The start of a new year
Fri 31 Dec 2010 - Sun 2 Jan 2011
When I was just past being a teenager, New Years was a big deal - my girlfriends and I talked about what to wear weeks ahead of time, the social calendar was hopping, parties were being planned. It's been ages, thankfully, that I did that. It's been freeing to not plan, to not bother with an outfit. Ended up in Seoul…
I gots to say, me likes the Koreans! They are wonderful bowers - not too deep, but not indifferent either. They have a gentle 30 degree bow to acknowledge you or your question. They are not self conscious of their English and the American influence is rather high. Like, the road signs are exactly like in the US - in English, big green boards, interstate numbers written in the same format.
It was bitingly cold, and the winter fashion was wonderful…lots of furry boots, big wool scarves, down jackets. The fashionable streets smelled like Seattle - coastal and coffee! I should say that the people are SO nice. At this one café, the proprietor lady stepped out and stood in the cold just to flag a taxi.
Oh, oh, wait, before I forget - the loos require a mention. The loos are heated!!!! No, seriously, the toilet seat is heated, the water coming out is heated. You can even press a button for a massage. Ewwy, but almost Japanese in its absurdity! I couldn’t stop laughing every time I sat on the pot. Too funny.
What one society judged to be strange, another might more sensibly welcome as normal - Alain de Botton
Ok, back to the people…went to this club in the hotel. And urban rumor is that the club has an age limit. Not the kind that I thought - the more discriminatory kind…you cannot enter if you are older than 33! Well, luckily, no IDs were being checked. The people are super friendly, chatty and don’t hit on anyone. They just like to converse. In fact, the girls restroom looks more like a lounge, with couches and stools and good lighting for make up.
Cant end an entry without the mention of food. Tried something called Royal Cuisine…the travel book said that it was how royalty impressed visitors, with lots and lots of tiny dishes. Wowed the visitors with variety. I kid you not, the table was full and these are only half the dishes. Shared a bottle of soju (?) with a friend, and it had flecks of gold it in. So exotic. It's silly how I get sucked in by stuff like that!