I’m gonna say first of all that it was a pretty uneventful trip. We did mostly tourism adventure with my parents and uncles. Tourism Adventure is a term a friend of my uses whenever you get lost in an unknown place; she’d just go “ahahahaha that’s the essence of tourism adventure! getting lost for the sake of exploring!”. Of course we didn’t really get lost, but we just went anywhere for the sake of going anywhere, which also is tourism adventure 😄
What I did basically in Korea was this: spend most of the time with grandma, eat some sashimi, get sick, help parents with business, come back, start classes while sick, the end. Not very exciting, but it was mostly a family trip… somewhat ;_; hahahaha!
Parents came the last week (they were planning on going earlier, but it was a very busy time for them) and got into a couple of trains just to visit anywhere they fancied (which was basically randomly picking touristic spots).
In one of the trips we got into this huge seafood fair. It’s basically a little road with dozens of small stands on the side, with obasans selling live fish.
The trick is to eat the fish as fresh as possible, so they cut the poor little things right then and there, and one goes on the back of the stands where there’s a restaurant-like place. They serve you the sashimi the seller cut for you and rent you the table for around 5000-7000 won (around $5) including some rice and salad (you can add soup for a few more dollars).
Gotta say that watching the squid getting cut is very sad ;_; since they stay alive until the last minute. Didn’t get any pictures of the lady cutting them up, since I don’t think she’d have liked the flash going off on her face ^^U (plus me so sad~)
I always pride myself of at least trying some new food (barely touching it with the tongue and gagging afterward counts) and since I didn’t try raw squid (among other things) before so I gave it a go. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but I’m not sure I could eat it regularly since it’s best to eat it right then and saving it for later is not an option. Besides I’m more of a carnivore; I guess I can’t fully shake off my homeland of my persona 😄 It is a lot healthier if prepared correctly though; you eat lots of veggies, the full stomach doesn’t feel bloated like eating meat and there’s no oily substance.
Escaping. It is futile.
Sellers in Korea can get quite aggressive (not violent); the moment you lay eyes on them, their merchandise, heck just on the air around them they start offering you their goodies; not only the obasans but also in the shopping center. They hire these super cute girls, dress them in something cute (or ridiculous depending on your taste) and give them some microphones; they keep on talking about the awesome sales or whatever and if you walk near them WATCH OUT! they lock arms with you and sweet-talk you to the store while giving you a basket. It would’ve worked on me… if it was an anime store =P I don’t know if it was just me not knowing where to look or the city (I was in Daegu btw) but I couldn’t find one single damn anime store. I found a couple that sold keychains or some cheap cheap bootlegs, but nothing that could be properly called an anime store. I did find one focused solely on Gundam and another on Yugioh cards (MTG too), which gave me false hopes but alas, no anime ;_; I must visit Seoul properly and search there; most surely they have some since there’s where they hold conventions! All in all it was fun, wish it wasn’t that cold though, it made me go into neko-mode and stay in the futon all day sometimes.
Unfortunately the camera was handled by not just me but mostly by my dad who loves taking pictures so there’s not much I can show besides this. I do advice anyone wanting to go as a tourist, Korea improved a LOT in that aspect; it really is touristic friendly (and I’m not even talking about Seoul here, but more local stuff). All in all a very nice trip, I wish I could’ve done more… and found some anime stores =P