Monday, April 03, 2006

Which flowers would you choose?

It rained all day long on Saturday. Instead of the original plan of checking out a temple, D'Arcy and I went into the city and had a great day, rain and all.
We first checked out the Seoul Museum of Art, which I thought was very small. There were two American exhibitions going on. 100 years of chairs and some modern guy named something Indiana who was commenting on the American Dream. Neither impressed me much. Surprising since 100 years of chairs sounds great to me. I liked their permanent collection much more.

Then we moved on two subway stations down the line to Jongno sam ga.
We followed the exit signs for Nakwon Arcade, the musical instrument market. The signs weren't ideal, but a bunch of people under umbrellas along the way helped us reach our destination.

It's pretty amusing to approach people in the street asking for directions in English. All young people (and most people) study or have studied English, so they definitely know something. Often people are surprisingly good, but most of the time people laugh and blush and say "sorry". I get a kick out of freaking teenagers out who never considered actually putting their English to real use.

Nakwon Arcade is right at exit five of Jongno sam ga, for future reference. Turn right out of the exit and go into the non-descript grey building with a KEB bank or something on the first level.

The indoor market is made up of shop after shop of vendors selling mostly electric and acoustic guitars, and also guitar accessories, recording equipment, brass, woodwind, other string instruments, and pianos. It was fun weaving in and out of guitars. I found myself attracted to teal. It wasn't too busy but I didn't try any of the guitars out because I wouldn' t know what to look for. Maybe I'll consider buying myself a decent guitar closer to the end of this thing when I have a better idea of how much money I have and what kind of guitar would be worth my while. I did buy a tuner though. I've always wanted a clarinet but D'Arcy threatened to disown me.

We sheltered ourselves from the rain for a while in a warm and busy coffee shop, watching the crazy fashion come and go. People wrap their wet umbrellas in long, specially shaped plastic bags that are provided at the door of shops. Environmentally aware people reuse their bag. My umbrella was stolen at the art gallery from the umbrella parking lot outside. I thought I was above the 100 won deposit to properly lock up my three dollar umbrella.

Nakwon Arcade is right at Insadong, a place where you can find all the terrible touristy gifts you can dream of. Like pens with fimo Korean folk on them. And little jewellery boxes/keychains/cigarette holders that are supposed to look Asian but don't. I liked them nine months ago. I hate them now. We strolled around and found some interesting little shops in the rain.

Then we headed for Nepalese food at Everest, a great little restaurant with low prices. It's at Dongdaemun station, exit three. Walk straight out of the exit, turn left at the first alleyway, then look to your right at the next. Easy as pie.

It was a really great day.


At April 11, 2006 2:44 a.m. , Blogger D'Arcy said...

what a great day that was! and did i really threaten to disown you if you bought a clarinet? i'm cruel.


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