Jena and I enjoying some gelato
The triplets have an “uncle” who lives in Bundang, in fact, the same area that Justin and I lived in for a while. Although this man is not a blood-relative to them, he is a close friend so they call him “Bundang-Barabeoji”, which translated literally to ‘Bundang-Grandfather’. I had met him once before, but that was prior to Justin leaving for the job he is currently doing at Korea University. On this particular day, I was invited to join the Um’s on the afternoon outing with their Harabeoji to the area around Sunae Station.
Yogurt and Coconut flavoured gelato
This harabeoji is a very kind and generous man. Even I was not allowed to pay for my own food, he insisted on paying for everything. He is a cheerful man that seems to know every second person who passes by in the street. This was definitely “his hood”. Our first stop was Quizno’s for subs, and the we headed to a little Italian Gelato cafe just behind the Lotte Department store near Sunae Station.
David got almost 45 minutes of “finger-accupuncture” and massage from his uncle while we sat at the Gelato Cafe. We sat there for a long time relaxing and chatting between ourselves.
View from the cafe
It looks nice outside, but trust me, it was freezing. The blue skies are very deceiving, because the temperature outside was below zero degrees. It’s so cold that the snow has even stopped falling.
Jena and David giving big cheesy smiles.
I enjoyed watching the sun set behind the buildings.
Bundang-Harabeoji told the triplets about Chi and energy flow. They practiced trying to curl Korean money by channeling their energy through it. Amusing!
After subs and gelato, we stopped at a Chicken restaurant for another meal. I keep forgetting that we are in Korea, and that people here are able to eat an unbelievable amount of food. It never ceases to amaze me! After sitting down, I was asked if I wanted chicken soup, or roasted chicken.
I said I much prefer roasted chicken.
They then said that it takes 30-40 minutes.
Okay! Apparently I was having Samgyetang too!
This is samgyetang is a variety of guk (Korean soup) which primarily consists of a whole young chicken and Korean ginseng. The dish’s name literally translates as “ginseng chicken soup. In Chinese culture, similar to Korean culture, it is believed that this soup can prevent illness. The one main difference is that in Chinese culture, ginseng is not consumed when one is sick because it is believed that the ginseng will trap the sickness within a person. Samgyetang is traditionally served in the summer for its supposed nutrients, which replaces those lost through excessive sweating and physical exertion during the hot summers in Korea.
A thick layer of compacted ice is almost completely covering the sidewalks and walkways. There is very little room to walk on if you don’t want to slip. The triplets cheerfully skidded along the ice, but without Justin there to catch me, I don’t like to get too crazy. As you can see, there are plenty of restaurants, cafes and little clothing boutiques here, but I was with company so I didn’t get to stroll around even though I desperately wanted to.
This cute little cafe is located down an alleyway, and you would only find it if you were passing by accidentally, or like we were on this day, you were accompanied by a local who knows all the good places to go.
The one side of the alleyway has a miniature cafe with room for a maximum of 2-3 standing people. The sliding door had to be closed to keep the cold air from going in. The other side of the alley has seating with plastic sheets hanging beside them to keep some of the cold out. There were blankets in each booth too. I imagine that this little cafe is a great spot in summer. I love finding spots like this… The atmosphere is always awesome.
Only room for 2-3 people inside the cafe!!
David and Jena trying to keep warm while we wait for our drinks.
I looove cafe lattes on cold snowy days!
After some hot chocolate, and a coffee for me, Bundang-Harabeoji took us to a little stationery store located inside a building containing tons of restaurants. It’s interesting how these little stores are hidden away, and if you can’t read Korean, you might never know that you walk by something that you need almost everyday! This encourages me to start studying Korean more diligently during our next teaching contract over here.
I really enjoy walking around the stationery stores in Korea, and looking at the all the awesome little bits and pieces that are available. There are tons of cutesy stickers, note pads, stamps, and every other form of stationery that you can think of. In fact, you can even buy jewellery, socks, gloves, mittens, stockings, slippers, bags, and some toiletries at these establishments. The best part is that everything is fairly decently priced ~ Sometimes I get lost for hours!
Our final stop on this afternoon adventure was the Lotte Department store. On the lower level there is a marvelous food hall where there are tons of different cuisines to sample, or sit down and enjoy. It is quite crowded down there, but the atmosphere is nice and everything is really clean and modern, so I like walking around. The best advice I can give is to not go there when you are hungry because the sights and smells are amazing!
Although I had planned to be home on this evening, and I was dying to get back to my computer so that I could catch up with Justin, I was happy to get out and about for a few hours. Bundang-Harabeoji is extremely generous, so I got home with a full belly and some cute stationery which he insisted on paying for.
A great afternoon in Bundang, South Korea!