Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hanok Fabulous

Traditional Korean homes are called hanok, and although contemporary Koreans have generally moved away from the hanok and toward the cement high-rise apartment building, a few people still live in them and others serve as a Colonial Williamsburg-type lesson in Korean heritage.

Namsangol Hanok Village was pretty neat, despite the fact that no one was walking around in traditional clothing or making horseshoes.

I remember something like this at the Enchanted Forest in Maryland.

I was really startled when I realized this was a napping person and not a mannequin.

In the distance in Namsan Tower.

After my stroll through Korean history, I went to Dongdaemun Market, and immediately wished I hadn't (so I left). Dongdaemun has over 20 malls and 30,000 shops, and stays open 18 hours a day so Koreans can go clothes shopping at any waking hour. Being a diminutive 5'3", Korean clothing malls were pretty amazing (everything fits!!!!) but the crowds were absolutely unbearable--much, much worse than anything I've experienced in New York. Plus, you're not allowed to try anything on first (what's that all about, Korea?)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Forest Life

Seoul reminded me of New York in many ways, one way being that any brush with nature is pretty exciting stuff. It wasn't on my schedule, but no one in hell was going to keep me from visiting Seoul Forest to feed the "wild" deer. No one!!!

As soon as I got there I rented a bicycle and started cruising around. The "forest" is really just a park, but it was a lot of fun.

It felt a little like I had the place to myself.

These are sika deer. No touching!

Somewhere in the park is a vending machine that sells boxes of deer kibble, but I couldn't find it. Fortunately, this nice and adorable couple offered me some of theirs, otherwise I might have cried.

Once I got my wildlife fix, I took off on my bike again. I rode past a truly weird sculpture garden that seemed like it was from a dream.

I took this goofy shot of myself while riding the bicycle--not easy! If you'd ever seen me try to ride a bike, you'd be even more impressed.

Are We Having Fun Yet?