I went to Insadong, previously mentioned, and scored a few more souvenirs, then headed to the old market, Namdaemun, where many inexpensive and interesting goods can be found, such as Bae Yong Jun socks aimed at Japanese tourists, complete with a picture of his dreamy bespectacled face and "Yong-sama" written on them. 1000 won.
From there I hit up the recommended Kyobo books, an excellent and large bookstore with a large English section - but small translated Korean lit section (they only had one thin Hwang Soon-won novella, whom I believe is highly translated) - where I nonetheless picked up Three Days in That Autumn by Pak Wanseo, a modern female writer.
Content with the day's shopping, I headed to meet boyfriend-the-poophead at the appointed time, at which time we once again attempted to check in to the Sheel Hotel. Luckless, we ended up at the Samsung Motel a few blocks away. Adequate, but not wonderful. Also, apparantly the word "motel" has the love hotel connotation, while the word "hotel" does not, at least when spoken. It was clear that Sheel was a love hotel, but only from the appearance - not the name.
After checking in, we went to the nearby convenience store for a dinner of rice, kimchee, cookies, chips, and drinks. By this point, it had started pouring rain, and we got fairly soaked. However, being our last night in Seoul and determined to get as much in as possible, we headed back out into the night.
Dongdaemun, the famous clothing market, is open until 5 a.m. I'm not sure what time it reopens in the morning, but we hopped on the subway and rode the few stops to the area, and proceeded to browse the rows upon rows of stalls in the cavernous buildings. Certain areas were devoted to certain types of products, so one section might have 30 stalls selling ladies' underwear, while another floor might specialize exclusively in ties. We also checked out a slightly more upscale mall adjacent, but found the prices to be too high. Ascending to the top floor, however, I scored a good deal on Korean-style chopsticks and bibimbap spoons - about 1500 won for a set of 5 pairs of chopsticks.
At about two a.m., we concluded the evening and climbed, soaking wet, into a cab that bore us back to Jongno3ga and the hotel and sleep.

No comments:

Post a Comment