Thursday, October 5, 2017

Seoul - (Korea Day 7 & 8)

I made sure I fueled energized my tummy with lotsa food next morning. I had to. Remember, I skipped dinner the previous night, moreover, my last meal was at 2.00pm (Pyeongchang/Yongjin)?Right. Actually, I could have, if I wanted to, call for room service, then again, what for? Korean food is already up my throat. Enough. Thankfully, instead of the usual hotel buffet, we had breakfast in one of the unknown restaurants. Self service, comparatively an appetizing meal, pumpkin porridge and spinach porridge, eaten alongside Kimchi soup and condiments. But, eating in the messy dining area, after the big groups of tourists have left, simultaneously, while the staff were massively sulking, as if earthquake is gonna strike soon, didn't go down well with us. Did we have a choice? I guess not. I of course was  irritated. I still ate because my hunger throne was my only concern.   

Once we were done with tucking into this pleasant, supposedly a Korean morning wake up call breakfast, we journeyed back to Seoul. Seoul! Where we stepped foot on day 1 (Incheon to Seoul) for this all-in 8 days tour. On this day, we were at the heart of Seoul. Another cosmopolitan city, yes, just like elsewhere. Traffic, tall buildings, bustling busy city life and I, I had to be the only Indian amongst the locals, as well between the hurricane thundering Chinese tourists (Mount Sorak). I guess Korea is not a popular tourist destination for Indians. Perhaps? This Day 7 by far was such a sheer, nonsense, rubbish and pathetic waste of time. Shopping madness. Seriously, I hated it. First stop at National Ginseng Center, followed by birds nest outlet which was akin a hammer house of horror. Jammed packed with Chinese tourists. They were, believe me, rushing to buy the pricey ginseng. Wonder why? Because Korean ginseng is far out better compared to dubious Chinese ginseng? I really don't know. Bus loads of them, mind you, I anyway tailed gated the guide, I must admit that I did pick up some vital knowledge on this whole Korean ginseng plot. Breathing beneath soil for many years, prior to harvesting, potentially, dating back to then Korean emperors era. I also sampled a tiny bit of the ginseng drink, other than that, honestly, I was bored to death. 

Lunch was next, back again to shopping. Myeondong Street. Famed and fanned for no apparent reason by Malaysian Chinese. Sure, no doubt, you can shop till you drop, but if you asking me what's so special about shopping and why people generally go gaga in Myeondong street, its none.  Literally nothing. Basically, loads and loads of skin care and cosmetics, clothes and food, not cheap though, I think our Petaling Street is hundred times better. Believe me. I know what I am talking about. I checked out the outlets, I bought nothing. Cheaper, I think its cheaper to buy Korean skin care and cosmetics in Malaysia, try Sasa and our local pharmacies if you are doubting me, for the next 2 hours, after grabbing a drink, I sat at one of the benches and made full use of the free wifi. Free. Literally everywhere, including at the two shopping malls we visited thereafter. Day 7 over and done. 

Day 8 was another mad rocket shopping. Dongwha Duty Free Shop, Lotte Duty Free Outlet and at another beauty outlet, I can't recall the name, pressure mounted from the tour guide to buy. I refused. I told him off point blank to leave me alone. He got the picture. I believe so. Thankfully. If he would have pushed me any further, I think I would kicked his ass hard (Jeju Island Part 1 & Part 2). Really. 

The only consolation for day 8 was the an hour plus we later spend at Gwanghwamun Square and Cheonggyecheon Stream. What a relief! Despite the hot weather, I loved the fact that I did nothing. I sat by the clean gushing stream for resting my legs, I made friends with some locals, we helped each other to picturing and I stared at the sky. Literally. Amazing view (Nami Island), amazing relaxation for allowing my mind to wonder, amidst the busyness of Seoul city.

Korea Through My Eyes & Lens. 
Korea should potentially be sashed on your bucket travel list, but expect no much. Korea is not a wow-factor. Not for me. Sorry, no. If you have been to Japan (Sapporo/Hokkaido), you will most probably stretch your head on what’s so special in Korea.
Korean food is not worth mentioning.
What is great about shopping in Korea? I wonder?
I did meet some wonderful Koreans, albeit language barrier, we broadly grinned at each other.
Whoever said Korean women are drop dead gorgeous? Oh please. Women all the world are the same. 
Whoever also said that Koreans are beauty school drop-in because of Korean skin care? Stop kidding yourself. Have you not heard of cutting, sharpening, tightening, pushing up and enlarging? I bet everything can be adjusted in Korea. KY Pop Culture indeed.
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