Monday, October 6, 2008

Why a tropical climate might be cool

So let's pretend I didn't spend August as a limp noodle fresh from the boiling pot. As I look over this week's weather report, I think there might be something to this tropical climate thing. For the next 4 days, it's supposed to get to a high of 77 degrees. Even I the local weather whiner see something to smile about there.

So my trip to Seomun was a pretty good time. It started off with Starbucks (love), and involved the subway. If it wasn't for the 2 flights of stairs, often unassisted by a rail, subways would be pretty cool; as it is, I think my balance is improving because I haven't fallen down for approximately two weeks! Woo hoo! After a wrong stop or two, Ash and I figured out where to go: The exit that says Seomun Market. Who would have thought?

As we get there, we were like, "Eh?" because the stop didn't necessarily deposit us safely at the beginning of the market. After a few minutes of contemplating what to do, I realized there was a sign that, thanks to hours of study, I could read: Seo Mun. Haha. So we started our walk with "sock street," a two-block area where every single vendor only sells socks. Those who know me can appreciate the irony of the situation: I, queen of flip flops and bare feet, wandering down rows and rows and rows of socks. Once we got to the end of sock street, we weren't there yet, but because most of the market is 10-20 shops in the same area selling the same stuff, we knew we were on the right path. (Okay, Ashley did, and I was following her blindly, kind of wishing I had extra strength ibuprofen.)

Turning some sort of corner, we looked up to the left and saw... a castle? It was the most bizarre thing. The architecture here is fairly nondescript, but when there is something to behold it's typically a traditional Asian-inspired building. I saw 3-4 government buildings that looked European-inspired in Seoul, but that has been about it. Considering there was a gate, Ash and I approached slowly, on the look out for guards, when we saw a bunch of school girls coming out in their uniforms. Faced with 4 more flights of stairs and the prospect of nothing being there, and possibly getting caught if there was, we turned back and finally made our way to the market.

Truth be told, thanks to our excellent senses of navigation, total trips into the market were 4 or 5, because we kept leaving somehow and having to walk back around to get in. There really was everything you would ever want, and everything you never thought you'd see. Stacks and stacks of dried fish, a store dedicated to ties, feather boas that would put most cabaret houses to shame, one ambitious man selling bag upon bag of buttons, fabric merchants as far as the eye can see, and the list goes on. Ashley was really into the dried fish, and judging by the number of photos I took, so was I. I'm really glad I finally went. It's kind of funny, though, because despite all of the things I saw, we didn't get run over or mauled by anyone, so there isn't really anything funny to report. Who knew tragedy bred interest?

The night concluded with Ashley cooking pancakes for me, and it was really nice. She's a great cook and fun company; I'm sad she's leaving in 2 months.

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