korea – day5 – Seoul City and National Museum

April 7, 2008 – 8:52 am

my posts seem to get longer and longer, but only because we’re doing more and more in korea.

during the reprimand from the other day (re: day4 post) my cousin mentioned a tour bus that runs through seoul called “seoul city tour” they’ve got 4 different tours. palace, downtown, night and convention tours. we opted for the downtown tour since we thought that would be most interesting for us. the great part about this bus is that if you get a day pass, you can get on and off as you please at any of the stops your ticket is good for.

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a completely no frills tour in a very simple bus. each seat is provided with headphones and a gadget that plays an audio tour of the various stops in various languages.  since joseph has never been to most of the spots, we went on the bus for the entire 2 hour roundtrip so he could hear more about each of the stops and then decide which one(s) we wanted to check out. he said he enjoyed it. i dunno. I didn’t get a headphone for myself, i somehow sat myself down at the only seat on the bus that didn’t have a headset. it was fine, for me it was more orienting myself of various places i used to hang out at and trying to remember what used to be where and when.

after the 2 hour roundtrip, we needed lunch. we’ve been trying to stick to korean food being that korean food in nyc is just so-so and in nyc every other cultural “food” can be found that’s almost if not just as good as the home country. joseph also wanted to check out one fast food chain for a quality check. KFC

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but why KFC of all places? kfc was our non-chinese food choice in china. the chicken was great. joseph thinks it’s because the people who worked at the kfc took pride in what they do and chose select chicken to sell. this maybe true, but for me KFC in china was a nice (God-send) break from the chinese food (i’ve known since the china that i can’t handle eating chinese food for every meal for more than a few days without feeling sick and greasy). i know, i know. kfc is greasy too, but it’s a different kind of greasy. kfc korea wasn’t as good according to joseph. i couldn’t really tell. i’ve rarely eaten fast food in the last 4 or 5 years, especially after reading the book “fast food nation” so my fast food taste buds are happily long gone (in-n-out doesn’t count). but he’s probably right. you’ll know why in a later post.

at lunch we decided that we should go to the national museum. it was a great choice. the museum was cheap (~$3 for the both of us) and HUGE. it took us 2 hours to get through half of the first floor, and the museum has multiple floors. we didn’t get through the first floor after having been there for over 2 hours, it was time to go to meet up with family for dinner. (more on that later.) but the 2+ hours we were there was great. for another $3 you can rent these pda devices which will give you commentary on about 70% of the artifacts/museum peices. the stupid thing drove me nuts for the first 30 minutes because i’m not very patient. you have to walk up to a peice and then let the pda find the commentary in order for the it to play the specific commentary. i didn’t want to wait. i looked at everything but didn’t wait to listen, unless it picked it up almost immediately. (yes. sunggyuk ii geuphae)

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we left the museum without seeing the whole thing. but for $3 who cares, 2-3 hours was more than our monies worth. plus family is more important, especially if you’re getting to meet some family members for the first time!

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meet #1 (yoohyun/cris) and #2 (yoosun/kate) of korean triplet fame. famous in korea since triplets are rare and also because they were featured on tv shows that were played throughout the country. maybe i should’ve asked for their signatures =P jongwook, their dad, is my quiet gadget-loving cousin (blame him for my need of personal technology devices). the kids however, are definitely not quiet which we found out shortly after meeting them. at first they didn’t want to talk to us, scared to say hi since we weren’t so jovial when we first saw them and also scared since we were “foreign”. secondary to the meeting, was dinner of course. we had some amazingly good pork ribs – korean style, what else?

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we ate till we were crazy full, and then tried to “trick” the girls into liking us by bribing them with some ice cream. it worked for about 2 minutes, and then they retreated to their parents and grandparents shortly after gobbling up the ice cream.

hmm..you might be asking, if they’re triplets, what happened to #3? yoomin/kelly spent the day with her other grandparents to help give her parents a break from the craziness of 3 kids at once. for those of you with kids, you know how difficult it is to have just 1 child, imagine having 3 all at the same time, all the same age, and demanding to be treated equally!

no pictures, but #1, #2 and their parents spent the nite at my aunts that nite, and my cousin and i had a few beers together while watching tv. at 7 yrs old, #1 loves beer too. she’s definitely family.