One Month in Korea - Part 9

eventually you're gonna eat Japanese food in Korea.  Here we have a tonkatsu pork cutlet set lunch and it looks like its the go to when you need to get full an satiated just like in Japan.
the most wired country in the world.  I saw in the train cars they have 3 different ones for 3 different telecom companies.

just sittin' there begging for it.

Mikkeller's bar in Seoul

soft tofu stew

I gave a talk at Jungyeon Roh's class at Seoul National University of Science and Technology 서울과기대.  Jungyeon went to school at SVA in new york and moved back to Seoul recently

They all wanted me to sign the prints which were generously made for me by JP for free who works at a leading print company that I won't name.

You get a print, you get a print, you get a print, everybody gets a print!
Jungyeon recommended this place in Yangchae where they come and slide this entire tabletop of food onto your table.  There were tons and tons of old people in this building patronizing every cafe and restaurant.  There's a spa in the building which may be the reason.
Antiques street in in Itaewon 3 minutes from our airbnb started in the 60s when American soldiers sold their stuff before going home.

Apt Seoul is an unexpected cozy stylish multi floor hipster cafe that turns into a bar at night.  It seems like its in a back corner of Itaewon and peeps don't know about it

the refrigerator at our airbnb is too loud so we keep our booze and milk and eggs etc outside the window.

some kinda fish

What's that phoenix doing up there on that cool building with triangle windows?

not one but 5 octopuses in this budae jjigae (army stew, cuz of the hot dogs, spam, and other crap throw in like its the Korean war days and they're making stuff out of American army rations).  These octupuses weren't the most appealing to Jen or I and you couldn't go fishing around in there without pulling up an octopus head or something.

No, you don't really want to drink that soju, but you will and you must because its Korea.  Also Jen's first budae jjigae mission was a success.  Also don't forget that its freezing outside and is like 15f at night.

which is why these poor girls have gotta be freezing.  There's this strip in Hongdae where all these students are singing or dancing or performing something.

Kakao is a chat app and has turned into a huge Korean conglomerate which is interesting because the traditional conglomerates that control everything are like Samsung, Hyundai, LG etc...  Anyway these are the now famous Kakao emoji guys and these cheap plastic ornaments were $5 at the Kakao and Friends store which is like if Apple emojis had a store and it was always packed with people buying plush smiley faces or piles of poop.

yes nice SPAM does exist and it's awesome!  I love SPAM so much you guys.

One Month in Korea - Part 8

This was probably our most Seoul-tastic day (except for the Chinese hotpot dinner at the end)
the airbnb in Itaewon, we were on the first floor

don't remember seeing all of these drag racing car exhaust pipes coming out of all the houses

hand pulled jajang myeon 

went to insadong

getting their fortune told.  It's a big thing here and you see tents, and stalls everywhere.
think your cutsie couple friends are annoying?  How about going beyond couples outfits to even buying the same winter coats?  Seen everywhere in Korea
got my mom this fermented and aged Jeju tea at Osulloc.

the head ribbon twirly guy

jap jae hodduk!  these fried dough filled with glass noodle jap jae.  It was awesome

cheonggyecheon stream, Jen's first time.

on the way to gwangjang shijang there's a lighting district.

I'll take the middle please

maybe it was a sunday or something but the clothing part of the gwangjang shijang was closed

beondegi, silk worm pupae that are stewed and eaten on the street.  It smells horrible and it doesn't help that to this western raised boy it looks disgusting.

this big bindaedduk stall where magic happens.  It's mungbeans ground up with vegetables and other stuff and fried into deliciousness
3 stages of mungbeans

If there was one place I recommend in Seoul if you had 1 hour it would be gwangjang market.  Sure its not modern k-pop future tech flashy Seoul but its the old school, grimy, boisterous experience that I like.

Jen was saying there are so many places in Korea that look like movie sets.

We met my friend Nana (my old roommate from Beijing that married a Korean guy) and her husband for Chinese hotpot in Hongdae.  We had eaten Korean food for 2 weeks 3 meals a day so it was ok to eat hotpot.  

with each passing year, Saturday nights must get tougher for a dried squid vendor in the student district of Hongdae what with western food influence and the inevitable loss of traditional culture.  Curse you craft beer and fries.