Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Goodness (!)

These are what the pricier (80,000-260,000won) bags look like. They're made out of real cow leather and are divine to touch. I got to sneak a picture because the lady was absent... for a very very long time.... in fact, she never came!
You know what's funny? She had left a note (in Korean) next to the phone, telling the customers to call her number if they wanted to buy anything! Wow talk about trusting nothing would get stolen! HMMMM... But I really enjoyed how I wasn't pestered at all or pressured to buy it from the lady. I could take my sweet time trying on all the bags. As nice as most of them look from far away, none of them worked with me unfortunately.

Here's another example of a SA who left her name and number on a note. This was in Goodmorning City shopping complex in Dongdaemun. I guess it made sense she wouldn't be there as it was almost 4AM. A lot of the time, they get people from neighbouring stalls to cover for them so it was a bit amusing to see the same sales person follow us down a whole aisle.
Desserts (no, not on the same day)...
They love their waffles! (@ Doota Accessories floor in Dongdaemun)
Lynn's Red Velvet cupcake @ Lotte Department Store
Misarang's Pizza... I forgot what it's called but it has sweet potato in it which is funkily sweet.
Had a shabu shabu lunch around campus with JiHee (KUBA buddy) + Chika~~
I want to see this movie -- Antique!

haha what a random post. Too hot to stay still and blog. It hit 40 degrees Celcius (104 Fahrenheit) downtown today...
I'm meeeeeeeeeeeeltinnnnnggggggggggggggg!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Triple Dog Dared

Remember how, after my first visit to a Korean jjimjilbang (sauna), I dared and promised myself I would do the full body scrub before I returned to Vancouver? ..............................

I did it!!!!

That's right - I lay completely exposed on a table, in the public women's bath house, and an ajumma in black, lacey lingerie scrubbed me from neck to toe. First, I had to soak in a hot tub for 10 minutes to get the dead skin loose haha...

The scrub was great - it was 20,000won. First, she doused me with warm water and then started scrubbing away. It was really soothing, for me - I was falling asleep! I think I'm an odd sheep that way, though -- quite a few other people found it to be a bit painful. So I had to turn over on all sides. I didn't notice, but I guess a lot of "skin noodles" (as my Korean friend calls it/translated) came off, if you know what I mean. Yea. Gross! After scrubbing, she soaped me good and gave me a bit of a back massage using her knuckles. I felt really clean -- and kind of lazy 'cause I just realized someone just bathed me! Maybe I turned a shade paler haha but I couldn't really tell. And then I rinsed myself and then soaked in the super hot tub and cold tub for another 15-20 minutes.

I'm proud of myself for doing it~
Of course I was feeling a bit shy at first to walk around wearing nothing, but after 5 minutes, I realized it wasn't a big deal at all. Everyone else around me in all shapes and sizes were just as naked and walked as though they owned the place.

Melanie also did the scrub except she got a body massage and an oil treatment along with it for 50,000won. She sure got more than she bargained for hahhaaha! The story is much better told in person, but in short, her "massage" was pretty much a harsh knuckle massage where, after massaging each limb, she would get hit! She got punched in the foot and even slapped on the butt! LOL so, needless to say, she doesn't recommend the massage.

So yea, that took place in the women's sauna down the stairs from the women's changing room. After, I went to sweat in the hot rooms. I snapped a few super quick pictures to show you guys. The layout of the whole facility is a bit confusing. This unisex part is on the 1st floor to the right after the men's changeroom.

The 2 pyramids are the warm rooms. The one on the left is around 36 degrees and had a TV in it. The one on the right is too warm for me at 67 degrees... only because the floor is too hot to walk on, let alone sit on.
They have 2 of these "kilns", too that are even hotter than the pyramid rooms. They don't even have a temperature indicator for them. Just by sitting, you'll start dripping after a few minutes.The cold room! It has penguins in front and a couple of snowmen inside. I really like this room after I leave a hot room.
I don't know the purpose of this, but it was used for game shows.
You can also get a manicure, face threading, and eyelash perms and extensions there, too.

I really love The Dragon Hill Spa (get off at ShinYongSan and walk towards I'PARK Mall. It's on the left of the mall). It has so many facilities including a Finnish Sauna and even an arcade area.

They had these mini karaoke rooms. I thought they worked the same as the ones I've sung in in Daejeon, but these ended up being 20 minute sessions instead of per song!! Wasn't as fun as singing with someone else. And I didn't even know how much it would cost because we get these beep-in tags and had to beep in for everything - even all the food you buy, and pay for it when you leave. Since it was lunch time, I bought a few marinated eggs, a popsicle, and a green tea (nok cha) drink.
kk can you guess which song I was singing?Admission is 10,000won before 7PM and 12,000 or 13,000 after 7PM and on the weekends. Open 24/7.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Last time I went to Namdaemun, I saw these street food stands with those plastic chairs and tables under a tarp just like in the dramas! So, we went there to find it but we didn't find any. I guess they're not open on Sundays. We ended up eating something random at this open stand.
I just pointed to a couple skewers and some fish cakes in the broth.
Yea... the skewers looked like chicken but they ended up being gizzards of some sort. I don't mind gizzards, but I really don't recommend this haha.. I was your guinea pig.
Disappointed, we walked over to Myeong Dong..
But not before buying some seaweed chocolate ^^ It's pretty decent tasting! There's only a hint of the seaweed flavour. I also tried kimchi chocolate haha.. oh what a mistake!
He didn't know how to use macro...This lady was selling puppies! She wouldn't let me take anymore pictures after this one... couldn't get a close-up, but they were supercute!
I've been having quite a few dreams about being in Korea recently -- I'm still in a daze that I'm back in Vancouver. Sometimes, I find myself thinking "what do I feel like doing tomorrow? A lazy day lying around the sauna, eating marinated hard boiled eggs and watching StarKing at The Dragon Hill Spa would be great...." and then I remember it's not really possible... darn.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Gosh everyone who travels by KTX travels light! I didn't notice anyone else carrying a big honkin' suitcase like mine on the train...

