Saturday, May 07, 2005

Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting...

This Thursday was a Korean national holiday called "Children's Day." Yeah, it's a day off here. Anyway, we ended up trying to see if we could book a flight at the travel agency, but it was closed. We decided to grab a coffee at Starbucks and check out some used book stores in Itaewon. Matt and Dan caught up with us and before we could go to a Meyong-Dong DVD room, we saw some random Korean ninjas putting on a little show, doing backflips and popping balloons with their feet in mid air. The best part of it was, they had music, and they were definitely doing it all to "Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting." Try not to get that stuck in your head now. (I totally know you did the chorus tune in your head!!).

Well, today was Saturday, and although we didn't have much planned ahead of time we decided to just go with the flow. Generally when we do that we end up having the most incredibly random days. We again tried to book our Beijing trip in Itaewon, but as absent minded as we are, we definitely forgot to bring our passports so that we could get a visa to China. Regardless we have a reservation, we just have to come back on Monday to put our money down and get our Chinese visas.

We headed to Insadong from there, which is the traditional area in Seoul. We found Tapgol Park, which is where a Pagoda built in the 1400's is encased in glass. It's a super chill area where people just hang out, meet, and enjoy the small gardens that they have there.

There were some traditional performances going on in the street and tons of people trying to push their way through. As we were walking three university students approached us and asked if they could interview us for a class. Being the nice Canadian kids that we are, we said yes. They ended up taking us to a Korean Tea House. We sat down with them for about half an hour and answered some really simple questions like: "What is your name?" "What is your job?" "Do you like Korea?" "Do you like Korean people?" Basically I think it's just so that they can practice speaking English. Anyway, they were SUPER nervous (as many Koreans are when they talk to Foreigners), but it was fun. AND they bought our tea (which is pretty rad cause it's about $6 a cup -- talk about Starbucks gouging ya for cash!!). After that interview was finished I swear, not even 5 minutes later we were approached by another couple students wanting an interview. We politely told them that we had just finished one and didn't want to do another.

We kept walking around Insadong and eventually I bought a cell phone charm for my phone. Not a fad in Vancouver....YET! Wait till I come home...then you'll see :).

We were just about to head to the subway and go home, when we walked into some strange building and found a huge bookstore. We wanted to see if it had an English section, so we checked it out. Turns out the Foreign section was pretty big so I headed for the travel books. I found myself lost in the number of Lonley Planet books that they had. They even had one specifically for BC! Anyway, I was checking out some of the books and I bumped into another Canadian guy...a Newfie nonetheless!! About 5 minutes into our conversation another Canadian couple appeared. Funny how Canadians congregate in the Lonley Planet slash travel section. Anyway, the guy we met, Chris, might hook up with us to start the next session of Korean lessons which begins next Saturday.

Anyway, whenever we set out to do nothing so much seems to happen. It's great. Tomorrow, Sunday, is the week before Buddha's Birthday, so there is a huge lantern festival in Insadong, as well as a parade. We're going to check it out, it should produce some cool pictures...I hope!


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