Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dalgi Dalgi Dalgi!

We hung around Hongdae all day today! Hongdae is still one of my favourite places in Korea because of the diversity of people and especially its Indie scene. It's young and hip.. much unlike Insadong's traditional and aged crowd.

The main reason why I wanted to go to Hongdae today was because of their Free Market near Hongik University that's only open on Saturday. I believe there's a Hope Market on Sundays. It's the tiniest flea market where students sell their handmade crafts and goods!
I think Hongdae and Apgujeong are the 2 best places to people watch. There are a few cafes that have giant floor to ceiling windows. We escaped the heat (I believe it was around 30 degrees today) at one of them. The one we went into was quite nice -- everything was ivory coloured and we got to sit on roomy, long couches that had bolsters and pillows. Unfortunately, you pay for your atmosphere when you order - their drink menu was quite expensive at approxiately 7,000won each.
There are tons of restaurants in Hongdae to fit any sort of budget. You can get some typical Korean food such as bibimbap for only $3CAD or pay over $45CAD for a plate of sashimi. We decided on having samgeopsal (pork belly) + dweji galbi (marinated pork w/ bone) BBQ for dinner. BBQ here is quite a bit cheaper than in Vancouver so we "stock up" haha These lower end BBQ restaurants use coal to cook the food. When we sit down, a metal bucket of hot coal passes our shoulders (just inches away!) and is plopped into the table and then this grate/strainer is placed on top. I love eating BBQ outside!
There's a good donkatsu restaurant just half a block away from our hostel! My cold soba noodle set - very refreshing.
We went to a DVD bang for the first time! Just like how you go to a noraebang to sing karaoke or a PC bang to use super fast internet and play games, you go to a DVD bang to rent DVDs and watch them on a large screen. Bang is Korean for "room". What is so special about a DVD bang is that you can watch them privately in a room that's equipped with a "couch", a TV, and a roll of toilet paper (you know, in case the movie is a tear jerker).
You can find DVD bangs by just looking out for the neon signs on the 2nd or 3rd floor of a building. The way up the flights of stairs can be a bit sketchy looking at first, but it surprisingly turns out to be a very decent place. There are a great variety of movies to choose from - both Western and Korean (and some Japanese). The room was very small and intimate - we sat on comfortable leather sofa-bed type things and had to look up to watch the movie. There's apparently a certain connotation that goes with these rooms, but I might save that for another day.
So, for 13,000won (price depends on length of movie), we watched a funny semi-romantic comedy Korean movie with English subtitles. The movie was great! I'll definitely be returning to a DVD bang soon!

Yesterday, we walked around Edae (Ewha Women's University) and stumbled upon this cute waffle place.
For less than $3CAD, you can get some mini waffle desserts! There are quite a few waffle places around universities. Kim Yuna (world champion figure skater) now has her own drink at Smoothie King.
be white. YUNA SMOOTHIE. (what?!)
She even has her own cup if you should select her drink that has her autograph on it!
I dub Haagen-Dazs as the best ice cream brand in the world.
Hyori Lee for Ocean Park (ad in subway).
At night in Hongdae, a couple of carnival games are set up for boyfriends to "win" huge stuffed animals for their girlfriends. This girlfriend pouted and made her boyfriend win her a Hello Kitty.

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