More Hidden Truths and Junsu’s Papa’s Pizzas~

Today we Naughty Aunties woke up in the fashion of Caucasians; i.e. 12pm, and had brunch at 1pm. The cold weather has really made us sleep way longer than we usually do! But no, we are no White-lovers, unlike these Seoulites. Once again, we found a new White-hugging trend in their society. We got to a cinema in Jeongbalsan, and saw the top ten movies rating there. Surprisingly for a nation that produces numerous good-quality local movies, and the people unable to speak English, three outdated English movies made it to the Top 5; whereas a supposedly-hot movie with Big Bang’s TOP (A Korean Hip-hop band member) inside was only in eighth place. These Koreans rather watch White movies and read the Korean subtitles than their local movies! Just learn the language damnit!
Auntie Yan is skeptical about the confidence of the locals in their local dramas. Like in Singapore, infamous Jack Neo’s movies always make it to the top. Is the local dramas really not as good of a quality as the western dramas, or is it really them being white supremacist? What do you think?


Jack Neo’s “I Not Stupid” Movie

Though we set out pretty late today (about 2pm), we managed to discover cool places far away from metro-Seoul. We went northwest along Metro Line 3 and first alighted at Yeonsinnae station. This fashion street has not been highlighted in our tourism guide book or in online sites, but damn it’s hella good! Obviously there were no foreigners except for us, so we figured that this must be a shopping district kept for locals only. It’s huge, divided into many alleys (we didn’t have time to comb through the whole place) and has a large variety of shops, cafes and restaurants. How we wish we’ve been here earlier instead of wasting time at Dongdaemun! It’s a must-go, Yeonsinnae Fashion Street! Not over priced, self contained and a place where ignorant tourists can feel free to shop. Except that there are no tax free shops I guess? That’s why the government didn’t want to promote the area?

Yeonsinnae Street
The Never-Ending Yeonsinnae Street

Patisserie Shop
An Awesome Patisserie Shop in Yeonsinnae

A Sports Shoe Shop
A Sports Shoe Shop for Problematic Skin?

Well the real reason why we bothered to travel so far out today was because Auntie Yan had secretly harboured her wishes to meet her future father-in-law in Jeongbalsan. This father-in-law is actually DBSK Junsu’s father, and his pizza restaurant is in Jeongbalsan! (OH MY GOD COVERS EARS SHRILLING GIRLS SCREAMING) Like Micky’s Mama’s Gelato Café, this restaurant is also a DBSK temple for fans to give their offerings to the Xiah Junsu Altar. Please also take note that no urn or joss sticks will be provided, so bring your own. For Christians, just say Amen loudly and his father will say, may Junsu Bless You.

Vandalism
Vandalism on the Walls Welcome Us to Junsu Papa Pizza’s Restaurant

Junsu's Shrine
Welcome to Xiah Junsu’s Shrine

Memorabilia
Junsu’s Memorabilia

Prized Poster of Xiah Junsu
Prized Poster of Xiah Junsu

Life-Size Poster
Go Ahead, Stick Your Head In!

More Vandalism In the Toilet
More Vandalism In the Toilet By Over-Crazed Fangirls All Over the World

Well, not to forget that other than being a Junsu Shrine, Imsilcheese Pizza actually sells pizza (really good pizza!!) freshly baked on order by Junsu’s dad. The food is thankfully not overpriced and pizza we ate was really good; so our long journey was pretty worth it. Auntie Yan later realizes the reason why it’s called Imsilcheese Pizza and not Imsil Pizza. Because the Pizza there really has loads of cheese in it, and every table is equipped with a cheese powder bottle. You have a choice of a local brand called Gold or the imported Brand called Kraft. Cool right? And the Pizza not only has loads of cheese but a nice thin crust that does not overpower the taste of the cheese and the other ingredients. We had roasted pumpkin pizza today at Junsu Papa’s place, but we reckon the meat pizzas will taste much much much better! For vegetarians and muslims, not to worry the place has pumpkin, roasted pumpkin and pineapple pizza for you!

We also realized that Junsu has inherited the stature of his father. The reason why Junsu doesn’t have broad shoulders like JaeJoong is because his father is the same. His father is not too tall, not too short either. Around 170cm? And looks like a typical Korean, with typical Korean features. We didn’t take a picture of Junsu’s Papa because we thought it would be rude to snap him like that and didn’t wanted to bother him though at that point of time, the restaurant is not busy. If you want to catch the chance to talk to his father, go on a weekday afternoon or evening, it will be less busy.

Pumpkin Pizza
Golden Pumpkin Pizza

After dinner at the Imsilcheese Pizza, we continued wandering around Jeongbalsan and found that it has huge shopping malls too! Another awesome shopping district to visit! (Also no foreigners found teehee) The shops too open till past 10pm, and there was a hidden IMAX Cinema in one of the malls too!! (OMG we should’ve watched Prince of Persia in 3D here instead of the Sinchon Theatre)

Lafesta Mall
Huge Lafesta Mall!