When we got to Daejeon, we waited at a cafe in the station for my friend, Jessica, to call when she got off school. I know Jess because we took Japanese together for two semesters at SFU except now she has graduated and is teaching English in Daejeon. She was so kind to let us stay at her apartment for a couple nights! Actually, since the apartments are so small, I stayed in her room on the 3rd floor and M stayed in her friend's room, Ann, on the 1st floor.
Jess told us to grab either a white taxi with an orange top or a black taxi with a purple top because these two taxis are part of companies that track where the taxis go so they are much more likely to not rip you off and drive you around in circles.

When we got there, we hung out for a bit in her room (I tried on one of her wigs) and sort of got settled in a tad. Her room is tiny! It's pretty much as big as my bedroom at home except she has a desk, a washroom + washer, some closet space, a bed, AND a mini kitchen + fridge in it so there was only a little bit of space to walk in the middle -- probably about 1.5 metres by 1 metre wide. Cozy. So sweet - she bought an extra blanket just for me and made me sleep on her bed -- she was so tired the days after from sleeping on the ground! ♥ Anyway, she also planned everything for us to do (but because so, I didn't really know anything about Daejeon before I arrived). We got there Friday afternoon around 4PM and left Sunday morning around 1:30PM. Soon after, we went to Say department store which is a walkable distance from her apartment, but because we were so distracted by talking and whatnot, we ended up taking the subway even though it was only 1 stop away.

We ate omurice at Omuto Tomato~ they have this chain in Seoul too but I've never tried it. Not bad~ Omurice is like rice/fried rice inside an egg crepe type thing with different sauces on the outside. I got mushroom. The best was Ann's popcorn shrimp type one.
Then we went upstairs and played a ton of arcade games hehehe.. I love arcade games! I've never noticed them before, but there are mini karaoke booths! You sing per song and apparently it's the same price as a regular norebang sans the extra free minutes.
Not the cleanest, but it's great that you can also take your time finding the next song. Jess is a great singer~
Then we went up and watched Transformers -- awesome possum movie!
Walked home :)

The next day, we rode the bus to O World!
M's first bus ride in Korea
They have these plastic surgery ads everywhere!! How horrible.
O World -- is a cute amusement park - smaller than Lotte World, but it has a botanical garden and safari zoo-type thing too... and of course, rides! But not the roller coaster type ones. I believe it's regular 35,000won to get in to be able to see and ride everything but luckily, connections got us in for 8,000won :)
We spent the day with Jessica's friends from various schools in Daejeon.Not very many people there - it sprinkled a bit at one point but it wasn't enough to use an umbrella!Ah this ride was crazy - it's like the Wild Mouse ride at the PNE where you feel as though you're going to fall off when you turn the corner except these corners were even sharper + 4 people are on a cart at a time and the cart spins while you're going around! I think we rode this one 2 or 3 times in a row hahaI tried this peach ice drink because it was hot and I needed something refreshing.
I can't believe I paid a dollar for peach flavoured ice you just suck on lol but I guess it's the same as a regular peach drink.
Korean babies are cuuute!
Then we went to this hill and rode this innertube down like 10 times!

Race race race! If you go down on the very left, you get to go through the mist~
I got so dizzy just looking at this ride for kids...Then afterward, we played the confusing Korean rock paper scissors to see who would get a ride to downtown or have to take the bus. Ann and I lost so we took the bus haha
We ate a feast at this Korean restaurant ---
On top of this, we shared rice, a soup, cold noodles and something else. wow.After dinner we went shopping in this area that reminds me of Myeong Dong except I think their sales and variety are better! I wish I could have stayed in this area for longer.
Quite happening~
They also have a huuuuuuuuge underground mall! Everywhere in Korea sells pretty much the same clothes at the same prices. I tried to powershop but only ended up getting a blouse before it closed.

They're big dessert eaters -- always have to have dessert.... :)
Fun day~~
Then back at the apartment, I watched Twilight in Ann's room -- Jess couldn't stand watching that movie, saying that it was too unrealistic. M agreed with Jess, but Ann and I loved it. Can't wait for the sequel haha~~

The next morning, we packed and went out to eat seafood soup for lunch at this hole in the wall up the street from the apartment. Good stuff. Then we hailed a taxi and rode to the station to head back up to Seoul!
I did! I like what it says "To be happy, drop the words 'if only' (and) substitute 'instead' next time".

We had such a lovely time =) Thanks a million again for your hospitality, Jess and Ann