Monday, 6 April 2015

Eli Came To Stay

Thought I'd show you what a Korean copy of Harry Potter looks like. It's CUTE!
As we were feeling pretty exhausted from Tokyo and the subsequent onslaught of visitors, we decided to not go anywhere for Seollal, the Korean Lunar New Year holiday in February, and just spend the week relaxing.

I tend to get a bit antsy when we don't do much because half of me feels like we're wasting time, but it was also pretty good for my health, because I did feel a big difference when I eventually went back to school.

Anyway, our friend Eli came all the way up from Jinju (on the south coast) to hang out and spend a couple of days with us!

On the main day of Seollal, we went to Gyeongbokgung, as there was apparently something going on there, but by the time we got there we were really hungry. And, like Christmas Day at home, almost everything is closed. Gah.

After a lot of searching, we found a donkatsu place and I burnt my mouth on cheese. As usual.
Obligatory "why" photo. Eli hasn't faced the horrors yet.
By the time we'd finished searching and eating, it was kind of...actually quite late. Oops. So the museum had started closing up and everyone was leaving, boo. I felt a bit bad, considering Eli told us he hadn't ever looked around Seoul aside from the glimpses he'd seen at orientation, but there's always time for more!

While we were waiting to cross the road, I snapped this photo of two young girls in their traditional hanbok, taking selfies together which I thought was a really cute contrast of old and modern. I posted it to instagram and they actually found it, haha. They were really lovely and it was a nice coincidence!

We walked down the road to see what else we could visit and what else was around, and after some googling found out that there was a Buddhist temple nearby open all day, all year round. It was on my list of places to see, so we headed off in search of it.

Can you spot the ONE window spoiling this building's flawlessly smooth exterior?
A few wrong turns and moments of self-doubt later, we came to a narrow road and an old-looking building nestled between a cluster of skyscrapers. Turns out we'd come through the back way, and finally found the temple itself.

It's really pretty! But I didn't take many photos because I didn't know what would be okay and what would be offensive, if anything, so we just kind of hovered around the outside (again, unsure if we were allowed to go in unless it was for religious reasons) and watched people going about their business.

It was quite busy, presumably people making prayers for the new year, and lots of lighting of candles and incense sticks, so it looked and smelled lovely.

After a little while, we decided to call it a day and had a relaxed wander back home, and grabbed some ingredients for dinner. I thought I'd try and make 떡국 (ddeokguk), the traditional Seollal food, or so I've read.

Eli took this lovely photo of our true forms as King and Queen of Fairyland.
To be fair, it was one of my better attempts at making Korean food. At least it actually tasted a bit Korean and less Western this time. It was actually really lovely and refreshing and hearty, which is kind of what you want after a day out in the cold. I ended up making it another two times, haha. It wasn't as pretty as all the pictures, but it tasted good and that's kind of all that matters.

Random bonus picture of our finished Figma shelf what we've finally organised after Japan

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