Wednesday, May 09, 2012

S.E.O.U.L.


Glad that my one wish this month - that the unpredictable North Korean potentate Kim Jong-un would keep his fat trigger-happy fingers off the volatile missile controls at his command - actually did come true. Which is how I managed to make it out of Seoul alive - thankfully sans radioactive poisoning - despite vaguely threatening headlines about growing North Korean belligerence.

Didn't stop us from continually looking up into the clear skies for approaching missiles.




Gotta say the first morning was an exhausted blur of planes, trains and automobiles since we had an overnight flight - and I've always been notorious for remaining painfully awake on moving planes. The tiring all-nighter left me in a sleepy daze on arrival, trudging around the airport like a brain-dead zombie. Glamorous jet-set traveller I'm definitely not!

Though my flagging energy levels didn't stop me from nagging the sluggish Charming Calvin to get unpacked as quick as humanly possible the moment we dropped our bags off at the guesthouse somewhere in the vicinity of Bukchon district. Evidently metropolitan traffic jams and city madness does help wake me up.

And come on, we didn't have much time to waste in Seoul after all! We needed to get moving!

Paul : What are you doing?
Calvin : Resting.
Paul : What resting! You slept all the way - only to get up for meals!
Calvin : I need more rest.
Paul : Rest back home. We need to get moving!
Calvin : But my lovely bed! My pretty butterfly-embroidered comforter! My heated floors!
Paul : They aren't going anywhere. Move it!

A regular wake-up call that was repeated almost every other day we were there. Had to hold him at gunpoint to get our indolent hero moving.

Palace
Sometimes you really have to take drastic measures. 

A pity we were always in such a rush - well at least I was! - since our guesthouse had to be the most charming little traditional hanok homestead ever! Super steep uphill climbs - which explains how astonishingly fit the elderly here are - but the wooden house and the spectacular view is definitely worth the climb. Hanok here refers to the traditional Korean architecture style with various roof types including thatches, shingles and tiles - though with far less thatch and shingle these days, it is generally understood to mean tile-roofed house today. 


Not forgetting the unforgettable heated ondol floors - brilliant Korean innovation if any! Which we would have enjoyed a bit more of if the indecisive weather hadn't grown unseasonably warm in spring.




Take a walk into the village!

3 comments:

sharman said...

I loved seoul! So much to see, even more shopping to do! Plus the koreans really know how to party. I wanna go again!

savante said...

Will definitely visit! Enjoyed the place very much.

P

John said...

This is a very beautiful and interesting article
The most glamorous one i have read today!




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