Shake 248: November in Seoul

December 9, 2010

Lea, Sydney (Australia), Xmas 2002

After hopping through Europe where the temperatures stayed at a cool, mist-blowing low, Seoul felt like a balmy holiday. Even though the locals were all tightly swaddled and the markets proudly flaunted their new season’s thick scarves and gloves, Mr Snowdomes was dressed in his usual light gear. At the coldest of times in Sydney, you’ll often see him sporting a t-shirt, much to the horror of my mother who thinks that just because she’s feeling the chill then everyone else must be as well. This sentiment was doubled in Seoul. It was like packs of my mother were following us around. On our first afternoon, we broke free from the comforts of our hotel into the cold, sunlit, bustling street and a group of older men, seemingly without occupation, were gaping at Mr Snowdomes’ bare arms. One of them shivered and began to animatedly declare that just looking at him made them feel cold after which I was instructed to make him rug up as well. It made me wonder whether this was for Mr Snowdomes’ benefit or for theirs. A couple of days later, we decided to hike up a nearby mountain (Yongmasan). Retired Koreans are notorious for being obsessed with health and exercise, so these were our climbing companions for the day. As we stood at the base of the mountain, mentally preparing ourselves for the ensuing challenge, my thoughts were disturbed by the chatter of a group of old ladies all staring at us without reservation. Their undisguised whispers were filled with shock and surprise for Mr Snowdomes’ supposed indecent exposure! Was Mr Snowdomes affected by their concerns? Not in the slightest. When he reaches Asia, it’s like he enters a magical Asian bubble where no evils exist; only the smell of slightly dodgy street food, sprawling nightlife and plenty of Hello Kitty.

Our last stop was an all-out party where responsibilities were thrown by the wayside. Amongst the hustle and bustle, the neon, the awesome food and the super-stylish, would you believe that I forgot to buy a dome?!

The University district's fire chicken, where the queue goes down the lane

Guess who is resting halfway up Yongmasan?

The Cat Cafe and bios of the cats you can pat

Enjoy a little coffee while patting

Terry, the fattest of them all, came 'round to say hello

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