I have gotten rid of my jet lag and by now feel settled. These first few days we have mainly been out for food, (bubble) tea, buying a few essential things and meeting up with others. There are 5 others from Ina’s University in Seoul. One of them had her birthday on Saturday and Truci, one of Ina’s flatmates had hers on Sunday. To celebrate the first birthday, we met up with all of them and held a picnic in a park near the hangul river. We only walked as far as we had to, aka. as soon as we found a place to crash. We walked up a path but weren’t allowed to cross the bridge. All around us, there were only bushes, so we just sat down on the part of the path. However, little groups of people would pass us by, coming from the bridge. “Maybe they’re coming from North Korea and it’s just a one-way route”
For Truci, we decorated the flat. While Hang did the prettier drawing stuff, Ina and I simply made some circles out of paper, the way they always do it in Anime. Before everyone came, Truci, Ina and I went out in search of a birthday cake. Cakes in Korea pretty much only consist of cream and cake. Personally, I found it quite nice and interesting, but I can imagine that if you live here like they do, they miss the tasty ones from Europe. In Korea, their fashion standard is one of the girls having to be thin. For Korean standards, I’m fat. Birthday cakes are made without sugar for the girls. We, as crazy foreigners, of course, took a cake with sugar in it. We even bought 2 ‘big’ ones because we would get guests.
Near the evening, 5 of us 7 went out for street food. There are little stands where you can get a little bit of food for as little as 1000 won (that is less than a euro). Hang started off by buying some sort of pancake; they put honey and sesame inside. Louisa bought a little cup with (spicy) chicken, then on the other side of the street, we found tempura (fried vegetables). The food I tasted was egg bread. The name already tells you what it is, but surprisingly it tastes like a muffin or cake. As we kept on walking, we ended up in a shopping street and found another waffle cafe. In less than a week, I have already tried out three different waffle cafes. The waffles aren’t very special here. They don’t give you very big waffles while it is actually more expensive than actual food with rice and meat.
As for food, we have started making a list with dishes that I like. Since there is so much meat over here, there are less available dishes that I like. My favourite dish so far is chicken mayo. It is rice, Kim, chicken and mayo. Close thereafter comes a salad with chicken and honey mustard. This dish isn’t very common though, because of the salad.
I am writing this in a park near Ina’s University that she’s attending right now. This park was made for elderly, but it is full of fitness machines. As I was walking through the park I saw quite a few people exercise but not in the typical sports clothes that you’d expect. No, they exercise in formal clothes and most of the time the trousers are long.
After she came back, she brought another friend with her: Alya, a student from Malaysia. Unlike Ina, she doesn’t do Korean studies. She is in Korea as an exchange student but does learn Korean. One of the first things she asked was what we had done so far. “We’ve been here, here, here, here and here… but we’ve only eaten food.” Ina singing the next part: “It’s all about the food, about the food.”
Needless to say, the next thing we did was eating food. Kimbap, to be precise. This is a very simple dish. It only has rice, egg, seaweed and some sauce. Initially, Ina and I planned to do some sightseeing after university, but we ended up talking with Alya and then ran out of time. Once we arrived at another touristic place it also turned out it was closed on Mondays. We might consider doing some research next time. If we have time we will meet up with Alya once more and do some real touristic things. Either way, on Wednesday we’re going to Jeju Island. I’ll write a post about Jeju, so I’ll save you the explanation of what and where it is now. Just so you know, it’s still in Korea.
Other posts in my South Korean Travel Series:
Preparing my trip to South Korea
The way things are
Arriving in Korea
Nothing touristic, just Korean food
Gay supporters, OUT
To the summit of the Hallasan mountain!
The pond of God
Monkeys in our backyard
Yakcheonsa Buddhist Temple
Surrounded by mist on Udo Island
Busan day one
Busan day two
Seoul in ‘one week’
A large palace with little doors
Enter the Secret Garden
Love conquers hate
Bukchon Hanok Village
Chicken and beer at the Hangang River
Hello Kitty Cafe and actual cats
No more kamsamnida