Sunday, July 10, 2005

My day in Seoul

I took bus 5500 into Seoul for the second time and got off on the other side of the Han river. I began walking towards Itaewon, the 'foreigner' area in Seoul. I was on a mission to get my cell phone fixed since I somehow changed the setting so that I can't make outgoing calls. On the way a man started talking to me. Turned out he is half Korean half American and is teaching English at a university here. His English was not that great though, to be honest. He was on his way home from church and tried to help me with the phone though it hasn't been fixed yet. Then he wanted to go window shopping with me at some department store forty minutes away from where we were. I had to decline and went on my way.

Walking up and down through Itaewon, I was stopped by a friendly young girl to answer a survey. "Sure", I replied. The first question was this:

Check the appropriate box:

I am a Christian
I am agnostic.

There may have been a few other choices but they were all Christian-related. I chuckled to myself, thinking back to sociology classes on survey-making. The girl gave me her number in case I should ever want to join the Church of God. Walking back on the other side of the street I was stopped again by a guy holding the same survey. I told him that I had already spoken to the girl across the street. He asked whether I was interested. I said no, I'm not interested. Why not?? He asked. Well... I'm Jewish.

After exhausting Itaewon, I jumped on the subway and went up to Insadong, a touristy, traditional market type street that Kiran had recommended. It was very nice and full of people. I stopped for lunch and was ripped off huge! Okay, I guess it was my own fault for going to a fancy restaurant in a tourist neighbourhood but I didn't realize it was fancy. Damn. My first time eating in a restaurant here all by myself and I spend five times more than I wanted to. The food wasn't even that good.

I walked through a park with very old temples and things, and a very old Korean man stopped me to sign his old tattered book. He had a collection of foreigner's names and countries of origin. Kind of odd, but sweet nonetheless.

Then I headed home which took way too long. A little over two hours by subway and bus to get back to my apartment in Suji. I'm not impressed. The trip there by bus alone was an hour so I guess I'll go for the bus from now on.

I'm now going to try to download today's pictures so check flickr. But my computer is still acting up and it may very well crash as soon as I try to plug in my camera. Grrr.


At July 10, 2005 10:19 a.m. , Blogger Shells Bells said...

I don't understand the Korean obsession with being Christian..(maybe that came out weird..)but I remember we used to go on the roof of my apartment and we could litterally count the neon blue crosses throughout the could see 65 churches from my building...almost every Korean I met went to church spoke of God often...I guess it is good they have their faith but pushy religious people freak me right out.

At July 10, 2005 10:32 a.m. , Blogger Christopher Olie's Dad said...

The important detail that you left out was, did you get your phone fixed. If you can, check the manual as there usually is a a problem solving FAQ section. Perhaps this can give you some ideas.

I am happy that you are being careful about following the the people that you meet. Be careful as there are many who would try to take advantage of a single girl who looks out of place.

How did you choose this overpriced restaurant? Do they post menu's outside? Mom & I once ran around a section of Lndon comparing prices of chinese restaurants using the Wpon Ton Soup as the indicator to make our choice. i guess we were short of cash (what else is new eh?).

Love Dad


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