Monday, July 4, 2016

A Day on the Town

Steve had meetings all day, so it was tempting to stay in and read the book that I had downloaded from the library (The Farm-hard to set down) and be lazy. That just didn't seem right. I needed to make myself go out and explore. So, after postponing for a few hours and catching up on email I got ready and began my adventure.

First I had to master the subway. Seoul has a wonderful Subway system. You can really go anywhere in it. It is clean, cool and fast. At the stops there were glass barriers to the rails. I am not sure if that is to keep people from jumping, but I am sure it keeps the stations cleaner.  I had decided that I needed first to get one of their travel cards that you can load up with money and then use each time you go on a subway ride. 

After looking at the machines and trying to figure it out on my own I asked the men at the information booth. They seemed to understand what I was asking, but did not speak any English. They took me to a machine where for 3000 won (about $2.50) I purchased a card. Then I had to go to the next machine and put some money onto the card. The machine had a button to choose English, so that was straight forward. The problem was that I could not see anywhere how much a ride cost, so I was not sure how much to put on. I decided to put on the least that it suggested (2000 won) and then see what happened. 

When I went through the entry gate the LCD showed that it cost 1250 and I had 750 left on my card. I would have to refill it before I could come home.

I took the subway to the City Hall stop and got up to walk around and explore. I have never seen SO many huge video screens. In this picture which I took when I got out of the subway there are three. As I walked down the street there was one in every block or so. It looked to me like they were all playing commercials, but since I don't understand Korean I am not sure.

In this area I saw more business people. Near our hotel I feel like one of the oldest people when I walk down the street. Near City Hall there were more mature people (do you like how I said that?) I stopped to eat lunch at a Duncan Donuts!! Yes, I did say Duncan Donuts and lunch in the same sentence. I had a chicken sandwich and a capuccino. There were donuts, but I did not have one.

On the way I saw two temples which I will have to visit later and two impressive statues. I also saw that there is a on and off bus that I think I will take to learn the basics of what is here. There was a monument thanking the US for helping take back the 38th parallel. It had pictures of soldiers and I wondered if I might see my Mom because she was a nurse here at that time. Of course it was mostly generals and really important types, but you never know.

As I walked down I observed these helpful and friendly police people. They don't actually look very Korean to me.  They were outside of the Police station. I know that because it said "Police" in English.

At the Sejong Art Center there was an exhibit of the work of Joan Miro. I decided that it would be fun to see so I went in and after looking at the exhibit I sat in one area and took time to sketch (badly). I decided to take a picture of what I was sketching, turn it upside down and sketch it again and see if it improves. I will post the two sketches here if it seems helpful.

After the Miro exhibit I headed back toward the subway to return 'home'.  I was thirsty and so I stopped at Caffe Pasucci for something to drink. I ended up with a Peach Granita which was very nice. 

I did celebrate the 4th of July a little in the evening by having Korean BBQ. It was fantastic. In the middle of your table is a large grill and they bring meat and grill it for you there. They also provide you with all sorts of sauces, and vegetables to eat with the meat and kimchi! I also had ice cream and by accident ordered something quite strange. I can't believe I did not take a picture of it. It was in a large bowl and had shaved ice at the bottom and then mashed azuki beans with nuts sprinkled on them then a scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce. It was served with a bit of sweetened condensed milk that could be poured over it. hmmmmm I will try to go back and get a picture.

On the walk home I saw this very interesting parking garage. I am not sure how it works... but here is my guess. You drive your car into the bottom slot and pay. Then the Blue machine rotates, like a ferris wheel, so that your car is stored up higher and another blank space rotates down. It seems ingenious like many of the things that we have seen in South Korea. 

I got my idea for this blog and also using big pictures from this blog:
Subway excursions in Seoul

Let me know what you think!


  1. Janice, I love the photos. This is a very interesting place and it seemed a very creative space. I can't wait to see your sketch :). Damita

    1. Even here I wish I would take more time to sketch! Time flies by. Maybe on the plane I will do my version of the sketch upside down! Thanks for reading!