Archangel's blog A pointless waste of time

8Aug/140

Arrival

Greetings!
Meant to write yesterday before I went to sleep but fell asleep early and quickly due to jet lag and exhaustion.

Landed yesterday around two pm. And took me almost two hours to claim my luggage and find my way to the guesthouse. They did try to throw me of the trail, first by not orienting the maps they have at the subway stations with north up. So when consulting these maps one has to think carefully. Then it turned out that the Starbucks I had planned on using for reference had closed. Luckily I still made the right turn. Found the guesthouse on my first try.

The guesthouse is very small and cosy. I think I might be the only guest at the moment, it's very quiet. The room is ok, but as usual (or is it just me) the pictures don't tell the entire truth. It's a little more run down than the pictures would suggest but still alright (by my standards). I have my own bathroom, there is wifi and ac and bottled water is included. It's on a quiet back street where the only noise is the cicadas (except when sleeping, then it's the ac).

After freshening up I decided to take a small walk nag grab some dinner. Headed south since according to lonely planet there weren't many restaurant further up in the village (the area I love in is called Bukchon village). I found a large street with loads of shops, caf├ęs and restaurants. Walked for a bit and found a large "art mall", four floors of very small quaint art shops around an open inner square. The basement held workshops where one could try making stuff oneself.

The small back alleys were jam packed with small restaurants. Most looked very charming. It would be easy to get lost among these alleys where two people barely can walk side by side. The problem was that most restaurants didn't seem to have English menus.

Finally settled on one and tried my luck. I ordered "traditional" bibimbap" which meant that it didn't come all in one bowl but in separate bowls and I had to mix it myself. It was good but had a little to much seaweed for my taste. Food and one beer cost me about 65 sek. So it's cheaper here than back home. Same goes for shops, cheaper but not dirt cheap.

To celebrate that it's vacation time and I'm not going to stay on the healthy track I found som dessert... Cotton candy shake!
Yes, you read that right! Had to try. But turned out to be just a milkshake with a cotton candy on top. So I could eat cotton candy from the top or sip milkshake from the straw. Nothing special but fun to have tried. The milkshake was a bit subpar to be honest.

Wanted to have another beer and a sit down so wet looking for a bar. Turned out this wasn't an area for bars. Finally found a restaurant that had lots of beer advertisements so took my chances. Asked inside if I could just have a beer, that was ok. When trying to order a beer from the menu he pointed to the fine print: must order side dish with drink or drink is double price.
No thank you! No sale today. Didn't help that the cheapest side dishes were about 80 kr.

After reading a bit more in the guidebook it seems this is pretty common here.

So I ended up walking around a bit more before I headed back to the guesthouse where I promptly fell asleep.

Observation 1: (positive) There are quite a lot of public toilets, they are all free and in pretty good condition.
Observation 2: (negative) There is a severe shortage of trash cans around town. So having finished a bottle of water I might have to lug it around for a while. Not even all shops have trash cans outside them. There's surprisingly little litter, especially considering the woeful lack of bins. Seems people don't throw their garbage just anywhere.

That's it for now!

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