“I’m so sad that this is our last day,” I said to Chooch this morning. He considered this and said, “Yeah….me too but I’m also kind of excited to go home too.”
I know a lot of people feel that way during the tail end of vacation and I definitely had these guys running for two solid weeks. But I am definitely not ready to leave. I burst into tears about it at one point today ughhh.
We got back to Seoul after our G-Dragon pension adventure around 1pm today and then booked it all over Seoul in an effort to get in all of the last minute gift-buying, food-eating, subway-riding as humanly possible. We were all over Jongno, Dongdaemun, Myeongdong, Seoul Station, and our homebase of Hongdae.
Chooch, after previously being in Korea and eating in numerous Korean restaurants at home, suddenly realized on this trip that he likes bibimbap, so this is what he chose for his last lunch.
I got sujebi which is a soup of hand-torn noodles – so satisfying!
Then we went to Gwangjang Market even though we already ate because we wanted to get some snacks to take home.
Those ajummas selling snacks are smart because they kept feeding Chooch samples and then he’d be all, “We have to get this stuff” and then we would get it and the ajummas were probably calling us suckers in Korean as we walked away.
There were countless times on this trip where Henry lamented the fact that our hotel last year was right across from this market and we only went there twice. I AM SORRY BUT THERE ARE MANY THINGS TO DO IN SEOUL, HANK, AND WE CANNOT STAY IN ONE PLACE.
Had to get a traditional twisted donut before leaving!
Wouldn’t be the same if Henry didn’t get us lost at one point which is what happened when we left Gwangjang with the intention of going to Myeongdong and practically walked the whole way there until he finally found a correct subway station.
But then when we got to the subway, Henry’s card wouldn’t let him in but Chooch and I were already through so Henry was motioning for us to get a subway worker but we just stood there and laughed. Finally, a yellow-vested lady noticed Henry-in-Distress and went over to save him.
(This just in: we just realized that Henry completely repacked our suitcases after Chooch and I worked really hard on it just kidding we did a pretty half-ass job that took about 10 minutes tops.)
(OMG Chooch is acting like he chugged some soju when no one was looking and is being so slaphappy and Henry wants to leave us here FINE BY ME.)
OMG we found another Taemin billboard in the subway station!
Myeongdong! It’s the best place to go for makeup and kpop merch.
Grabbed some makeup and last minute kpop gifts (this is the only place that has these certain kpop keychains that I love) then continued on to Seoul Station specifically to buy some foods at Lotte Mart.
Can you believe we never went to Lotte Mart last year?! I made sure we went this time though and Henry was in grocery paradise. “Why did we wait until the LAST DAY to come here,” he cried.
I have two favorite parts: Chooch freaking out over all the samples (he made friends with a lot of the sample-givers) and Henry irritably standing aside when Chooch assured him that he could tape up the box on his own (you don’t get bags there – you grab a box, unflatten it, and tape it up with the packing tape they provide).
Finally, Henry was like,”Yeah that’s great, and when you pick it up, I can’t wait for everything to fall out,” and then shoved him out of the way and took over, mumbling about how he “does this for a living.”
Seoul Station is amazing. Last trip, it seemed like we were there everyday but this time we were only there twice, and once was when we were getting the train to Jeonju (it’s not just a subway station but also a train and bus terminal as well).
Chooch noticed that the BaskinRobbins there had kakao friends stuff, and then when we took the escalator down to the next level, there was another BR so we figured it was fate and he got a scoop of ice cream (some crazy Simpsons-themed banana ice cream with pop rocks) in an Apeach cup but as you know, he calls her “Peachy Boi.”
No one will be surprised by this but BR in Korea is a billion times better than the ones in America.
We went back to Hongdae after this because I was carrying approx 5 bags of makeup and kpop stuff and Henry was lugging around a box of non-perishable Korean groceries and booze and we needed to drop that shit off!
One last evening view from the 12th floor of JYP House before going back out.
Hongdae is freaking magical.
You can buy flowers from a vending machine. Couples are SUPER into giving flowers around here so Henry would not thrive here at all.
It’s going to be an adjustment being back in Pittsburgh and not having the ultra-convenience of Seoul.
And not having a Gentle Monster! I almost bought a second pair of their sunglasses. I was so close but there were two pairs that I couldn’t choose between so I had a freak out and left but let’s be real, the true cause of my freak out was that we’re leaving tomorrow. :(
We went to Ediya Coffee for one last bingsu (this one was black sugar which is the latest craze and every bubble tea place has it. It was good but only made the pain of leaving EVEN STRONGER).
And when we went to 7/11 afterward and when Henry the American Oaf dropped stuff on the counter not once but twice causing the TOTALLY ADORABLE CASHIER to cry out “Oooh!” and girls in line behind us to chuckle, I was too sad to giddily fall into pee-squat position.
So now I’m sitting here, eating my last Inkigayo idol sandwich with a glass of makgeolli while Henry struggles to pack all our shit (we had to buy an extra suitcase).
I hope I will be able to come back again someday. Coming here so soon after our first time was a real struggle because we are not rich motherfuckers but I’m so grateful that we were able to make it happen and managed to do pretty much everything on my list. I am utterly exhausted but still ready to do more, if only we had the time. This was the best trip of my whole entire life! I think Henry and Chooch had a decent too haha.
Oh my..love your writing style.You so cleverly mix emotions and excitement and family bits.It just gives you a feel that we ourselves are holidaying.No fancy vocabulary but very nice mix of short sentences with the pics.Heading to Seoul for New year. Hopefully we will enjoy same as you did ( just worried about the winter !).
Thank you for the nice words! I hope you have a wonderful time in Seoul – I heard that even in cold temperatures, it’s still a really enjoyable season to explore the city, plus there is so much underground shopping and cafes to warm up in :)