Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekend 4 of 52.

Caribou Coffee, National Museum of Korea, Yongsan Family Park

Our fourth weekend in Seoul found us taking a bit of a break. We only planned one real Saturday activity, the National Museum of Korea. Even still, exploring a three story museum is a full day's walk. Yongsan Family Park was just beyond the museum, and we got in some good photo ops. On Friday night we found Thursday's elusive Caribou Coffee in Sinchon. Being inside was just like being in America. It didn't feel like Korea at all, so, good job Caribou, I guess. We also had our first sushi in Seoul. This evening we went to see a friend compete in a b-girl battle. It was fun and unlike anything we'd ever have done in the States.

On our way to dinner on Friday night, Korrine saddled up on this previously sighted horse.

The subway was absolutely packed. I am terrible at these types of blind shots, so this doesn't even show it accurately. We only just fit.

We ate at U9, a Sushi, Udon, and Pork Cutlet restaurant right next to Caribou. You can't tell from the picture, but there is a BBQ Chicken logo on the building sign. We keep seeing these utopian posters in the subway of a smiling 3 person family on a garden path with the BBQ Chicken logo on the bottom right. It has confounded me thus far, and then we just happened upon its restaurant. Even still, the ad campaign makes no sense to me, but I'm so glad to know now what it's for.

Sushi and udon noodle soup.

There are often teddy bears in public spaces, though not yet before so obtrusively as to cuddle with you during dinner time. I loved that this man just sat next to the bear and thought nothing of it.

Wooden chopsticks are unequivocally the easiest to use.

We found Caribou! As easy as taking the correct subway exit.

Strangely normal.

Completely American but for the Smoker's Paradise There.

Our drinks. Standard. A hot drink for Korrine, this time Chai, a creamed drink for Dan, this time a cooler, an iced Americano for me. It is regrettable the fact that I didn't ask for Hazelnut syrup at probably the only place that has it. I've gotten so accustomed to adding my own liquid sugar that I never ask for syrup pumps here, but Dan noted that Caribou would certainly have flavored syrups. It is part of their business model.

Bou on our booth.

Korean receipt and a Sweet Long Sugar packet.

An advertised meat filled rice ball. I bet that is delicious. I have been getting samgak kimbap triangles from the 7-Eleven for lunches. Salty crisp seaweed, rice, and tuna in sauce. Better than it sounds if that doesn't sound appetizing. On the right, some kiwi I wanted to purchase but that, at W4900, cost almost more than my dinner.

We found ourselves in a shop akin to a dollar tree, except everything was costlier than W1000.

Dan found this weird puppet thing and put his hand into it.

A handy Health Rope. At W5000, roughly half the price of the health rope I purchased back home.

An underground space club.

Proof that things are fancier here. I don't even know what Fancy Land is, but I know it's fancy.

In our market. This is not your mother's Thousand Ireland Dressing.

So here's a little update to our apartment. We have a closet now. A really efficient tension rod system that I put together one day last week (instead of Skyping with my parents. Sorry, parents!). We need hangers.

On our Saturday morning walk to the subway, we had to dodge falling tree limbs. They were trimming the trees, hopefully for spring, if spring will still have us.

More bikes. The bikes with baskets are quite versatile. I saw one delivering takeout last week, and I'm sure they deliver groceries and other things. They drive on the sidewalks, on the streets, really anywhere they like. It is not uncommon to be walking down the sidewalk and have a motorcycle honk you out of the way.

Flowers in the subway for some fancy reason.

At the station for the National Museum.

I need to get some envelopes for post.

The museum building was fairly sedate as far as buildings in Korea go.

But it did have decorated stairs. And on the right is Seoul Tower.

Korrine's shot is better.

A Stupa for Master Yeomgeo from the 900s. Can you believe stuff that old is still around? And I saw it with my own eyes.

And this is a Stele for Master Daegyeong from the year 939. The body of a turtle with the head of a dragon with my little turtle, Sosipater, atop. Korrine is a master at prop photography. I am under her tutelage.

These kids were up on the second floor and they spotted us non-Koreans and got excited and waved at us. I even just lifted my camera to fake taking a picture and they were really happy about it. We hoped we wouldn't run into them, lest they request to see what was ultimately a really terrible photo. There are times when you can tell we are the first (and with Dan, the biggest) non-Korean some kids have ever seen. There was a toddler inside the museum who kept staring at as and calling his mom who kept telling him to tell us the polite form of hello.


On the left, Obsidian, in keeping with the Caribou Coffee theme. They have an obisidian roast. On the right, stone daggers.

A school group in matching orange smocks. We ran into another English teacher visiting with his class, working on a Saturday.

It is mythologized that birds are responsible for the soul's ascent to heaven, which is why I should stop hating birds. I don't so much mind ducks usually, so maybe a duck will carry me up?

Some ancient crowns.

A ten-story pagoda.

Dragon urn.

A more than adequate punishment stick. I'd say it was over 4 feet long.

An awful rendering of America, but it's quite old, so I should be more understanding. I think Dan was saying they used to depict Korea as an island.


Lunch box.

We bought some "Colombin Chocolate" at the gift store. Columbian really. Yum.

Evidently, a butterfly in Chinese art symbolizes an 80 year old man.

Sosipater on a boat. Korrine set off her second alarm of the day, a polite recording asking that we please and thank you not touch the display or artifact.

Public photo shoot, the third of its kind we've seen around Seoul.

We walked around the museum grounds for a while. Paths on our way to Dragon Fall.

And here it is.

Some pictures in front. My oddly poofy hair and an obvious lovers' pose.

A promise.

Just beyond the museum was Yongsan Family Park. We encountered an exercise pavilion and did some exercise for a while.

Sometimes upside down.

Sometimes all wavy like.

Korrine doing the same with slightly more verve. I did not try this, but they said it had an interesting massage effect.

Exhibiting K-Power.

Ab twists.


The park provided some keen photo ops. Korrine being plucked by a giant hand.

Getting us. Photo by Korrine.

My giant on a giant bench.

Sosipater on the same.

My turtle and me in a little mushroom hut. Below, koi probably in the pond.



  1. Great pictures, good narrative - keep up the great work.

    Chris Backe / Chris in South Korea

    P.S. I've added your blog to my bloglist - I'd appreciate the same -

  2. Thanks, Chris! I have been reading your blog since we got here. Very informative.

  3. Definitely my favorite is the giant bench! And I guess that is where the rest of the LOST statue went to ... or at least his hand anyways.