Why not head over to Myeongdong, and buy a present or two?
Presents, no matter how close we were to Christmas, were not our motivation for checking out Seoul's busiest shopping district. We decided not to buy eachother any gifts this year (the gift of eachother is all we need... hehehe BARF) - instead we will spend our money on our upcoming vacation to South-East Asia. Nonetheless, we had heard wonderful things about Myeongdong, and Jason needed a new pair of jeans. That was motivation enough for me!
We took the 1005-1 bus (the same one I ride to school every morning) right into Seoul. I took a little over an hour and a half, which is, in my opinion, wayyy too long. Next time we will definitely explore more options (express bus or train to Gangnam, for one), but at least now we know.
We arrived in Myeongdong starving, so we started by having lunch at a fast food pizzeria place. The barbecue chicken pizza was ready in 10 minutes, and absolutely delicious. Yum. Bellies full, we were ready to shop! (Well, at least I was...). I was determined to browse through 4 stories of Forever XXI, my favorite store in the history of clothing stores. Turns out I only did three, but still managed to grab a warm sweater, skinny pants, earmuffs and a pair of extremely comfortable camel-colored boots. Success!
|Busy Myeongdong street|
Then we went to my second favorite store in the whole wide world: LUSH. I was looking at Christmas gifts for my coteachers. But at $25 a box for 3 soaps, it was not to be. Ahh, bath bombs (and baths in general, for that matter), how I miss you so. I went on to buy some Starbucks coffee products, which they adored - oh, Koreans and their coffee...
By the time we went to H&M, the streets and stores were absolutely packed, and we had had enough (that didn't last long!). Nandaemun, the traditional market next door, was our next adventure. Jason wanted to see the fortified wall (which we later discovered was closed for renovations - oh well) and walk through the numerous street vendors selling everything from socks to professional digital cameras. Most sellers were boxed in with their space heaters (litterally surrounded by makeshift cardboard boxes to keep warm) and I could understsand why. It wasn't long until my feet were absolutely frozen stiff. So Jason bought a crab meat pogo from one of the food stands (!) and we were off to Itaewon to find him a pair of jeans.
A couple of subway stations later, I was much warmer but my bladder was full from holding it in so long (I have serious issues with using turkish toilets in subways. I find it really gross and only use them in emergencies. For some reason there's always urine on the floor, so if you forget to roll up your pants well, you get the picture). Anyway, this was the most successful shopping experience of the day! We litterally walked into the first store we saw, and walked out 10 minutes later with a pair of jeans.
Before we called it a day and headed back home on the trusty subway, I couldn't resist getting some McDonald's. I don't think I will ever grow out of it or become tired of it, even though their fries here are cold and lack salt, and their burgers are made hours ahead of time. Jason opted for some Quizno's, which he said wasn't nearly as good as last time we were in Itaewon (last time we got Quizno's in Itaewon it was 4am, of course, and our tastebuds were numbed by all the beer).
I look forward to returning to Myeongdong soon, possibly when it's less busy, probably when it's warmer, and definitely with some girl friends this time.
I heart shopping :)