Why I came to Seoul again

Today, I shall reveal the reason I’m in Seoul again, just two months after my last trip!

(If you’ve been following my Tweets and Plurks, you will already have known that I flew in early Sunday morning, so I don’t need to elaborate on that anymore, right?)

One friend MSN’ed me before my trip: “Why are you going to Seoul again? Did you meet a cute Korean guy there?”

Well, I did encounter many cute Korean guys during my last trip although I didn’t exactly “meet” them.

 

Korean cuties
Cast members of JUMP, a popular Korean comic martial arts show.

 

In any case, I don’t think I could date a foreign man long-term. I mean, foreign eye candies are very good to look at and fun to hang out with, but what I really enjoy in the long run is someone who speaks the same language (that means Singlish).

I think it’s nice when you can say to your partner, “Can you don’t be like that?” and he understands what you mean. Speaking Singlish can also be really funny and I enjoy that.

Anyway, I’m digressing.

The reason I’m in Seoul is because a friend of mine needed to come here to have surgery done and I spontaneously decided to come with him since I love travelling and since I love Seoul. I don’t think I got enough of it the last time!

 

Sheylara in Seoul

 

Well, okay, we kinda just started dating recently.

You might think it’s nuts for me to fly off to a foreign country with someone I’ve only just started seeing. That’s why I am posting his picture here, so everyone knows what he looks like. In case I vanish mysteriously.

 

Kay

 

I’m just joking. Nothing’s gonna happen, of course.

His name is Kay and I’m in Seoul with him to keep him company as he seeks treatment for a deformity in his elbow caused by a childhood fracture. It’s a common condition called Cubitus Valgus. In simple terms, his left arm is somewhat bent to the side when extended because the bone didn’t heal properly after the fracture.

 

Kay

 

After extensive research over the years, he found a medical paper published by a team of doctors in a renowned hospital in Seoul which reports a high rate of success in using a particular technique to correct the deformity.

They basically have to cut through the entire bone at the elbow then fix it back in the correct angle. It’s kinda scary!

 

Kay

 

So, here we are!

We’re scheduled to be here for three weeks, but after going through consultations and x-rays, I suspect the stay might have to be extended because more tests are now required, which would delay the date of the surgery.

The surgery will be done in this quite famous hospital called Severance Hospital. Inside the International Health Care Centre of the hospital, where foreign patients report to, several certificates of appreciation from the White House are proudly displayed, indicating outstanding care rendered to US dignitaries such as Obama and Bush.

 

Severance Hospital

 

The hospital is really huge, looking grand inside and beautiful outside. I would have taken more photos outside if I weren’t freezing my butt off!

 

Severance Hospital

 

Well, okay, enough about the hospital. Here are some more photos I took in our first two days in Seoul!

 

The street leading to our lodgings in Seoul:

Seoul

 

We’re staying in this budget version of a serviced apartment called Ohmok-Gyo Co-Op Residence. About S$60 a night for the standard room, it’s a studio unit with a bedroom and kitchenette. The rooms are cleaned every day, with fresh towels and linen. It’s quite small, but cosy and comfortable with ample storage space for long-term stays.

We’re planning to move into a deluxe room tomorrow, which will be bigger, so I’ll show you photos then! Hopefully they will give us a room with a good view. Facing the apartment is a river, which you can access via a very short bridge next to the apartment.

 

Seoul

 

The riverwalk is beautiful at night! But it’s very cold, so I don’t think I’ll go walking around there very often. The temperature in Seoul at night now is near zero or sub-zero and its just gonna get worse.

 

Seoul

 

Noryangjin Fish market:

Noryangjin Fish Market

 

It’s supposedly a tourist attraction, although we didn’t see any tourists other than ourselves. There are all kinds of amazing fresh seafood you won’t normally see in a Singapore fish market.

I took many photos but I doubt many of you really want to see endless displays of dead seafood, so let’s move on to the next destination.

 

Seoul’s largest food alley in Gwangjang Market:

Gwangjang Market

 

It’s a large area of traditional Korean food. You choose a stall and then sit right in front of it to eat! The mung-bean pancakes are really awesome!

 

Gwangjang Market

 

We ate at a total of three stalls, although the last one was just Kay eating because I refused to eat snail and octopus sashimi.

 

Gwangjang Market

 

Gwangjang Market

 

At a consultation room in Severance Hospital:

Sheylara in Seoul

 

At the hospital food court:

Sheylara in Seoul

 

My delicious hot pot bibimbap (it’s supposed to be reddish but came out yellowish in the photo cos of the lighting in the food court):

Hot pot bibimbap

 

Namdaemun Market:

Namdaemun Market

 

This is a night market with street food and shopping. I think we got ripped off because our meagre dinner came up to KRW43,000 (S$50) for just a small plate of fried tang hoon, seven skewers of meat, two fresh oysters and two small cans of soft drinks.

(Prior to that, our meals had just been roughly KRW15,000 (S$18) for two, which would give us two main courses and drinks, so we didn’t expect our BBQ street food to amount to that much.)

This is what we had:

 

Namdaemun  Market

 

Namdaemun Market

 

Namdaemun Market

 

Nam Dae Mun Market

 

In fact, we were still hungry after this meal, so we took a subway to Dongdaemun Market where we had pork bone soup:

Pork bone soup

 

This cost us only KRW15,000, which was a lot more reasonable, plus there was free-flow kimchi.

 

Korean strawberries:

Korean strawberries

 

They’re sooooo sweet! Funny, when I buy Korean strawberries in Singapore, they’re always sour. Do they export only the lousy ones and keep the good ones for themselves? That’s what I hear the Japanese do, in terms of food and stuff.

I guess that’s enough photos for today.

We’ll be going back to the hospital tomorrow for more tests. I hope the weather will be as good tomorrow as the weather forecast claims.

I was so cold last night when we were at Namdaemun Market. Everything is out in the open, right, so when I was at a shop trying on hats, my hands got so cold it was actually painful. I thought they were gonna get frostbitten!

I hate wearing hats, though. They give me a headache. But I have to wear them here or die of cold. Sigh.

More updates soon!