Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Seoul Searching (Part 3)

12th Dec 05

The next morning, I woke up full of pain. My nose was extremely dry, my throat was sore and my body was hot. I guess due to the cold yesterday, I am having a fever
I kept complaining and that I wanted to go back to Penang. I really need the warm and humid weather.

However, there is no time to waste. We have to quickly pack and prepare for our ski trip. i slipped into the pink ski outfit. Chrisse earlier told us this ski outfit was made to protect us from the cold wind. No extra shirt or pants were needed to be worn inside. It is also water proof so that we would not get wet if we fell into the snow. Many of us could not believe her as the ski outfit was not that thick. However, as we slipped into the ski jacket and pants, it really is warm inside. It is even warmer than me wearing 3 shirts yesterday.
We quickly packed our bags and went down for breakfast. It was so cold downstairs and we have to walk in the cold to the other side of the building to have our breakfast. I really wanted to run and reach the restaurant as soon as possible. However, I was exhausted and sleep deprived that I could only walk as fast as my legs could carry me. But don’t get me wrong of all my complaints. I was just describing the experience and still ready to go!

We had a quick breakfast and I could see most of the tour mates were exhausted. After breakfast, we have to walk again in the cold to the ski park. Inside the ski ranch, we measured our feet size to get a suitable ski shoe. After obtaining the measurement, we took the measurement card to the respective lane to get our ski shoe. The shoe size range increased from right to the lane towards the left. The furthest right lane is for the kids. I was standing in the lane just next to the kids. Phew!

I took my ski shoes, ski poles and ski. I had a hard time carrying those stuff. The ski and poles were long and heavy. I tested the ski shoes and gosh the shoe felt like ice! I am afraid my feet will get cramp inside. I sat there not moving as I am basically “frozen” with some tough ice shoe! I cannot bear to take off my gloves. My finger tips were hurting and I feel it could almost bleed. I had to have the guide to help me buckle up my shoes. Oops…
Finally we all went outside. I am so scared to walk into the ice and fall. Ha! Ha! I haven’t even started yet. Chrisse gave us a crash course on skiing. I guess it really was a crash course as I was crashing here and there trying to stand up on the slippery ice. I put on my skis and it was sooo slippery. I could barely control myself and have to use the poles to stop me from moving. However, the poles just would not penetrate into the snow. I guess the snow has turned into ice. I felt so helpless and just wish I could stand up straight. Suddenly the wind started to blow and my ski started to move by itself. My skis slowly slid downwards and towards one of my tour mates. I could not control my ski and the gal started to scream as her ski was also moving uncontrollably after I lightly bump into her. We were both screaming and fell down into the ice.

Soon all of us were free to ski around. My cousins decided to challenge I got up and just could not control the ski. Everyone started skiing and falling. I moved a little and soon I hit the ice again. I had a hard time getting up and was about to give up when the tour assistant, Jay came into rescue. He showed me how to properly ski and after awhile, I was at a higher slope skiing down. But as the slope got nastier I could not control myself and fell butt first into the ice. Ha! Ha! No doubt that was extremely thrilling. I soon forgot about the cold, the pain and the falls and continue skiing. Jay encouraged me to try again at a higher slope. After several rounds of skiing and not to mention, falling on the butt, I decided I had enough. I am out of energy! Thanks to Jay, if not I will definitely missed knowing that skiing could be so fun!

We packed up and off we go for lunch. It was another steamboat lunch. But I am not complaining. I need all the warmth I could get.

After lunch, we need to embark in a long journey to our next destination. It is the Jewel in the Palace shooting spot. Our tour guide said it would be a long and winding journey and ask if we need to take anti-vomit/dizzy pill. All of us at the table took the pills from her. However, I just kept mine in the pocket. At least someone will still be conscious in case we all got drugged! Ha! Ha!

The journey was not that bad. We were all asleep as the journey took almost 2 hours. I was so tired to get up. It could see it was very cold outside. I put on my gears and went outside. Man! It was so cold. It appears I am not the only one. Everyone was shivering. Even Chrisse was shivering and getting runny nose. When we reached the shooting spot, everyone was too numb and blur to move about. We were just standing there and no one seems to be interested to take any picture. We were gathered in a circle and not willing to part and venture into the cold.

Soon, we stuck out of it and decided. Hey! We have come so far, just take some pictures. I did not really follow the Jewel in the Palace series so I can’t really describe much on the stuff I saw. Anyway, I believed this is only a miniature Jewel in the Palace set. No doubt they have all the kitchens and accessories, but this place is way too small to shoot a film. Worse still, it cannot even fit a person inside any of the rooms. I guess they just build this place like a museum for tourist. No doubt this place looks beautiful during winter.

Let’s get out of here! It’s freezing!

It was night when we reach our dinner spot somewhere in Seoul. Tonight’s dinner will be the best. Each one of us will have a whole chicken in ginseng soup. I did not manage to get a picture of the ginseng chicken as I indulged in the chicken as soon as it was placed in front of me-totally forgetting the part where I take some pictures of it. The ginseng chicken came if a small cup of ginseng wine. We poured the wine inside to add the extra ummph! No doubt we can add more wine, but nobody on our table added more. The soup is good as it can get now.

The chicken was so tender. The chicken was stuffed with sweetened rice (cu-bee). Not sure how to call it in English. It tasted sooo good!
Our faces turned red after the meal. Believe me. This meal will totally warm you up in the coldest weather.

We were soon in Doota! a.k.a Dongdaemun. Market the hip and happening shopping spot- where people shop from dusk till dawn and dawn till dusk! This shopping haven is basically opened 24 hours. It is the largest shopping spot in Korea. The Doota Tower is one huge building with 34 stories and 7 beneath ground level. It houses more than 2,000 shops. I just knew this after I came out of the tower. No wonder there were never ending flights of escalators!

Here you can see Korean’s young generation. The girls looked like dolls with straight/curly brown hair and snow white complexion. They wore expensive looking coats and boots. All the pretty girls will wear boots. It’s like a trademark fashion. Some with boy friend will look more adventurous. Like mini-skirts and boots under the cold weather.

Anyway, I find it hard to find a not so good looking girl in Doota. I can’t say the same for the guys-oops. I guess the only cute ones can only be seen on TV. Although I think the only cute Korean actor is Won-Bin. But he is not so popular in Korea. The most popular actor in Korea now I think is Bae Yong Jun (although I had to think really hard to get his name!) Guys…who said he is cute hands up! Not me though…

His face is plastered almost everywhere, in gift shops, stalls and walkways.
There were stalls outside the tower selling basically the same thing. Only that I was told you can bargain more outside. Their starting price is the same as what you can find inside the mall. There were more shopping complexes across the street each being linked by an underground subway. There were more stalls inside the subway. So you grab some stuff while on the way to another shopping complex. Talk about convenience!

After the shopping spree (under the cold), it’s time to check in our hotel. This is the Residence Hotel which I find it extremely modern and chic. The room is really small but it can fit in a small kitchen. The entire room is painted in white and the furnishings are also in white. Due to the constraint space, the traditional TV was replaced by an LCD monitor.
They have really good design and everything fits just nice inside the small room. Check the room out!

I was too cold and tired to take a bath. I took a bath anyway. Heck! It’s better to out some water on my already dried skin and wash some heat off me. Although it was cold, I was actually suffering from a fever.

1 comment:

visitseoul said...

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