May 112024

We last left off with Henry and I shipping Chooch off alone to Gangnam so he could Pokemon Go his face off without having to deal with us nags. I did forget to mention that in the subway station we used after the Ewha / Sinchon stuff, I bought two rings (one is a face and today at brunch Megan was ogling it so now I obviously have to go back to Korea ASAP and get her one) and a really cute pouch which knots perfectly around your wrist and is so convenient and also super cute.

Also quick disclaimer, I’m writing this while drinking my way thru a soju buffet with Henry so for once I have a legit excuse for any collateral typos.

OK OK, we said fare thee well to Chooch and got off at the DDP stop, where we IMMEDIATELY had a hell of a time finding the NCT exhibition. We *did* find the other Kpop thing that was happening, which was billed as a “history of Kpop” and it SORT OF was in the beginning in that you walked down a hallway that was a kpop timeline (BIGBANG did get their due props BUT Seungri was cut out of the photos that were used which was annoying) but this ended up being an SM artists extravaganza so we quickly realized that this was an SM-sanctioned pop-up.

Of-fucking-course but I’m not complaining because I love SM artists so much. You, Blog, do not care about this stuff I don’t think but here are some photos I took anyway, so look or scroll through until we leave the DDP and go to BUKCHON!

Duuuude. This room was VIBES. I got big ideas, man. Big fucking “Henry, hear me out” ideas. Sheeeeeesh.

I reallllly liked the (SM artists) art in this room!!


“Henry, stand there. No, don’t worry about what it says.”

(It says FOOL, hahaha. I was so giddy when I found the letters for this.)

I also need to have a telephone booth / decompressing room in my house now too.

I dunno, some random couch.

I was really pissed though because there was a giant screen in this big open room with a sitting area/bleachers sort of but the videos that were playing didn’t match the songs that were also playing in the room!? Like, we walked in and NCT127’s “Kick It” video was proudly playing but the song was definitely…not that. It was really weird and disorienting.

(Also, Kick It is Henry’s fave NCT song and I was extremely disappointed that he couldn’t tell that’s what the video was? Like, that iconic Kick It choreo didn’t give it away!?! What a fucking poser NCTzen.)

Next, we continued on with our search for the NCT exhibition. The DDP is massive, spread out amongst three of four gigantic structures and half the time it felt like we were somewhere we shouldn’t be without a badge or something, but no one ever said shit to us so we continued to act like we knew where we going.

We did make a brief pitstop in the DDP gift shop where I got some cutie postcards that I intend to frame but also wanted to buy so much more. That was a really nice gift shop. If you’re in Seoul looking for gifts/souvenirs that aren’t chopsticks with a design that will rub off within 3 washes, go here. You can tell them Oh Honestly Erin sent you but they’ll just be like, “Cool. Good for you.”


However, finding where to buy the tickets was another hassle altogether. I eventually found someone who looked like they worked there and they pointed us in the right direction.

But then we hit another wall, because we didn’t have our passports on us and since we hadn’t booked a ticket online (DID NOT KNOW THAT YOU COULD, KPOP SHIT IN KOREA FOR FOREIGNERS IS LIKE A CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE AND HALF THE TIME YOU CHOOSE INCORRECTLY AND HAVE TO START OVER). I was so pissed and Henry mumbled something about, “Oh well I guess we can just come back never” but when we got outside, I said, “Wait!!! Don’t you have pictures of our passports on your phone?!”

(Friendly reminder to have your passport on you always even though seems like the opposite of what you want to do because almost everywhere you shop, they will ask for your passport for tax refund purposes and sometimes just having a photo of it on your phone will suffice.)

So, we went BACK and they lady was like, “OK we can accept that,” because I guess they just needed to verify our names for the tickets because we got legit cards printed that had our names on it!!! But as she was about to process our info another worker came over and said,  in a slowed down “I’m addressing foreigners” tone, “This is for the Kpop NCT127.”

“Yes, we know,” I said, about to return my attention to the lady whose hand was out waiting for our credit card.

