Monday, April 8, 2013

surviving a frigid winter day

Hi Seoul Youth Hostel in Seoul, South Korea
Hi Seoul Youth Hostel

days prior to my scheduled trip, i was closely monitoring the weather in seoul, checking it every morning on my way to work. i didn't hope for an increasing temperature because i was afraid that would completely melt the snow on the ground. i even had my back up plan in case that would happen and that was to go to a ski resort.

heaven must have doubted my likelihood of being in a ski resort that i was allowed to mesmerize on the snow right on my first day. arriving quite early at my hostel, i decided to roam the streets before check-in. i just left my luggage at the reception and off i went to brace the frigid winter day. i had no idea what accuweather meant of such description until i went about my very first winter encounter.

Flags along a street in Yeongdeungpo

Fresh fruit stall in one of the streets in Yeongdeungpo

Ajusshi busy on his fruits while I took a sneaky photo

Random street in Yeongdeungpo

i fully trusted my feet in doing an aimless walk around my hostel's vicinity in yeongdeungpo. to my amusement, i had an awkward encounter with a guy who looked like he came from the same mold as the ones in korean drama series. he was trying to persuade me with a product and of course, he was speaking in korean. all i could say was 아니요 (aniyo) which means "no". i wasn't sure if it was for a phone and definitely, i also wasn't sure if that was an appropriate reply. he might have found it weird that he just let me continue to walk. lol

Yeongdeungpo Underground Shopping Mall

overconfidence got me that initial thought of doing a leisure walk on a sunny but freezing day (yes, it's darn possible!). however, this superficial confidence only lasted me for a quarter of an hour before i quickly made a beeline to go underground. i took the cue from the koreans themselves, because all were in a rush and most probably with a goal to reach somewhere warm. who was i not to follow suit?

Bulgogi Burger Set Meal in Lotteria

i was supposed to eat the bulgogi burger meal in lotteria at the airport but my in-flight meal was served for breakfast. it was rather filling that it sustained me until lunch time. well, the excitement and an ounce of shock might have superseded any slight feeling of my need for food. i only chanced upon the lotteria shop during my wandering and i then realized, it was time for lunch!

i savored every bit of my food and more so, because of the warmth inside the shop and of course, the wifi that i got to freely connect among numerous hotspots. this is south korea after all, the home of the fastest internet speed.

since it was my first meal in seoul, i was keen on observing how people eat in a fastfood shop. i was curious because every time someone left the shop, his/her table was already cleared from trash -- like instantly. i was busy eating that it took me some time before i saw people bringing their trays onto the bin. after i was done with my meal, i did the same but only to find out, one of the crew quickly came by my side while i was about to shove my trash. kamsahamnida.

Yeongdeungpo-gu in Google Map

this has been my track to get to yeongdeungpo train station from my hostel and much to my surprise that i ended up there without me realizing it. the red path was where i hurriedly walked and the blue path was where i was elated that there was such thing as underground haven in yeongdeungpo!

Seoul City Hall

Seoul City Hall

from yeongdeungpo train station, i decided to head to seoul city hall because the architecture of the building is said to be impressive. and it really is. these photos of the seoul city hall are the only two because soon after two clicks, i was heading yet again to the underground! brrrr

to act like i was indeed in a stroll, i went to another direction which still would bring me to the underground. a korean man tarried me along the way by asking me directions to which i replied again "aniyo". he then deduced that he totally asked a wrong person. sorry ajusshi, i should have studied your language more intently.

H&M in Myeongdong

Angel-in-us Coffee shop in Myeongdong

Myeongdong, Seoul

Stores in Myeongdong

장근석 (Jang Geun Seok), don't look at me like that! lol after the mad dash in seoul city hall, i hopped again on trains and ended up in a less crowded myeongdong. i didn't buy anything and besides, the clothes were for winter or spring, which did me a great favor! my miserable wallet shouted hurrah!

Seoul, South Korea

the frigid weather turned out to be around -18 degree celsius (real feel). for someone like me who had only experienced spring weather, it was insane! i was only thankful that it was sunny, no considerable wind to make the situation worse and the best thing, seoul got plenty of underground malls!

corny alert!  i'm not sure if my nose is obvious in this picture but i can now totally understand why rudolph is a red-nosed reindeer. and just so you know, this isn't a passport photo but only my wide-eyed and a bit shocked face at city hall train station. brrrr


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