|Home Page Commentary Seoul Trip Report (4)|
Had a late breakfast, then met my friend from the chat room and went to Taehangno. Lots of young people there; it's a university area. A group calling itself "Cyber Youth Cops," modeled on Curtis Sliwa's "Cyber Angels" was holding a rally to encourage politeness on the Internet (fat chance, I say). Competing with this was a street performer who played guitar, sang, and made jokes that had the crowd in stitches. I was able to appreciate some of the humor; for example, when one woman started videotaping him, he turned his back on her and wiggled his backside for her. All of this without missing a beat. Apparently he used me as a part of his routine; he saw me and said hello in English; I responded, and he said something in Korean that cracked everyone up.
Later,we went to the Kant restaurant and had shrimp kimchi over rice. It's a very nice place, with a restful atmosphere, good food, and an excellent view of the neighborhood.
In the morning, I went to the Korean National Museum at Kwanghwamun. One of the guidebooks says it's not to be missed; that's correct. The displays of celadon ceramics are truly gorgeous. Photography is not allowed in the museum, so you won't see any pictures here; you'll have to go there yourself to see it.
Then I went to the 63 building (it's 63 stories tall) near Yo-ui-naru station.
Of course, I simply had to go up to the observation deck; tickets were
In the afternoon came the absolute highlight of my trip so far. I went to the Chongdong theatre and saw "Nanta 99", which is a musical performance about chefs preparing for a wedding banquet. It's marvelous; there was a lot of comedy and audience participation. The show should be coming to the United States in the future; it's a must-see. I had a great time. In a reversal of what you'd expect in the US, by the way, I paid for a cheap seat (20,000 won as opposed to 30,000, since I didn't have 30,000 the night before when I bought the ticket). I didn't sit up in the nosebleed seats; instead I was only three rows from the stage. It was faboo. I don't have enough superlatives to describe this show.
|I dropped off my laundry near the Idae station (one of the stations with a lot of stairs), and then wandered over to Hong-ik University in search of a T-shirt all in Korean. I didn't find one; most T-shirts have American or foreign logos on them. However, I did pass an area with a large number of art galleries and design schools.|
I went back to Grand Mart, which is grand in name only; I've never seen a more tired collection of schlock. I continued on to Yonsei University, one of whose buildings is pictured at the left; it must have been the first day of classes because the area was incredibly crowded.
I picked up my laundry and returned to the hotel; then I went to It'aewon in the late afternoon to buy souvenirs. The evening meal at a restaurant back in Chongno was talk-kal-bi (boneless chicken with vegetables and red pepper sauce, cooked in a wok at the table), roll pizza from a roadside stand, with cake from Paris Baguette and yogurt for dessert.
I got back to Los Angeles right on time, had no problem clearing customs, and had a good flight back to San Jose. I had a great vacation, but, of course, it was wonderful to be home again.
And that's my trip to Seoul.
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