We've reached that point of the stay where there are easy days and tough days. Today was the latter, but thankfully there is another day tomorrow.
The snow was gone this morning but it was cold. I was thankful for my jacket but the wind made my face freeze up. I'm starting to understand why people wear face-masks here. I'll have to get some, not just for pollution (pollution is something you keep a daily eye on, but it hasn't been bad while I have been here) but to battle the cold.
There are many reasons why my day wasn't the best, but I'd much rather focus on what was good about it.
I was in Hongdae, and needed to recharge my T-money (a card or small object used to pay for transportation), but none of the machines would recognise it, and I didn't have enough money on it for the fare home. I tried to purchase a ticket but the machines weren't on my side today, so I decided to walk home instead.
I know the area pretty well by now and the walk from Hongdae to Ewha is one that I have taken quite a few times by now, and each time I take a different road.
Today let me through a recreational park area with old train tracks. It was pretty. During the six years I've been away Seoul has gained a lot of these areas and people use them, even in winter. It's lovely to see and it makes the city feel more open. It is an open city to begin with, it's not like London, with tall buildings everywhere. There is a nice mixture of tall and small buildings and you can usually always see a mountain with trees on in the not so far distance, but still these park areas are really important makes the fresh mountain air feel that much closer.
When I reached Sinchon I was beginning to get cold. My upper body was fine, but I had worn thin trousers out, not expecting to be out for long, and that was a mistake. I was hungry too at this point, but by some happy incident there was a man selling hot Goguma (sweet potatoes) right outside the Sinchon subway station. It's a thing you typically see around here. They will put sweet potatoes into these chambers in the barrels and heat them up, and then sell them. It's the best on a cold winter night.
I bought sweet potatoes for 3000 won, which bought me a long thin one and a big thick sweet potato. The bag was so warm as I held it in my hand and nibbled on the small potato on my way home. And the sweet potato was perfect and warm too.
I happily walked the last way to Ewha with warm hands thanks to the sweet potatoes, and on another happy note I have no homework for tomorrow so I'm allowed to just lounger around all evening, and that's exactly what I'll do.