MyeongDong Experience - Korea Trip Day # 2

Friday, June 10, 2011

 

 

 


Days before my departure, I went through several blogs about what to do in Korea. I used the information I got to create my itinerary. I was supposed to visit some castles on Day 1 but I figured I should reserve that for Day 3. I decided to go to MyeongDong because a) I forgot my earphones and so I have to buy one b) I had to buy an adapter for the socket in my room and c) they say it's the best place for shopping.

I followed the bartender's instructions and headed to the Hyewah subway station just a few blocks away from my hostel. I had absolutely no idea which train to take, how to pay for my ticket or where to even get one. As I was looking around, I heard one woman say, 'Oo yun nga...'. FILIPINOS! Yeah! There was one woman on the phone and her companion standing beside her. 

Me: Excuse me po, Filipino kayo? (Are you Filipino?)
Woman 1: Oo haha! (Yes)
Me: Ay salamat. Pano po ba bumili ng ticket? (Ahh thank God! How do I buy a ticket?)

The woman was kind enough to show me the ticket vending machine and helped me buy my ticket. I found out they are also tourists but the woman seemed to know a lot about the ticketing system. I told her where I was headed and she told me where I should get off.

If you're a shopaholic then brace yourself when you go to MyeongDong. I'd like to call it the more stylish version of Divisoria. It's full of shops - both high end and bargain shops from Zara, Lacoste to the Divisoria types - on every single street in that area. I was blown away and at the same time I got pretty dizzy. I went around the area for more than a couple of hours. 

I'm surprised that they have maps on the streets and were given away for free! I grabbed one before I asked a couple of very nice Korean tour guides on where to find the electronics section. They gave me directions and so I followed them. When I turned right a middle aged woman grabbed my map and asked where I'm going. I actually had no idea if she was going to give me directions or she was trying to sell me something. Luckily, the tour guides followed me (SO NICE!) and saved me from that woman. They made sure I got to the electronics shop without being bothered.

They waited until I got the item I needed. I asked myself, am I supposed to give them a tip? I had absolutely no idea. But when I turned they already left. I bumped into them again several times as I was going around and they smiled at me again. 

Shopping in Korea can be a little frustrating for people who usually wear shirts which are Large and up. I found this amazing expensive jacket - which I was very much willing to buy - but they didn't have it in my size. He said he can have it custom made for me but it will take 7 days. I politely declined but with a pinch of bitterness. 

As I walked from one store to another, the bitterness grew stronger. I looked around and all I can see are very slim guys with no stomach in their stylish clothes. Okay, so there's no market for big people here? That might be a problem in case I decide to move here someday. One store had these cool jeans. And they had it in large. However, when I tried it on, it was more of a Medium really than a large. Very disappointing.

And I know some of you a**h**** will just tell me, 'You need to f****** lose weight!'. I will tell you 'F*** **u too! I will lose it when I feel like it.'

In short, I went through almost every store of every street in MyeongDong and all I got were my earphones, adapter, one GIANT soft serve and a slight urge to go to the gym when I go back home. I ended up in Burger King later (because I was too afraid to try any Korean food. Not yet.) On the menu, they indicate how many KCals there are on each type of food. That's how conscious they are when it comes to food intake and that's why I cannot fit into any of the clothes here! (Kidding!)

The weather suddenly became gloomy so I decided to go home. A couple of friends will be arriving soon and I figured we might go out tonight - if they decide to show up. In the meantime, the first live show of The Voice kept me busy.

If they don't show up, there's free beer and some good company at the bar next door!

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