Thursday, January 2, 2014

games, food and rude

Located on the grounds of Gyeongbokgung is the National Folk Museum of Korea. I had a chance to visit the museum on my last trip to Korea and really liked it because it depicted the daily lives of Korean people. This is the kind of museum that I like! My siblings had no interest in checking out the museum but we did wander around the open-air exhibition containing old buildings that depicted traditional rural life.

On the grounds one can also play some traditional Korean games. We played a game called Tuho, a game popular with royal families and high class people. The goal of this game is to throw an arrow into the jar.

After trying for a long ass time, my brother finally managed to get his arrow into the metal loop which holds the arrows when not in use. We counted that as a victory but it should really only count when it goes into the jar. It took me so long but I finally got one in after both my sister and brother got several points...

Afterwards we headed over to Namdaemun Market, the largest traditional market in Korea, to grab some food and to do some shopping!

clockwise 1. red velvet donut 2. hotteok 3. lemon and lime mentos 4. garlic butter pringles and garlic chips
Hotteok is a Korean pancake filled with cinnamon and sugar and cooked on a grill. Unfortunately mine also contained peanuts so if you're allergic to peanuts then I wouldn't suggest buying them at the street vendors unless you can speak or read Korean. Both these garlic flavored chips were gross - don't waste your money! So disappointed that Korea could ruin garlic flavored chips - how can garlic chips not have any garlicky flavor and the bagged one was kind of sweet...yuck! Pringles in Korea are unique in that they are smaller and thicker than the ones I've seen elsewhere in the world.

I don't know if I just didn't realize it before but during this trip we got treated so badly by people here. While at Nandemum Market, my brother was looking at some socks that were buy 10 and get it for a discounted price per pair of socks. Well my brother was looking through the socks and had chosen five pairs and was digging through the cart to see what other designs they had when the seller told him to stop and just sold him the five pairs of socks for the discounted price and told him to leave! I guess the seller was so frustrated with my bro looking through the socks and supposedly "messing up" his pile that he would rather make less just to get rid of us... Freaking outrageous! This happened again at Dongdaemun Market where the vendors would yell at us for browsing through their clothes and messing up the alignment of the hangers. I would literally just flip through some clothes without disturbing any of them and the workers would hustle in right after me and start straightening and putting hangers back into alignment like I had just shoved everything every which way! Ugh not sure if I have been sensitized to this kind of rude behavior after only getting courtesy and respectfulness while living in Japan but all these interactions killed any mood we had for shopping. I knew for sure I didn't get this kind of treatment when I was shopping in Dongdaemun with my friends last time I was in Korea. I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that we were all speaking Cantonese...

The Details
National Folk Museum
Hours: March - May, September - October: 09:00 - 18:00
            June - August: 09:00 - 18:30
            November - February: 09:00 - 17:00
            Saturdays & Sundays, holidays : 09:00 - 19:00
Closed: every Tuesday and New Year's Day
last admission is an hour before closing
Admission Fee: Free
Access: To get there, take subway line 3 to Gyeongbokgung Palace station, exit #5, or to Anguk station, exit #1. If you are taking subway line 5, then get off at Gwanghwamun station and come out of exit #2.

Namdaemun Market
Access: Seoul Subway Line 4 - Hoehyeon Station Exit 5
map of market

Dongdaemun Market
Access: Seoul Subway Line 2 - Dongdaemun Stadium Station, or Line 1 or 4 - Dongdaemun Station

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