Saturday, May 17, 2008

Seoul - Day 2

Hehe, since I posted that hotel bathroom picture, the curious Camille and moontime were wondering “how come there is no curtain in the bathroom?” Hahaha, so cute! Don’t worry, I am no exhibitionist and sure didn’t want to scare all the hotel guests away! The fact is the automatic blinds and blackout curtains will slowly roll down at the touch of a remote control button.

Hehe, I remember one time when I was at the dressing area while hubby was taking a shower. I accidentally hit the 'curtain up' button and the blinds started to slowly rise up! The poor guy was caught by surprise and yelled out for my help. I got even more panicky and ( my old fingers wouldn’t listen to my brain) started hitting other 'up' buttons too by mistakes. Typical case of design and practicality doesn’t go hand in hand, eh? Now, please don’t even ask me how to navigate a TV remote control. I am always so scared to hit the wrong button that the hotel will start charging me for those pay-per-view movies. Worse, what if it is one of those 'adult' movies, then I really have to wrap a towel over my head when I check out! Hehe, enough nonsense .... ok, onto Day 2 :

As this is a trip for the whole family (not just to fulfill my obvious desire to see BYJ country), Lotte World was my top priority so my son could enjoy too. You probably recognize this amusement complex served as the background for many famous drama (Stairways To Heaven, Full House) and CFs (LG card). It is directly above the Jamsil subway station and contains an amusement park, sports center, hotel and shopping.

Since it’s very close to our hotel, we felt it’s the best chance to explore Seoul subway. What mistakes could we possibly make with a straight subway line and 2 stations away? After all, we conquer the cobwebbed tangles of the Tokyo subway system, how challenging can other cities' pose to us anymore? Yes, the Seoul subway lines are simpler, the signs are clearer, the cars are newer BUT omigosh, those stairs! (bb and Camille have warned me before) Lots and lots of stairs and not one single escalator in sight!

Instead of buying the tickets at the machines, most people (like us) line up in a long queue to 1 single ticket booth. Every time I (yes, me! For some strange reasons, hubby and son automatically assume that I know Korean and have loaded this glorious privilege of ‘family spokesperson’ on my shoulder!) had to shout out real loud to the ajussi behind the window ”ANNAEHAYSEO! 2 ADULTS, 1 CHILD, JAMSIL”.

Then ajussi would give me this grudging look “HUH?”, so I repeated even LOUDER, loud enough to pierce his eardrums.

Yes, it worked, he threw me 3 tickets. “KUMSUMPHAMNIDA!”, another successful transaction, amen! Hehe, but all these works were worth it, look at what I saw coming out of the station @@ While this silly woman was swooning over HRH's beautiful face inch by inch, other passersby must have thought that I was nuts!

Outside of Lotte department store, it seems like Koreans love the street stalls concept. They are everywhere, in the subway, on the streets. One ajussi was even selling shoes' insoles walking up and down the subway cars, hehe, he sure is a lifesaver to those feet in pain :)

The entrance to Lotte World is on the 2nd floor of the shopping mall

The Adventure Indoor theme park is on the 3rd floor only. But what a humongous 3rd floor! It also leads to the amazing Folk Museum and the fabulous Magic Island outside.

Ha, just in time for this very entertaining show - broadway, pirates, Egyptians, you name it ... they merge them all in one show. You know how these theme parks work :)

Ah, this famous carousel in 'Stairway To Heaven' with Choi Ji Woo and Kwon Sang Woo.

If you have watched 'Full House', this is the skating rink where Rain was romancing Song Hye Kyo. Did our BYJ and LYA shoot the LG card CF here too?

Hehe taking a break at Lotteria, noticed Sujini's Lotte TV CF at the cashier counter :)

The bridege leading to the outdoor Magic Island. This castle resembles the Cinderella castle in Disney Fantasyland, right?

The sky suddenly turned very dark and the rainstorm was approaching, we hurriedly walked back inside. I guess it also caught Lotte World off guard too, the indoor park was pitch dark!

Haha, now we had nowhere to go but the historical Folk Museum. It doesn't sound too fun eh, when your purpose here was for the thrill rides and magical adventures, isn't it? But are we in for a nice surprise. Leaving the bustling crowds and squealing noises behind, we entered into a tranquil and fascinating passage back in time. The Historical Exhibition in this vast museum displays the cultures of the Goguryeo, Shilla and Baekjae Kingdoms (hehe, are you thinking about TWSSG?). There are life-sized structures and figures from the royal throne to the commoners, very educational

Inside the Miniature Village, the lifestyle of royalty in Chosun castle, as well as peasant life are vividly reproduced in miniature scale models. The details are so fine that every figure has its own movement and facial expression! And there must be thousands of them here. look at the size of these models

And there are hundreds of these displays!

