Friday, March 4, 2016

Seoul 2015 - 16/16


We have successfully made it to the end of my Seoul 2015 series. Thank you for hanging on!
This last post is about our last few hours in what has become one of my favorite cities and our flight back to our respective countries.

Like I'd already said, we paid for our stay on the day we arrived so there really wasn't much for us to do except for packing our stuff (which most of us did the night before) and eating breakfast before leaving the hostel in the morning. Our flight would leave 10.20am. Since Philip had first been in Japan and then bought tickets from there to Korea, it was cheaper for him to go back to Japan and then fly home from there. He wouldn't leave before the afternoon though so as we were about to leave, Alex brought me upstairs to their room so I could tell Philip to travel safe.

To get to the airport we took the same bus as the one that had brought us to the neighborhood when we first arrived. We sat down in the very back and I think some of us were half asleep during the ride because I don't remember much of it. What I do remember, however, is that I realized that I had forgotten Emilie's dragon beard candy in the fridge in our room ༼ ◉ ╭╮ ◉༽* NooOoooOo. I hope at least Jinbo and the others found it before it went bad.

There weren't even that many people waiting to check in at the counter but still I was waved over by the guy at the counter for people flying on business class so I was checked in in no time. Alex had overweight and tried moving around some of his stuff but ended up having to pay an extra fee.
Looking out. It wasn't nearly as crowded as I had thought. Not that I expected it to be filled to the brim but..
Ooookay that explained it! There weren't many people before because they were all standing in line for the security check. We went in as a group and hadn't been standing there for more than a couple of minutes before one of the airport personnel came up to us and told us that the girls could go into another queue for faster service. Camilla and I followed him into the other line just to check it out and surely we were through a lot quicker than the others. There were both male and female workers doing security checks in that line so it remained a mystery to as us for why they'd make a line just for women (I don't think there was one just for men).
On our flight back home we had problems with the seating once again since John and I both had ordered on our own. At first I had a seat by the window with a young Korean girl as my seating buddy. John was sitting three rows behind me beside a Korean business man.
Alex, Cindy, and Camilla were sitting even further back.
Since this was our longest flight, we'd like to sit beside each other again and both asked the ones sitting beside us if they'd like to change seats. The girl beside me didn't understand English (or at least was too insecure to try to answer me) so John asked the business man. John told him a white lie about us being a couple and the man agreed to move with the words: "I prefer a spot near the isle but if she's your girlfriend I have to move." I felt a bit sorry that he had to move if he really wanted a spot beside the isle but John and I ended up being sleeping buddies again - and yes, this time we actually succeeded napping!
After not so long we were served breakfast. I had chicken and potato wedges, some crackers, salad, and a bun (stay away from bread wrapped in plastic. It's not the best).
Except for napping I spent my time watching the little screen with information about temperature, height, distance left, etc. and watching movies. Philip had said that I should try to watch one with Luhan from EXO but I couldn't find that one and I ended up watching Parasyte: Part 1.
Luuuunch! I chose pasta with vegetables. On the side was a custard bread and that one was actually really good!
I love looking out the window when flying and this time I snapped a pretty decent picture! (The windows are often too dirty to get a clear shot like this).
Back in Helsinki airport we had a little time together before I flew back to Denmark and the rest to Sweden from where Cindy and Camilla then had to fly back to Norway through Denmark.
Our gates were not that close to each other but since I would be leaving 20-30 min. before the others, we sat down not so far from where I would fly out from and enjoyed some ice cream. Cindy asked if we were thirsty and ended up buying me a pineapple soda. When it was about my time to leave, the others accompanied me walking to the gate. Suddenly Alex asked if I liked chocolate and came back short after with a pack of chocolate (? ・  ・) I don't know why.. 
And here is a last shaky picture taken with Alex's selfie stick before I boarded the plane.

Going to Seoul has been a dream of mine since 7th/8th grade and it was crazy finally doing it. Seoul is an amazing city and it definitely lived up to my expectations. I have completely fallen in love with the city!
I had never imagined going with a group of people that I barely knew and hadn't met (except for Philip) but I'm so happy that I did. If you've read all of my posts in this series you'll realize that I had days or hours that I spent mostly with just one person at a time, which really allowed us to bond however cheesy that may sound.

They say that friends who travel together, stay together and I think and hope that our friendships will last for many years.



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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Seoul 2015 - 15/16


Oh my, this series is almost finished;; Have you enjoyed the ride? Thinking back, I really did. But the day I'm about to write about was a bit different than the others.
I had a real down-day that day so I think I made a wise choice to spend it mostly with John. He was there to listen when I needed to get something off my chest, but at the same time he was also ready to be heartless enough to tell me to just cheer up (which was what I really needed).

I saw Philip in the morning when I went to grab some food from the convenience store. I think this was the day he went to SMtown to audition (for fun) with Sena. Camilla's stomach hurt in the morning and Cindy and Alex were still tired from their Busan trip so John and I went to Insadong (인사동) alone to eat whatever interesting foods we could find.

Dear readers,
welcome to awesome food adventures with John and Lucy!!

Our adventures already began on our way to Insadong when we passed a food stand selling odeng (오뎅), which are fish cakes bathed in broth. I have never been a fan of anything from the sea but this fishcake is something I could go back and eat every day. They're not very 'fishy' in taste.
In Insadong (인사동) we found a small supermarket and sat down at the counter (I've been told that it's pretty common for Koreans to sit down at there counters and eat the ramen that you have just bought). One of the things I got here was this plum juice that I solely selected based on that charming senpai-looking plums face. It was actually okay! Not my go-to drink in that weather though since it turned lukewarm pretty fast.
Another thing I had were these cookies (which I later found out that you could also get here in Denmark) with pineapple flavored filling. Those were good! Really good!
I didn't get any pictures of John's food, sadly <//3
Okayokayokay here comes the coolest ice cream ever! And they actually originated here in Insadong (인사동)! After having seen a lot of people carrying around large pipes with ice cream in we decided to get some ourselves. The pipe is made out of corn (and should therefore be healthier than normal cones) and the ice cream... well it's not like normal dairy ice cream. When it melted (and it did very fast due to the hot weather), it felt more like water based ice cream with flavor and then maybe some sort of powder or something mixed into it to give it more of an ice cream'y feel. You could have either vanilla, chocolate, or a mixture of both. Of course we tried both! It was soooo messy though! The chocolate end kept dripping down on my shoes and the white part would melt and run all the way down to reach our hands. It was a cool thing to try though! I've definitely had better ice cream but the experience itself was fun. I'd recommend you try it if you ever get the chance.
Apparently Simon and Martina made a video about these. The more you know!
Wanting to continue our adventures in Myeongdong (명동), we headed back to the hostel. On our way back we once again bought some of the fishcakes and John got to practice some Korean with the vendor.
As we were trying to decide which way to go, we walked by a man in his 40-50's. As we did, the man turned his entire body 180 degrees, his eyes planted firmly on us, and loudly exclaimed an impressed 'OooOoh'. People tend to think that John as Korean and his guess was that the man had thought we were going out.

Our awesome food adventures (now featured Camilla, who was feeling better) continued in Myeongdong (명동). Here we shared a big bowl of patbingsu (팥빙수) - a Korean shaved ice dessert with toppings on.

Not long after we found ourselves walking around a little outside Insadong (인사동) exploring the streets when we received a message from Cindy and Alex.
One the things some of us had also wanted to do in Seoul was to see the Banpo Bridge (반포대교) - also called Rainbow Bridge, which is the world longest bridge fountain. The fountain plays different shows during night and day but especially those during the night are said to be beautiful.
Well, today was the day we had planned to watch one of these shows and while Alex had looked up the time for the shows, he'd discovered that he'd told us the wrong time and that the last show (21.00) was sooner than we had expected and that we had about half an hour to get there. Alex and Cindy were already on their way.

Half an hour might sound okay to you but the thing is that you'll have to walk pretty far to get there, even from the nearest subway station. The road there wasn't exactly straightforward and we were lead into big, dark apartment complexes from where we had to navigate to the bridge. After much struggle we finally found the bridge... JUST as the light show was ending.
NoooOooOooo (´︿  ;`)

It took a while to find Cindy and Alex and when we did, we received a text from Philip saying that he too, had mixed up the time and thought that it was starting in an hour from now. At least Cindy and Alex made it in time for the show (I think).

Feeling defeated, we walked all the way back to the station and took the subway back home to the hostel and cheered up ourselves with some fried chicken that we had the hostel staff help us order. Philip, knowing that it was too late to leave for the light show, stayed out a little later than the rest of us. Cindy and Alex weren't hungry (I think they had already eaten) so once again it was just the three of us (John, Camilla, and I) enjoying our food adventures.



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