My cousin, Bomi (Boh-mee) was free to show my sister, mom and I around in Korea. We first went to Ssamzi-gil where it is a cute little shopping area and hang out spot. One vendor was selling poop! Poop bread. Well, bread in the shape of poop with red beans inside. It was cute and so we had to get some of that. It was fresh and simply delicious! What can go wrong with poop bread? Nothing!
Ssamzi-gil had a layout that was quite eccentric even with their decoration. Random artwork was placed around. The building was about several stories high. The floors have an inclination to the point where you don’t need to take the stairs. As you walk around the pathway in the area, you are walking your way up to the next floor. All the stores were pricey because they were basically homemade trinkets and accessories.
Then we went to this traditional castle kind of looking thing. Not sure what it’s exactly called but it’s historical in Insadong. We went to the second floor and listened to a tour guide share the history of the structure. There’s a bell inside that building that they ring every new year or for any special occasion. An interesting fact about this bell is that it was made by dead babies. In other words, I think back in the day when babies were malnourished due to poverty, they ended up dying. So they would cremate the babies and use the cremation to make the bell. So the bell is considered to be spiritual and is to give you good luck.
After a brief history lesson there, we went down the street and into this ditch. The ditch had a river flowing down and leading to some kind of celebration for Buddha’s birthday. It was eye opening to see Buddhism being celebrated because in the states, Buddhism is not very common. There were Chinese lanterns hanging and colorful statues in the middle of the river.
At one point, as we were walking down the river, we saw a little girl fall into the water! The water was shallow but the current was strong! The girl was quickly moving down the water and kept losing grasp of anything she tried holding onto. Luckily, someone pulled her out of the water. Yes, I took a picture of the situation and did not help… Please don’t judge.
My cousin showed us a beautiful cathedral in Insadong. It reminded me of all the cathedrals I saw when I went to Europe. You can donate some money and have a candle lit to say a prayer. It was a peaceful place to be.
I must share something that scared me a little when I saw it… Here it goes:
That squatting toilet scared me when I opened the door! I saw it for a second and had to walk away. I couldn’t take a risk to tinkle there because I was afraid of falling in… Yes, those toilets still exist.
For lunch, we had lah-bok-gee aka ramen with cheese, spam, kimchi, and all sorts of other dishes in there. Good food indeed. Surprisingly, we ate so much there for what little we ordered. Luckily, we were able to walk off all the food we ate.
Our next stop in our adventure was to meet my grandma’s brother. So we went to Seoul Station to hang out with him. While we were waiting, we walked around a market there. Below is a funny picture of a wannabe Kit-Kat bar in Korea.
Here’s another funny one. It’s a Vitamin Water but in Korean it says “Bee-tah-min”. Koreans cannot say the letter “V” so they say it with the letter “B”.
So after an hour of waiting, we were not able to meet up with my grandma’s brother because he lived too far away from where we were that it would take a lot longer than expected to meet him. It would have been awesome to see him because I would have never thought about meeting my grandma’s sibling.
After a long day of walking, shopping, and eating, we decided to go back home. Of course, we were not going to stay at home the whole night. We had to go out and experience the food and culture at night! My cousins showed us around. We tried this chicken on a stick, drizzled with cheese.
Oh, by the way. Koreans apparently love cheese. I’m not sure why. Also, their cheese is different compared to American cheese. Not sure of how big of a difference it is. The chicken was no doubt delicious. For dessert, we got some cheap ice cream. It was as good as McDonald’s vanilla ice cream cone or better.
Koreans and/or just any Asians love sticky picky pictures. So we did that too! My cousins were pro at decorating the pictures so quickly. Good thing they took over that pen.
Hanging out with them was a great way to end our night!