April 2014


Seoul Sunday: Bears, Trees, & Dinner

View from my hotel room

View from my hotel room in Seoul — third floor of the Hotel Manu. I would stay at Hotel Manu again.

My trip from Berlin to Seoul was long – and while none of the travel, in and of itself, was stressful, by the time I got to Seoul Saturday evening, I was completely and totally exhausted. I ended up eating an adequate dinner at my hotel and then going straight to bed.

I'm 50,000₩

I’m 50,000₩!

Sunday I woke up bright-eyed and bushy tailed – I headed out, found coffee, and then wandered. I ended up wandering through a market before finding the Bank of Korea Museum (I’m on the money!) and eating some food on a stick.

Food on a stick: Big Dishes

Food on a stick: Big Dishes

After that I headed back to my hotel where I met up with a couple of local university students – members of the Meteor Youth Voluntary Club. Meteor members provide free tours of Seoul to foreign guests – in part so that they can practice their English. I’d asked for a tour guide and mentioned that I was interested in going to a baseball game – Sunday was the baseball game (there are no baseball games on Mondays in South Korea).

Kia Tigers vs Doosan Bears

Kia Tigers vs Doosan Bears

Seoul is big – and it took us about 45 minutes to get out to the baseball stadium – and then we headed into the game. The game was fantastic fun – the weather could not have been more perfect and the home team won. South Koreans are much more like the Japanese when it comes to watching games than fans in the States. There was lots of cheering, music, and whatnot. It creates a festive environment.

Doosan Bears Fans (With Director)

Doosan Bears Fans (With Director) — the fans were led in their cheering throughout the entire game by the man on the box — and during breaks, cheerleaders danced.

After the game, we visited a park with Cherry Trees – unfortunately most of the trees had moved beyond the serious Cherry Blossom stage, but it was still really pretty.

Me and the Cherry Blossoms

Here I am with Cherry Blossoms!

Cherry Blossoms!

Cherry Blossoms!

After that I took the two out for dinner – I don’t recall what the style of food was called, but it was a really cool Korean experience: once we sat down, the restaurant rolled out gigantic pre-platted tables on carts and then slid the tables over the existing table—thus delivering something on the order of 30 dishes simultaneously. It also makes for incredibly fast cleanup and table turning.

Korean Dinner Delivery

Korean Dinner Delivery — the waiters (?) delivered the food on these carts, often running.

Family Dinner, Korean Style

This was what on our table for three. It took about 2 seconds for the waiter to slide this right onto our table before she was off with her cart to pick up a dirty table.

My two Meteor hosts (I won’t name them here – they didn’t volunteer to be on my blog) were fantastic and both had excellent English. I really only ended up explaining myself a few times.

Seoul Olympic Torch

Where we ate dinner was right across the street from this. I have the restaurant’s business card, but the only way I could get back there is by knowing where this is.

After dinner we looked at (from across the street) the Olympic Torch from the Seoul Olympics and then headed into the Subway system – the only subway system I’ve ever seen with gas masks situated throughout the system.

Seoul Subway Safety

Seoul Subway Safety: Gas Masks and other emergency safety equipment were in all of the metro stations I visited.

All-in-all a great day.

4 comments to Seoul Sunday: Bears, Trees, & Dinner

  • So now that I’ve seen you on the money, do I have to start calling you Kim Jong Lederer?

  • J

    A very full day. I’m glad they have a free service for tourists, sounds fantastic. Have you had much jet lag?

    • I may or may not have had jetlag — if I did it was mild — but I was super tired Saturday night, which I think was a result of having traveled four calendar days straight. I was fine by Sunday – sleeping in until 7:45. (Tuesday and Wednesday I had to get up at 05:45…)