Day 2 – Seoul

Out the door around 9, down into the subways, got some sort of Korean breakfast pastry in the subway for $1, bakery lady laughed as they all do at my attempt to order any language other than english.

This city is amazing, the size and scale of Mexico City with an additional layer of money and tech overtop.

First stop the National Museum of Korea, great museum but the robotic Stephen Hawking voice in the audio guide was so distracting I eventually had to turn it off. Learned about the Jikji, a Buddhist text printed with metal movable type 80 years before Guttenburg, had no idea. Also had no idea that humans were here pre stone age, I had assumed the human migration happened later.

I don’t know if it says anything or not but I found it interesting that all the items in the museum list the year they were found rather than the year they date from as you would find in a western museum. A vase exhibit would have no indication of when it dates to but would say “Discovered in 1978″… different.

The original 1377 copy of the Jikji is in France (Korea keeps asking for it back, no luck so far) but I saw a replica as well as one of the metal characters from the press.

Acceptable Korean lunch at a sort of buffet, was fine, cheap. Still feeling the effects of the mountain day in Kyrgyz and it’s pouring rain here so I headed  home for a quick nap, was awakened by the building intercom making some very important sounding announcement, no clue, all in Korean of course.

This is crack and I will miss it.

Headed out again to the Samsung Museum of Art. An extremely impressive example of how to do a gallery right, in terms of subjects and the technology of the place.

I love cocktail bars that really get it, headed to d.still, a well reviewed speakeasy. Great drinks, great atmosphere, unfortunately very little English, my problem not theirs but I headed back out after a couple (they tried their best to make conversation and their mixing skills were impressive, my fault for knowing no Korean)

Hmmmm…so far I love Seoul, it’s a much more 24 hour city than I’ve ever seen before, including NYC. But…I was looking for dinner after a couple d.still cocktails, entered first place, sat down, waited ten minutes, went looking for waiter, Nada, nothing, just got stared at, OK fine, left.

Went to another random restaurant, sat down, waitress came over, I got halfway through ordering when she started yelling and pointing to the door, OK lady I can take a hint. Sulked to a third place and found them more typically friendly Korean, ate some sort of amazing fried chicken and soju and headed home for the night.

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