What a relaxing day! A much-needed break from the constant state of culture shock, which we have been living in; a time to reflect on the strange and confusing past few days… more like weeks.
After an enormous breakfast at the farm, we rushed after the host (who was not wearing over 10 kilos of stuff on her back) only to miss our bus. She had already piled our arms full of gifts – rice cakes and sandwiches and two huge bags of Gim intended for our families. So a big sorry to everyone at home, but I don’t think we can fit them in our bags. The knowledge that they were thoroughly enjoyed be Louise and I, as well as these pictures, should suffice:
You’re welcome 🙂
So with our hand full of, well, basically everything we own we stooped into the little taxi fully prepared to pay for our own transportation. However, the host wanted to give us one more reason to feel guilty for leaving a bad review on their WWOOFing page, and insisted on paying for the taxi. Our attempts at stopping her endless generosity went completely over her head, she barely batted an eyelash.
I gotta admit, although I am very grateful for her attempts to make our stay pleasant, I do feel a bit like we were bought out. I mean, there is no way we are going to leave a bad review now, despite being very dissatisfied with the way we were treated.
Anyway, after succeeding to get all the way from Hwaseong to Seoul without any mishaps, we arrived at the nicest little hostel. Seriously, anything would be a luxury after the last few nights… Did I mention that we couldn’t even close the bathroom door? I don’t ask for much in regards to luxuries, but privacy when I am on the toilet is one thing I very much enjoy.
The words given to us as we are checking in are the ultimate saving grace: “We have upgraded your room with no extra charge”. So now we are sitting in a private twin room. The bathrooms are right next door, and the atmosphere is awesome! We spent a couple of hours hanging out in the common room, and to quote Louise, this is exactly what I expected from a hostel. It is bustling with international energy and just seems to have that certain something that everyone associates with backpacking.
This is exactly what we need after the somewhat disastrous trip to Hwaseong. So, a huge shout-out to Kimchee Guesthouse. If you are staying in Seoul, this is the place to go!
After a few hours of reading and browsing the internet in the common room, we started to get hungry – hunger: a feeling I never thought I would experience again. We ventured out into the cold city in order to find a cheap meal. Less than two minutes later we found ourselves in a cute little restaurant where Louise had a bowl of hangover noodle soup (not that she has done anything that would require a hangover remedy… we have heard a lot about these soups, and just had to see what they were). I ordered a pork bibimbap hotplate, which was awesome and definitely something I will go back for.
We then decided to find a supermarket and get some cheap food. I was hoping to get my hands on one of those Asian pears, only to find that they cost over 200kr per piece! I am super duper thankful that I got to try them fresh from an organic farm. Instead we got some instant ramen, mushrooms, sprouts and ready cooked rice. On top of that we have the seaweed and two oversized sweet potatoes, which we were handed to us by one of the sellers at the market yesterday… Can these people get any more generous? I have always thought of the Irish as some of the most welcoming people, but the Koreans have definitely taken that position now.
A few hours later
The sweet potato has been cooked and savoured alongside a pack of seaweed. We spent a few hours in the common area, where we talked to a few lovely travellers. After receiving a long briefing on the magnificent hiking trails in Nepal, we are absolutely certain that this is what we will be doing within the next two months… To hell with our (/my) terrible physique, we will hike those snowy mountains!