Sunday, May 3, 2015

3 May 15 – Day 3 (Busan, Seoul)

Think it started raining in the middle of the night and the rain persisted in the morning. The plan for the day was to do the Taejongdae Loop Tour which consists of mainly outdoor sites. Given that it was raining, I planned to forgo doing that loop tour and instead either do indoor / underground shopping or take the morning train to Seoul. After the alarm went off, I told SWT about the proposed plans and she was for the latter since we would have a 50/50 chance of getting seats on the train.

I asked her if she was ok because she went to the toilet a few times during the night and was told that she was having diarrhea. She explained that either she had overeaten the day before or the hotteok was too oily for her. We checked-out of the motel about 8:15am. It was still drizzling heavily, so we put on our windbreakers and walked briskly over to Busan train station while pushing our luggage. Got to the station and quickly queued up to get train tickets. Luck was with us and we managed to get tickets for the 9:20am train to Seoul. Then SWT said she needs to get a bottle of Pocari from the vending machine. Bought that and we found a place to sit while I ate my steam cake as breakfast. She tried to eat a little bit of her steam cake but ended up going to the toilet after that. After she came back, I went to check-out that long queue fishcake shop. Perhaps it was early Monday morning; there was no queue though there were already some people making purchases. Could not resist trying the fishcakes, especially since this was my last chance, so popped into the shop and bought two fishcakes: a small, flat one that came with a piece of lotus root on each side and another bigger, flatter one with some vegetable bits inside. While queuing up to pay, I saw other people buying in bulk, at least one tray full. Wow!

Soon it was time to board the train; we loaded our luggage and took our seats. SWT slept all the way to Seoul while I just dozed off on and off. Ate the fishcake with the lotus roots and it was tasty with the crunchy lotus roots in every bite. We reached Seoul station and tried to find the subway station to take the subway to Myeongdong station. Seoul station was big and we had problem navigating so in the end, SWT approached two policemen for directions. Managed to find the subway station, boarded the train and alighted in Myeongdong station. Followed the directions given by K-Pop Residence Myeongdong II (K-pop II) in their email to me and we managed to find the place. There was a short flight of steps up to the lift landing and given that SWT was weak from the runs, I told her to carry my luggage up instead since mine was much lighter than hers.

Went up to the fourth floor where the reception counter is and we left our luggage there since it was still early for the 2pm check-in time. Went out to walk around Myeongdong area and I popped into a shop called “All Mask Diary” (I think) and found the Berrisom My Lip Tint Pack Lip Tattoo which I read about in the newspaper couple of weeks ago. Bought it and felt happy because it was an item in my shopping list. We walked around some more while I ate the last of my fishcake. Sales staffs from the various beauty shops were constantly trying to get us into the shops using with free masks and samples. We then moved on to explore Lotte Young Plaza via the underpass before going to Lotte Avenuel, which was a shopping mall selling international brands. Finally we ended up at the Lotte Departmental Store and we went right up to the topmost floor to walk around. The top three floors were duty-free section and they were so packed with foreigners. Left the duty-free section quickly and went down to the supermarket. Asked SWT what food she can eat and she said can try yogurt but after that got to stay indoor for two hours in case she needs the toilet. Initially she planned to stock up on yogurt but I cautioned her that we may not have a mini fridge in the room. So she bought one cup of yogurt while I bought a bottle of my favourite banana milk, a piece of fried spicy squid fishcake and two pieces of rice cakes. Yes, I am a fan of rice cakes. 

Got back to K-pop II, did the check-in, the receptionist showed us the area where light breakfast is available from 7am to 10am and told us that the check-out time is 11am. She also gave us a slip of paper each stating the passwords for the automated lock for level four and five. We were given a room on the fifth floor and just outside our room is the area for laundry. There is also a microwave oven and a mini fridge. The room seems to be smaller than the one we had back in Busan. The bed is a super-twin size bed with a pull out bed at the bottom. We lined up our luggage along the walkable area so that we can open them up to access our things. After we were done eating our so-called late lunch, we had to close our luggage, pushed them aside so that SWT could pull out her bed. She chose to take the lower bunk in case she needs to go to the toilet often at night. So while she slept, I watched tv and whatsapping little big sis. Little big sis told me that the plastic cover for her Iphone 6+ cracked and she asked me to keep a lookout for mobile phone cover for her. Initially she wanted to get something similar to her previous one, a leather flip-cover kind. Then she changed her mind and said those were kind of boring and told me to just get the back cover but with slots for at least one card.

I woke SWT up at 6:45pm so that we could return to Lotte supermarket to stock up some drinks and food. While walking over to Lotte supermarket, we passed by a building where the second floor was called “Teteru Museum”. It was a café with a small teddy bear museum and the entrance fee was W6,000 that comes with a free drink. We didn't in and instead went up to the third level where the giftshop was. Came back down and popped into another shop that sells mobile phone covers and found some for Iphone 6+. Surprisingly, there are really some back cases that offer slots for cards. Felt happy that I managed to find what little big sis wanted but I didn't get it immediately because I thought maybe I can find them at cheaper prices over at Hongdae area or in Dongdaemun Market.

SWT bought a pack of four cups of yogurt and a big bottle of Pocari while I bought a big bottle of orange juice after having failed to find my favourite banana milk in tetra pack. SWT didn’t need dinner but I do so walked back to Myeongdong area with our purchases to hunt for my dinner. Walked along so many streets, passed by so many food stalls yet nothing really interest me, partly because those food required me to eat on the spot. In the end, I told SWT to return to K-pop II first since we were at the doorstep, while I continued to walk around. After more walking, I bought a pack of tteokbokki and returned to the room to eat. The food was tasty and spicy but unfortunately, it was plain without any fishcakes or vegetables. Rested a bit before taking shower, firmed up the plan for the next day with SWT before hitting the bed close to 11pm.

Thoughts: The stay in Busan was too short. Even though it is not tourist-friendly, I believe I can still get around with a map or two in hand. Perhaps next time I should fly direct to Busan and just spend the days there at leisure. Lotte supermarket was crowded as usual but somehow felt different this time compared to my last visit, yet I could not pin-point what exactly. The sales staffs outside those beauty shops in Myeongdong were getting aggressive; I was grabbed by the arm a few times to try to get me into their shops. Myeongdong is not the one I used to know.

No comments: