Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Weekend 36 of 52.

Cafe Rumi, Unhyeongung Palace, Insadong, Seoul Lantern Festival, Bosingak Bell Pavilion

We kick-started last weekend with mid-week fun at Cafe Rumi, a TV and Wii room, to celebrate Luke's birthday. We bowled, we boxed, we ice-skated, and we had bottomless soda and ice cream. A fine way to spend a Wednesday.

On Saturday we went to our third palace (1 here and here, 2 here). I have been surprised at the differences between the palaces. This one felt more casual and had mannequins set up to display the clothes and practices of the time. After the palace, we walked through Insadong. Dan and I got harassed by a drunk man alternately trying to give us things and get us to bow low and say we were thankful. But for real, he followed us the length of Insadong's main road, pressing a crappy mirror compact into Dan's chest, until a vendor told him to leave us alone. It was not awesome. At least we got some tasty street food. This time a stuffed and fried pancake called hodduk.

The Seoul Lantern Festival is on, so we tried to muscle our way down to Cheonggyecheon Stream to see the light show. It was completely packed, complete with police officers manning the stairs and a queue snaking around stream's wall. We abandoned that idea, peeked down from street level, and then moved on.

Luke, being celebrated, and Maya playing a doubles tennis match.

Decor included a balloon butterfly and lots of ornamentation.

Standard Dan.

Luke being a very concerted bowler.

Korrine contemplating position and form.

Rachel accidentally hit Maya in the face while bowling (sound familiar, mom?), and then they reenacted it.

I bowled strikes from the floor.

Dan with a giant frog-like floor pillow.

A Korean spare.

Korrine's birthday being when it was, she was still receiving gifts on Wednesday. Here she models and makes use of a magic cape.

Nothing says "I love you" like making a heart with bent arms.

Kim Yuna suggests that readers be white... I think the nuance may be lost in translation.

Only Maya could make Wii boxing look like a dance party.

Rachel actually conquered Maya and went on to face Dan in the final show down. She took it seriously, but Dan prevailed.

Luke delivering punches.

The view of Hongdae from the smoker's pavilion. Smokers always get the best views.

The rest of the view.

These lil babies, particularly the one on the right, were quite taken with our group and kept checking in on our room. Then they saw us off.

The palace had huge trees in their various stages of fall photosynthesis adjustment.

Traditional clothes. I especially like the hanger system.

Leaves nestling in roof tiles.

Under the awning.

Holding meetings and painting lotus flowers.

An outdoor kimchi closet.

The kitchen.

Locked window screens.

There was a picture point but the resultant picture was lame.


From the Kozza Cam (Korrine's camera). Dan helping me traverse a ledge.

A persimmon tree from which we commissioned Dan to fetch us a persimmon. He made a couple good leaps, but to no avail. And then we realized we were all on CCTV trying to steal palace fruits.

Rooftops. With the Kia building in the background.

Royal ladies.

Posing in order to remember the name.

Colliding wall patterns.

The sun feigned lunar. It was a little creepy.

A snack vendor in Insadong. She is about to chop that up with a good-sized cleaver.

A brand new building.

As close as we could get to the lanterns.

People everywhere.

To temper our disappointment, we decided that it seemed similar enough to the Lotus Lantern Festival.

And since we were in the neighborhood, I took a picture of the Bosingak Bell Pavilion, which we have walked by countless times but never recorded.

There is talk of a possible apple festival this weekend, which would take us just outside of Seoul and keep us from the perils of modern medicine. Ironically enough, I just finished making applesauce while writing this post.



  1. Hey! I saw you in Insa-dong, and was going to come say HI, but didn't want to seem creepy! Can you believe how crazy the Lantern Festival was that weekend? We got some photos of it, as well, but were very happy to leave the crowds!


  2. No way! I am always being too creepy to people I only previously knew from the internet. The internet is just that kind of place. Next time, please say hi and help us fend off the scary drunk guys.

    The Lantern Festival was completely insane. We went back this weekend to look at the lanterns in the daylight. I liked the Lotus Lanterns better, I think.