Last Saturday…

Last Saturday…

I woke up in the early afternoon after having stayed up too late doing lots of nothing. I had semi-plans to go with some friends to this Mud Festival thing, but it was raining when I woke up and I had already missed the train to get there. I was semi-upset with myself for not going until I reminded myself that I really didn’t have the money with which to do so anyway. Instead I decided to use this as a reason to finally get off my ass and do the Seoul sightseeing I’d been intending to do for so long. So, after stopping at a neighborhood Kim-Bap restaurant for a quick lunch, I grabbed a bus (#306) into downtown Seoul.

I got off the bus in Jongno, and wandered around a cool little pedestrian area of restaurants, bars, DVD & PC rooms, and many many signs — Koreans love their signs.

jongno-street

After admiring the signs for a spell (while tacky-seeming at first, they possess a certain Blade Runneresque quality that appeals to me), I wandered around some more. I passed outdoor food vendors selling dried squid, rice cakes, and several varieties of meat-on-a-stick. I passed a man selling remote controlled robots. I passed a man who may have been dead, but who was probably just sleeping on the side of the road.

Eventually I ended up at a large bookstore that was full of books and Korean people. While I was browsing through the decent English-language section, a Korean high school student hesitantly approached me and asked if he could interview me as part of a school assignment (“interview an English-speaking foreigner”). “Sure!” I said, and he proceeded to ask me a series of questions about my life in Korea while shaking like an epileptic because he was so nervous. His level of nervousness was unsettling. When the interview was over he took my picture, because all Koreans take pictures of everything. Before leaving the bookstore I bought a copy of the new book by Paulo Coelho for 10,400 won.

After a bout of more focussed wandering I ended up at this cool-looking Anglican Church, which I spent several minutes admiring and taking photos of.

anglican-church-top

My Lonely Planet book tells me that it was started in 1922, but not entirely finished until 1996. Fascinating!

To be continued…

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