Last night was the coldest yet for me! It was -9°C out with a wind chill of -19°C. Meaning when the wind blows at you, it feels like -19°C. And the wind blows a frightful lot here.
I have been avoiding my electric coat since my last post about it, and have tried to survive on my pathetic autumn coat by piling on more layers inside and wrapping my scarf around my neck and half my face.
It takes, like, 15 minutes to put on all my clothes, including tights, socks, leg warmers, boots, the works. And about 10 minutes to take them off.
But it has to be done. The cold is really some serious shit, especially on the face since it’s exposed, unless you want to wear a ski mask, which I don’t. When we get the -19°C wind, I feel like my skin will burn right off my face if I stay outdoors longer than I have to.
The inside of my nose and the part which connects to the eyes hurt and it’s hard to breathe.
Last night, I wore three long-sleeve layers inside, which made it four long-sleeves in total. It turned out to be just warm enough except when the wind blows, which, like I said, happens a frightful lot here.
On our way home, during the 2-minute walk from the subway to our apartment, Kay started cursing out loud in Hokkien when the wind suddenly whipped up a frenzy around us. That was hilarious because he’s usually a mild person and hardly ever curses. I ended up laughing uncontrollably all the way home, which helped to distract me from the cold a bit.
Anyway, it’s his own doing for trying to be a hero and not buying a winter coat, relying on his autumn jacket all this while, and only wearing a maximum of two layers inside.
He’s come up with a series of phrases to utter in response to the cold. Originally meant to be in Hokkien (he likes to imitate an ah beng friend of his) but translated to English because it’s funnier, although still a bit crude.
“Cold until cannot recognise home!” – He said that to me when I headed straight towards Lotteria (a burger chain) instead of turning left towards the subway station as we were meant to do.
“Cold until balls pain!” – Said amidst his impassioned curses to the -19°C wind.
“Cold until shit got sucked back in.” – He’d told me at the subway station that he was going to use the toilet first thing when we get back, but 15 minutes after getting back, he still hadn’t gone.
Anyway, today is kind of our last day here. We leave for home first thing tomorrow morning.
I think I will miss Seoul quite a bit. I’ve grown to love it here despite the cold and static electricity and despite the lack of chilli sauce in KFC.
Speaking of which, the KFC here uses a kind of paper spoon you have to fold yourself. At least, I think I folded it correctly. Seemed to be the only way.
I don’t like the coleslaw here. It’s watery and tastes like pickled cabbage, like those kind you get as appetisers in some Chinese restaurants.
Anyway, coming up are more random snapshots I took over the last few days, sights around Seoul I will probably miss (some not).
Saturday evening crowd heading out of the subway to Myeongdong, a hip shopping district likened to Tokyo’s Harajuku.
The crowd in Myeongdong.
Bigass Forever 21.
Rotiboy in Myeongdong.
Still in Myeongdong. BreadTalk!
This woman’s phone dangly is bigger than her phone!
Seoulites are stuck to their phones a lot more than Singaporeans, at least in the subway. They mostly watch TV, and many of them have antennas attached.
Statue of Chun Tae-il, a 22-year-old labour activist who burnt himself to death in 1970 to protest against the inhuman exploitation of labourers during that time. His sacrifice triggered the development of labour unions, which subsequently, after a long period of time, led to the birth of democracy in South Korea.
The statue is erected around 30 metres from the spot where he immolated himself, crying out, “We are not machines!”
Not the usual street food you see in Seoul.
Disgusting wormy things that won’t stop wriggling, outside seafood restaurants in Myeongdong.
Nice walking advertisement.
Nice restroom in Red Mango, a coffee and dessert franchise.
Frozen yoghurt in Red Mango.
Chai tea and chapati (no dip or curry!) set which costs KRW10,000 (S$11.35). In an Indian restaurant in Insadong.
Fruit salad costing KRW13,500 (S$15.30). In the same restaurant.
Nice place to hang out though. Very cosy.
Our breakfast for the past three weeks. We’ve gone through about six boxes of these!
Okay, that’s all for today. Gotta get ready and set off for the hospital. Today is stitch-removing day, so I have to prepare my stomach for the photo-taking later.