Photo Potpourri is a precursor to Recent Realities. Starting in July 2016, all Photo Potpourri posts will be known as Recent Realities.
Here’s another photo dump post, and it’s all about my spring staycation so far. :D I admit, I’m a huge fan of staycations since these give me the opportunity to explore Seoul. Population-wise, Seoul ranks in the top 10 of the largest cities in the world, but it’s not in the top 10 based on urban land area size, but it’s still a huge city to explore. Part of it is because Seoul uses practically every nooks and crannies the city offers to stash away stores, restaurants, bars, cafes, and whatnot. I swear, even in my own neighbourhood, new businesses pop up in the most obscure alleyways, and I’m flabbergasted when I discover them. Bottom line, one can explore Seoul hundreds of times, and there’d always be something new to uncover. And that, my friends, is why I’m content with Seoul, and I don’t feel compelled to travel outside of it, unless it’s someplace in Japan, haha! Japan aside, enjoy my staycation photos!
My vacation started on Thursday, April 16, with me taking care of some medical businesses at Yonsei Severance Hospital. The waiting (and the paying) is the hardest part of all this, so I made sure to bring stuff to keep my occupied. Along with my Kindle Paperwhite, I also brought my letterbook I’m working on. Paired that up with a “Lovely Strawberry Yoghurt Smoothie” from Uptown Cafe (that’s really what they called that smoothie!), I was able to ignore the hospital environment until the noise level in the foodcourt got to me.
Friday, my boss and I went exploring downtown Seoul. Originally, I was going to go to Paju Premium Outlets, but my research led me to see that the outlets would have been super expensive, so I decided to visit Gwangjang Market (광장시장) instead. We had a blast. This is a very traditional market with a huge emphasis on food. Apparently the second floor of the market is known for their linens, sheets, and blankets, but we didn’t bother checking that out. The food vendors alone fascinated us. Bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes) and mayak gimbap were the market’s specialty. We walked through the market, and I discovered that Bangsan Market (aka Bakers Alley) was right across the street from it, so we also decided to make a return trip there :) Afterward, we backtracked back to Gwangjang Market and took a cab to . . .
Namdaemun Market (남대문시장). Now, this is a place I’ve been to many times, but my boss hadn’t really gotten the chance to really explore it. We came here and got more food, and my boss bought a bunch of earrings and cheap grocery food. She was amazed that this one store was selling three pineapples for 5,000 KRW ($4.50 USD). After, we took a cab back to base to go have a spa day, upon my suggestion :D
We went to Dragon Hill Lodge salon, Clippers, and I decided to try their “special manicure”, which is their regular manicure plus special cleansing treatment and a paraffin wax treatment. That was my first time trying the paraffin treatment. My verdict? HOT, HOT, HOT!!! I’ve got crap heat tolerance, so my hands didn’t enjoy being dipped into the paraffin four times! Otherwise, it was a good spa day, and I like the pink OPI polish I chose! :D
Saturday found me at Hyehwa Station area, also known as Daehakro. I met up with Piokun and his friend. I caught up with him since he and I hadn’t met since November.
We decided to get lunch at Mad for Sushi Yaki Banzai, and I ordered the tonkatsu set. It was okay — not the best meal, but it filled me up.
Afterwards, I walked 2 kilometres to Jongno 4-ga bus stop, and made it back to my neighbourhood to meet Chibi Toaster at Chansbros Coffee Shop. I people watched and killed time there. When Chibi Toaster came, we hung around my neighbourhood. She bought lunch at Tonic Curry, and later we went to Berkeley Coffee Social, a new coffee place I discovered recently, and their coffee is just amazing. Then she got a haircut, and we finally ended back at Chansbros to have one more cuppa before she left.
On Sunday, I met my friend D. and his friend. We went to Fat Cat for brunch, and I had a hummus avocado sandwich with a choco banana smoothie. I wasn’t able to get a good shot of my meal, but it was delicious. Then I stopped by Hassdog to get some gourmet hot dogs for my parents and me, pictured above. I’d been hearing rave reviews about the dogs, so I finally decided to get some. It’s pricey, but it’s worth it! Even my picky parents liked it!
And that’s my staycation so far. It’s been lovely. I’ve got one more week to unwind and have fun. I look forward to the remainder of it! ^^