Bitterly cold, dropping below zero when the sun set.
Buying a $9 scarf in a train station and waddling around in three sweaters and a headband all the time.
Visiting the shopping district at night, filled with giant department store-sized buildings whose halls were lined with stalls selling clothing ranging in price from $15-$90. Some of the buildings wouldn’t let me in, and the other buildings I went in were mostly empty and the stall vendors were preoccupied with sorting through giant trash bags filled with clothing.
Drinking mochas and editing Japan photos in Coffee Smith, located on a really nice shopping street, shades of Robson in Vancouver.
The countless ads for plastic surgery lining the walls of metro stations in wealthier areas. I heard that 1 in 5 women in Seoul has had some form of plastic surgery.
Walking for hours along the “urban stream” that runs through the city. Originally used by women to do washing, and then lined with shanties in the 1960s, the stream was covered with a highway and then uncovered and turned into a park.
Stopping at a little grocery store every night and buying two pomegranates.
Meeting up with Alex and talking about nothing but Japan.
Eating grilled meat and kimchi stew with Alex. At that place my phone fell out of backpack (not even that far!) and the screen cracked. I became just like the girls on Gallery Girls.
Learning Alex knew a lot about K-Pop so every time I saw an ad I would yell WHO IS THAT and she would tell me all about them. Her favourite boy group is Super Junior.
The strange weather where the clouds were flat and heavy and the air had that strange dense quality to it. Later that evening I told some South African girls that it had been “trying to snow” and they thought that was the funniest phrase ever. “How can it be trying?!”
Watching the MNET Asian Music Awards with Mr. Lee, the guy who ran the hostel I was staying at, and another girl that also worked there. Mr. Lee’s funny dog snuggling up to me and I getting to see all the music stars Alex had taught me about that day. The girl watching with me loved Super Junior too, and Mr. Lee teased her about how her favourite member had to join the army (because of Korea’s mandatory service) and there was a “comedy fat option” member, who they had eating a basket of bread.
I liked Seoul a lot but I was really antsy to get to Vietnam.