“Do you LIKE NCT127?” same girl asked, and again I said, “Yes.”

I just thought it was funny that she was trying to deter us from potentially purchasing tickets for something blindly, because we were clearly a good 20-30 years past the average NCTzen median.

Ticket secured!!

We got to go right in and I’ll spare you the details of it, but it was just a really fun walk-through of video footage of the NCT127 members talking to the fans, answering questions about their recent Great Unity concerts in Seoul (actually the last one for awhile probably because their leader Taeyong just enlisted in the military a few weeks after we came home, which 100% broke me but that’s OK, I’m fine, I’m 44-fucking-years-old, I can endure this haha), and then there was a really relaxing part where we got to chill out in REALLY cozy bean bags chairs and watch some clips from the concert.

Henry was snoozin’.

There was some more stuff after this that no one but me cares about, and then it spilled out into the GIFT SHOP where I bought this Haechan milk glass!!!! (Photo taken later in our hotel room.)

After that, Henry and I walked around the Cheonggyecheon stream for a bit.

Then we took the subway to the Bukchon Hanok Village area because we hadn’t been there yet on this trip and, yes, it’s touristy, but it’s also beautiful. There’s a bakery there called Layered that I wanted to try but when we got there, there was a pretty solid line out front for dine-in, so after standing there for a few minutes, I was like, “Look, we’re going to be here on Monday morning, let’s just do this then” and Henry was like WORKS FOR ME because if there is one thing he can NOT get behind, it’s queuing up for ANY type of food. He would rather just go and get the next best thing even if it’s like 8 tiers below what the line was for. His palate knows no difference.

We ended up at Machi Machi, which was fine!

Also quite crowded though. But first we had to select our treats and order our drinks. I was excited because there were two American-sounding guys in front of me who had no clue how this worked and I got to help them but saying, “Um, I think you need to take a tray from down there and also a pair of tongs….” but really I just wanted them to speed it the FUCK up because they were blocking the trays.

I mean, but also I was excited to help.

Let’s go with that.

We got salt bread (it was OK), an Earl Gray madeleine (delicioso), and whatever that pistachio croissant looking thing was (other then DELECTABLE).

It was a struggle to find somewhere to sit though. We ended up sitting in this super-low to the ground banquette right across from the restroom and it was so uncomfortable. I was like, “I cannot sit here and eat without hunching over like a fucking old hag” so when a couple abandoned their spot at a high-top bar table thing, I ran over and claimed it while Henry went back down to grab our drinks. Everything was much better after that. But yo, this cafe had two (large) floors of seating, a (large) outdoor balcony, and a bunch of tables outside on ground level. Almost completely at capacity!

I somehow didn’t know this was acceptable until recently, but it is perfectly fine to go into a cafe, claim an open table with your stuff, and THEN go back to order. In America, that is a huge etiquette strike, I feel like!?!? Akin to line-jumping?! But in Korea, go for it, I guess. I’m not sure how OK that is for foreigners, though, so DO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK.

And then report back to me because I want to know.

Precious Henry got a brown sugar boba. He is so goddamn cool.

Then we just strolled around. We came cross this C-list celebrity tree. Only like 5 people were waiting to get pictures under it.

This is another reallllly great area for gifts and non-chintzy souvenirs. Especially if you’re looking for local art, this is the spot. I bought an original watercolor off the sweetest ahjussi here.

He makes the paper himself that he paints on. It’s magical. I love art like this!!

Speaking of art….check out this perfectly placed bouquet that someone left behind.

Namsan Tower in the background.

When I say this area is ethereal…

And when I say this country has my whole heart….

Just look at these pictures and maybe you’ll understand.

I am in some type of agony right now, lol.

<3 <3 <3 Love you, Bukchon.

By this point, Independent Son was back at the hotel so we made our way there as well because it was almost DINNER TIME. Can’t live on pastries.

I mean, I could…

….but I shouldn’t.


Say it don't spray it.

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