July 4, 2010

seoul - south side

before this trip, i had only been to korea once around 15 years back. I have some memories of the month I spent there, but Seoul was nothing like I remembered it to be. After parting ways with the tour group, we were free to explore on our own. The first place we went to was a few minutes away from our hotel by taxi, which is a cheap option for transportation w/ the starting fare around 2.50. But sometimes it was pretty scary to be in the backseat. While I find bad drivers in America to be characterized by their egotistical selfishness and ignorance of their surroundings, the drivers here speed around with a recklessness that only shows a disregard for all life, including their own.

But by the grace of god, fresh bread, and everything else holy in the world, we arrived at the Kim Young Mo Bakery, the first organic bakery in Korea.
plenty of free samples to try. lots of european and korean goodies on display.
for myself, i picked up a strawberry ice cream sandwich. the outer layers were more of a cake than cookie, and the inside was more of a sorbet.

there are so many businesses here, stacked upon one another. i wondered how they all survived. (the minimum wage here is 2500 won, a little under $2.50).
minsokchon was a traditional folk village park that showcased the old ways of life. it's also a place to drink soju in sd.

all that walking around was definitely tiring.
we also visited gyeongbok palace and changgyeong palace. one thing i loved about seoul was that the modern coexisted with the old, something you don't really see in the U.S. since it is relatively new (with the exception to the indigenous).
also loved that you were free to drink outside. here's the classic combo that will have your head spinnin. have a happy 4th everyone!

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