Seoul Food: Home bound & Random Thoughts (Day 5; Last Day)

9:30:00 AM

Wandering, but I’m not lost

The hours were ticking away and it was the day where I flew back to America. On the one hand, it felt like I was in Seoul for a really long time and on the other hand, it didn’t feel long enough.

Morning was spent packing and… last minute shopping at the Express Bus Terminal Station. Confession: I spent ₩8000 on a lipstick (Aritaum Honey Melting Tint), so in return we had to eat like beggars for our last lunch in Korea.

I know, I know, I’m the Queen of throwing down money when it comes to good food, but even queens fall prey to temptation, which in this case was a lip product. For those who are unfamiliar with me: I harbor an addiction to lip products. I have more lipsticks, lip glosses, lip tints and crayons than I can use and the collection only grows.

Anyhow, instead of taking the subway back to the airport like we did when we first arrived, we opted for the bus instead. The bus took about an hour and our flight didn’t leave till 5 so we had a few hours to wander around Incheon airport.

Along the way, I  found the Charlie Brown café as well as the Hello Kitty café. And then proceeded to spend the remainder of our T-Card money on a ridiculously overpriced frappuccino at Starbucks.

Aww shucks, Charlie Brown~
A throne fitting for Hello Kitty herself.

TIP: If you find yourself in a situation like my friend and I where we still have a couple thousand wons left in your T-Card and you want to use it all, buy something outside and eat/drink it before you check in. Because we found out very quickly that almost nothing accepts T-Card after you check in (which makes sense) besides… Starbucks.

Not long after, we boarded and I spent another 10 hours of my life just sitting there and watching the in-flight entertainment before landing in San Francisco, the day afterwards. Customs was a nightmare. There were five other flights that landed around the same time. Nothing says “Welcome back to the Bay Area” like standing in line for an hour with other jetlagged, irritated people with fussy children.

I was so bored that I took joy in pouring furikake in my porridge.

Random Bits & Pieces about Korea:

  • U-turns that would normally be illegal in America are done often in Seoul. If you are like me, you would watch Korean dramas and go, “omg, is he insane doing an u-turn out of nowhere?” Apparently, it’s pretty normal. A lot of people do it.
  • The milk tastes different than what you get in the states. It tastes better… and I’m not exactly sure why, but it does.
  • Couple wear is normal as well. You see couples in matching clothes, matching shoes, matching backpacks and etc.
  • Fashion wise: huge clunky sandals are “in” with thick straps. You see the girls wearing them with platforms and you even see guys wearing them.
  • People in Korea don’t wear sunglasses much. While in the Bay Area, even on the overcast days, we’ll be wearing our shades.
  • Koreans are constantly on their phones. It’s all you see when you’re on the subway. It’s not just the young people. Even your grandma and grandpa are seen clicking about sending Line or Kakaotalk messages on their smartphones.
  • Be wary when you walk. As a pedestrian, I felt very unsafe at times. You have bicyclist, motorbikes, cabs, buses, and regular cars to look out for and they have a tendency to come way too close for comfort. Like mention, “OMG” was my word of the week.
  • There was this kid that I came across when I was waiting for the train to arrive and he was whistling the “subway transfer line” tune. It was adorable.
  • The weather in Seoul during June was humid and muggy, but bearable. It was often overcast and there was even a little rain when we arrived, but it was nowhere as bad as the humidity in Cancun in June.
  • The ground is very clean for such a huge city. There aren’t any gum stains on the ground and very little litter or trash. And yet… good luck trying to find a trash can! I was carrying my Gong Cha cup for the longest time searching for a trash can until one of the sales associates asked to take it for me.
  • If you’re in the tourist heavy areas in Seoul, you can expect them to speak either Mandarin, Japanese or English. When you step away from those areas, communication gets a little more difficult. Gesturing and numbers will get you through when ordering or buying something, but asking for directions was a nightmare.
  • However, just because they don’t understand you, it doesn’t mean they won’t try to help you. Everybody I came across in Seoul was nice and welcoming in the few days that I was there.

And that wraps up my recap on my trip to Seoul, South Korea. I like to extend my thanks again to Visit Seoul for choosing me as one of their winners for their sweepstakes. Not everything worked out according to plan, but I still had a blast spending my time exploring places in Seoul. If possible, I would love to come back in the near future and every now and then (especially when I’m writing these recaps), I would think back on the bustling, crowded streets of Myeongdong or the history-laden palaces in  Insadong and miss wandering about with no  real purpose in mind-- just soaking in the sights and enjoying myself in South Korea.

I’ll be back South Korea! Until next time~

You Might Also Like