I have decided to create this blog in order to document my 4 months of living and traveling in East Asia. I will (probably infrequently) post pictures, beauty hauls and food recommendations. This blog will also be used to jot down random thoughts about places I visit and things I experience. It will hopefully serve as a memory trigger in years to come, entertain my friends and family and maybe provide a bit of helpful information for anybody who decides to visit Korea in the near future.
Flying from Frankfurt to Seoul takes about 10 hours. It doesn’t sound like much, but flying Economy, every minute felt like an eternity. The plane food was disgusting, but who cares, Korea was waiting. Immigration was one of the fastest I ever experienced, they took a photo of my tired face and fingerprints and merely glanced at my customs form. Luckily I was picked up and guided to my Airbnb by my great friend Y, because it would have taken me ages to simply navigate through Incheon airport in my exhausted state.
My apartment is located in 신당 (shin dang), which seems to be less urbanized than the other parts of Seoul I have seen so far. Exiting the subway station, we came across an open fruit market, a bunch of tiny furniture shops and small eateries. In time I will explore this area further, but first a bit more about the apartment. It is located in one of the modern buildings that are being constructed on Toegye-ro (street) and Nangye-ro. The apartment itself is very practical and modern and it has everything you’d need for a 3 months stay. Even towels and hair shampoo are provided.
It is located a few minutes from subway line 2 and 6, which take me directly to areas of interest like Seoul City Hall, Dongdaemun Design Plaza or Hongdae. Navigating the huge subway system is a piece of cake if you get a T-money card. It’s a great system that I wish more countries would adopt: you basically charge the card (or in my case a Hello Kitty key chain – thank you Y!) with a certain amount of money and to enter the subway you hold it against a card reader. A basic fare is about 1250 korean won (1 Euro) and you can transfer for free up to 4 times in 30 minutes. You can also use in on buses and many taxis.
Despite being just a bit tired, Y and I decided to venture out in search of food. After debating for some time, we decided on a department store next to Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a hub for culture and arts designed by the late Zaha Hadid (pictures will follow next time I go there with my camera). I got a bulgogi (seasoned beef), mushroom and cheese panini and Y got an interesting combination of a baked potato topped with vegetables, cheese, mayo and salad dressing. I believe it was called “Kumpir”.
On the bus journey home, a lovely, but slightly pushy old lady noticed that the straps of my grocery bag were digging into my arm and all but demanded that I put the bag in her lap. She also rubbed my arm which weirded me out slightly – but maybe that’s just me being a typical Austrian.
This is how you get men to buy skincare: