Saturday, October 27, 2012

27 Oct 12 - Day 3 (Myeongdong, Dongdaemun)

I woke up just before 9am to find out that it was raining. It wasn’t heavy downpour nor was it drizzling, it was just normal rain without getting too windy. Lazed for a while then got up, washed up and put on my pink fleece heattech top and the Timberland jacket outer shell, took the umbrella and went out to Lotte departmental store. It was already my third day in Seoul and I could still get lost in Myeongdong station. I walked the Underground Shopping Street before finding the exit to go to Lotte Young Plaza. Found it but the exit connecting to Lotte Young Plaza was closed so I ended up going to Lotte Avenuel, which is a shopping mall selling international brands. Nothing much to see there and so headed over to the Lotte departmental store which is connected to Avenuel.
The departmental store is like any of our departmental store back home and it was selling mostly thick clothing. After browsing the top levels, headed down to the supermarket where I checked out the liquor section before going to the snacks section. There were many types of the same thing, for instance, just soju alone has a few brands. Browsed the rest of the supermarket and saw so many interesting foods such as different types of kimchi, rice cakes, rice cracker snacks, fruits and so on. I was so tempted to get the rice cakes home but I knew I can’t because they will harden by the time I get back. Besides, I doubt my luggage can fit them in. Took a basket and started taking the snacks that I saw on the first night and went to make payment. After that, went back to the liquor section and bought a bottle of apple flavor soju for BIL, a bottle of red ginseng wine for little big sis and a small bottle of raspberry wine for myself.
It was still raining outside and I was glad that I brought the foldable grey bag along. Stuff all my purchases into the bag, took out the umbrella and made my way back to the hostel. It was about 1+pm when I finally got back. Went out again to Dongdaemun Market at 2pm. Checked out the Underground Shopping Street at the Dongdaemun History & Culture Park station and most of the shops were selling sportswear. I took the exit to go to Good Morning City shopping mall before heading over to Hello APM. There were a lot of stalls selling women clothing, hoodies, t-shirts, accessories and so on. There were so many people, so many choices but yet I got nothing. By 4+pm, I was feeling hungry, my lower back and legs were aching badly. Saw a stall outside Migliore selling hotteok, chili dogs and fishcakes with many people crowding around so walked over, ordered a hotteok then stood near the stage to eat.
After I was done, went into Migliore and was hoping I could get something since I managed to get a nice bag there during my last trip. I was trying to hunt for bags, blazers and shoes but the bags were either too small or not unique; the blazers were either too feminine for my taste or too thick for the weather back home; as for shoes, nothing caught my fancy. Subsequently bought a big bag that was supposedly to be leather. The design was simple, not ideal but will do and was quoted W58,000. Found it too expensive and remembered reading somewhere that the norm was to get at least 20% discount from the quoted price. The lady passed me the calculator to quote her a price and I did a quick calculation. I was supposed to quote W46,400 but was afraid that I might cut too much and so quoted W48,000 instead. The lady was quick to accept which made me think that perhaps I should have bargain further. Walked on and eventually bought a red fennel shirt and a cotton dress for myself.
Came out from Migliore, saw another street stall selling tteokbokki and since I needed to sit and rest desperately, I sat down and ordered a plate of tteokbokki. It didn’t taste as good as the one I had the other night because the rice cakes were too soft. Headed back to Hello APM and Good Morning City for last round before finding a bench to sit and rest for a good 15 minutes and then called it a day by 7+pm. On the way back, bought bread, banana milk and apple juice as dinner and reached the hostel just after 8pm. Tried to do some packing while watching TV. So much for rest and relax day. Tomorrow is sightseeing day so got to wake up a bit early and I better do some stretching to relieve my lower back and legs.
Thoughts: Lotte departmental store’s basement is a great place to shop for food. I would have loved to try the various kimchi and rice cakes if I could, even the fresh fruits look fantastic. It’s a pity that it was raining today; otherwise I would have explored other parts of Dongdaemun instead of just going to the three malls. Dongdaemun is a great place to shop if Korean fashion is your thing and you are a small size person. For me, I’m considered a large over there and their style is not my taste hence I wasn’t able to get many things. On top of that, the stalls are selling mostly thick clothing because it is fall/winter season so all the more I can’t get anything. There are also a lot of street foods over there but again like I said, it was raining and hence it was inconvenient to eat street foods.

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