Today proved to be a bit of a challenge. The first thing I probably need to explain is that the subway is super easy to figure out here in Seoul.
First off, the stations and informations such as exits are written both in Korean and English, and information over the intercoms is always both in Korean and English and sometimes it's also in Japanese and Chinese at famous tourist spots.
Second of all, there are several good subway map apps around. Once inside the subway it's also easy to figure out. Subway maps are easy to find. There are TV screens that always show you what the next stop is and on which side the doors will open, and over the maps that are over doors themsleves also show this information by color code. Sometimes, like on the photo, the stations are either in yellow or white, depending on which side the doors open, and other times there is a black dot next to the station opening on the left (if I remember correctly). This all means that it's easy to use the subway and get around.
Something that still stuns me is the wi-fi. There is wi-fi practically everywhere in Seoul. Each tele company has their own wi-fi system, but they're all pretty good and all around. Especially on the subway the wi-fi service is usually really good. Like you see here on the photo, almost every subway car has wi-fi routers installed. This means that when people are on the subway they're often playing games on their phone or otherwise using the wi-fi to chat with people or the like.
All of this to say that getting around Seoul my metro or subway or underground (whatever you want to call it), is super easy, and yet today we totally failed. Somehow, and this is almost a miracle, we took the metro the wrong way twice in a row... TWICE! I knew we were really far out when we crossed the Han river... We were in too much of a hurry and weren't paying attention and so we ended up taking half an hour longer to reach our destination (I assume it was half an hour).
We did get there in the end, though, and what we had planned today was a market tour.
We started the day by walking to Sinchon, the area next to where we live on campus. One of my classmates had told me about a good and cheap Bibimbap store there so we went to test it out and get some lunch.
Bibimbap is a rice dish with lots of side dishes that are mixed together as shown on the photos above and enjoyed together. It is very delicious and it's an easy and varied meal. It has rice, vegetables, seaweed, and egg, and often meat too.
This one was very good and I have a feeling that I will be coming back.
After lunch was the crazy subway failure, and then finally we arrived at the first market place: Dong-myo. This was the same place where I bought my jacket. Last time my roommate bought a jacket too and we expected to find other gems there this time too, but there was none of that for some reason today.
We walked all the way around the market place, and it was cold today. Really cold despite the sun and it continued to get colder because of the wind. Sometimes the weather here feels like my face is going to turn into an ice block. Especially with a bit of wind. The air here is very dry so it's a different sort of cold than the winter in Europe which is a lot more wet.
The air being dry is also the main reason why air humidifiers are such a must have item here and are sold everywhere. We aren't allowed to have them in our dorm though, due to safety regulations, which is a shame. Thankfully I don't feel the difference as much and just make sure to use a lot of body lotion and hand creme as well as drink a lot of water to stay hydrated.
Our next stop was Namdaemun and here we had a bit more luck finding some thing. I bought a sweater, hand cremes (speaking of which), and cleaning foam, while my roommate opted for a hoodie and wallet. So after the second market tour I feel like the day was a little more successful and this time as we were going home on the subway we were fully awake and paying attention so there were no issues, and everything was as usual.
We're back in the dorm now in full force, and thankfully we finished all of our homework on Friday, so we're just relaxing today, and tomorrow we're off to watch a hip hop concert that we booked on the second day we met and have been looking forward to for two weeks. More on that tomorrow. For now: goodnight!