Hehe, do these noble men in black horse hair hats remind you of someone in Untold Scandal?

Too bad nobody was there to appreciate it, see how deserted this museum was :( All the kids were outside doing Bungee Drop or Gyro Swing! The poor ajumma from the museum souvenir shop told me she was feeling so lonely all by herself and kept pulling me (literally) over to talk to her! That's the time when I felt Koreans can be very hospitalable and warm.

Honestly, I feel my biggest reward of this visit is the Folk Museum. It is really a hidden gem and is worth every penny of the admission. As for Lotte World, well, a theme park is a theme park. It's beautifully decorated and very clean, I am sure it feels as magical to a child as this museum is to me :)

On our way back, we passed by the dancing fountains in the Coex complex. The DJ was playing a Korean rap song and some young people were swinging left and right to the lively dance beat. As I looked at my own family and people around me, I couldn't help but be thankful for these simple blessings happening - to be able to stand on the street, see the bright neon lights, listen to great music, feel the light summer breeze and just enjoying the moment with people you love. At this time, I was also thinking about my dear Bae sisters and Yong Joon ssi, how are your moments now?


gosijo said...

Hi sweet Jaime,

Wow, the folks at Lotte World should hire you to write for their website! I was checking it out last year and didn't get nearly as much information as I got from your lovely post!

All the best to you and your family, lah.

Anonymous said...

No kidding I think it the place to stay if I ever make it to Seul.

Poor guy , hope you got the curtains down on time.

We all go trough this kind of things, so don't feel to bad.

This from the girl that had her top rip off by a wave in a very agresive beach, it is a place famous for riping of womans bathing suits.

In short I whent back down and decided to drawn until I had that thing back on, as you can see I'm still here.
*yup still blush over that right now*

Seoul sounds like an amazing city,
I love the attention they pay to detail in everything.


vegasbyj said...

hi dear jaime!

that's some hi-tech bathroom there with remote controlled blinds.

Your descriptions are fantastic, very captivating and informative and really makes you want to visit Lotte World. I think the museum would be fascinating to see, especially after all the historical dramas I've watched. I'll add it to my list of things to see.

I can't wait to read more.

thanks so much for sharing!

jaime said...

Hi dear gosijo,

Hahaha, if I were the writer of Lotte World website, I will start pulling into all the BYJ references and links. Basically advertising for BYJ instead of Lotte :)

Thanks for reading, have a nice evening!

love ... Jaime

jaime said...

Hahaha dear moontime,

Your incident made me laugh out loud (it's not because I am laughing at you), but I think this has happend to some famous actresses before, right? So, please do not feel embarassed, we all have these 'life's most embarassing' moments which we were quite innocent (and reluctant) participants. I admire you being calm enough to fix everything under the current :)Thank you for sharing this cute story with us!

Yes, it was just a few seconds of panic, no long term psychological harm was done to hubby, thank you :)

love ... jaime

jaime said...

my dear vegas,

thank you for reading this Seoul journal. My days were actually quite slow-paced compared to a typical tourist. We tried not to cover too much as we are getting old and didn't want to exhaust ourselves. I am glad that you enjoy Lotte World, but I have a feeling your son might enjoy it more if he goes with other boys (hehe, according to what my boy told me :)

Please take care, my dear!

love ... Jaime

Yoko said...

Did you watch the "stairway to the heaven"? Those pictures at Lotte World,especially the merry-go-around and skate link (Gee,they operate the link even this time of the year!)made me so nostalgic.

I'm happy for you and bb to meet up at last. I share some history of you guys from bb's blog's comments. I used to find you guys and other sisters always cracked jokes even after midnight. I'm also one of those who was welcomed, encouraged and enlightend by bb and started to leave a comment and post at quilt. But I'm not talented like you so never ever thought about starting my own blog.

Thankd for sharing

jaime said...

hi dear yoko,

I'm so sorry for checking in late, sometimes I become so forgetful, must be getting old :)

So have you gone to Seoul multiple times to see our HRH? Glad you enjoy Lotte World. Hehe, I actually haven't watched too many dramas other than BYJ's. STH and Full House are the early introduction for me to Korean drama.

Thank you for coming to my little blog. Like you, I enjoy reading bb's blog and exchanging comments with her blogders. That's how our friendship with fellow sisters is built. Please join in as I am not talented at all, just want to have some fun.

Like gosijo, I enjoy reading your afterthoughts on TWSSG episode 24 in Quilt very much. Me too, I have a lot of lingering questions, just hope BYJ can answer them in the Osaka event (hehe, as if I understand what he says). Hope to see you around.

love ... jaime