Crazy Trampoline
Whee
Reverse Bungee Jumping on a Trampoline! In Lafesta Mall

IMAX Theatre
Hidden IMAX Theatre in Lafesta Mall; for viewing movies in 3D on LG screens OMG

We also realized that here in Korea, gluttony is indeed punishable and a sin at that. Every time Auntie Yan eats more than a certain calorific value, she would get severe runs! And nonetheless Auntie Aiman is now fat and broke. So when you are in Seoul, don’t eat too much because by the time you return home, it wouldn’t be a nice sight would it?

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Celebrity Stalking? No, Just Blindly Walking and Got Lucky

Before we left for Seoul, we talked about how the toilets would be like (no tissues, no sinks, etc), as described by some bloggers who’ve been there. Seriously, we don’t really know which rural part of Seoul they went to, because all the toilets we’ve been to (and yes, we go to toilets more frequently everyday than you think) have sinks and toilet rolls, and just a few with bidet machines. However, we have still noticed some oddities…

Double?
Double Toilet Roll Containers?

Old Flush and Sanitary Box?
Notice the old flushing “technology”; and why is that the sanitary disposal box?

Napkin Changing Station?
I wonder how a mummy’s gonna change her child’s napkin on this

Bar soap?!
Not Liquid Soap, but Bar Soap at the sink?! Everyone’s sharing that bar soap?!! Gross!

Etiquette Bell
Did not dare to press that bell, so still don’t know what it’s for!

Bidet
Aha! Finally one with a bidet machine!

It is etiquette that you are supposed to cover the bowl of the toilet after you use it, even in public toilets. Leaving it open for the next person to use is rude.

We finally found the Chonggyecheon stream! As we were walking blindly we found a huge crowd turnout at the stream, watching a traditional dance performance on the stream by some lovely Ajummas.

Crowd
Crowd at Chonggyecheon Stream

Ajummas Performance
Ajummas’ Traditional Dance; better than SNSD leg-kicking dance

The stream is a good place to take a long (yea it’s longer than 10km) walk, to take a break from shopping…sit down to chat while looking at the fishes in the stream. Seems like a good dark place for couples at night too…for hanky-panky

Crossing the Stream
Everyone has to step on the large pebbles to get to the other side of the stream!

The stream was not as pretty as the edited pictures online, but was still a nice decent and quiet place to take a stroll. This is especially so for Singaporeans like us whose country has no streams, rivers, forests, jungles and whatsoever.

We also bought some pretty-looking rice cakes that looked like green tea flavored and studded with red beans made by an old ajumma, and thought they’re going to taste sweet and good…but they were almost tasteless. There was even peanut paste in it! Peanut paste doesn’t even blend in with the taste of pastry skin. We have no idea why they sold like hot pancakes! We bought a set of ten but ate only one each, and threw the rest away. Auntie Yan thought it tasted really bad!

We visited a filming location today thinking it would promise us a wonderful experience of the feel of idealistic Korean dramas. We actually went to the café from the drama series The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince. It looked really different from TV; it was way smaller and darker, a bit gloomy and extremely over-priced. We sat in for a couple of minutes, took a few pictures and left. Those who are thinking of visiting that place, forget it ok.

So small
The cafe was so small, we did not recognise it at first!

Inside the Cafe
The cafe from the inside did not look impressive too

And guess what! We went all the way to Apgujeong station later to visit DBSK’s Mickey Yoochun’s mother’s Gelato Café named Time out Gelato Café. That place is an awesome Mickey worshipping temple equivalent. All that’s lacking is an urn, a tablet and some joss sticks. Thank goodness though, there were giant sized posters of Mickey, tiny cute photos of Mickey, merchandises of Mickey and songs of Mickey all over the place. So if you’re looking to pray to Mickey Yoochun, this is the place. But joss sticks and urns are not provided, so remember to bring your own.

Time-Out!
At Time-Out Gelato’s counter

Micky put up like Buddha
Micky Put Up Like Buddha

Micky's Altar
Micky’s Altar, go on and put your offerings

Back to the topic. The gelato there was ok, not exceptionally delicious, but not bad either. We ordered brownies with gelato, and as part of the service, free caramel whipped cream was provided. Mickey Yoochun’s father even offered us 1 extram BOWL of whip cream, maybe because he knew we were foreigners. And compared to the size of the brownie and gelato, the whip cream is hella lot! His father seems like a nice man, but he was extremely tan for a Korean. So this makes us ponder and doubt if he is Mickey’s father. But then again, who in the right mind would employ a random Ajusshi in a café obviously targeting young girls. The ajusshi was charismatic and if he really is Mickey’s father, maybe that is where Mickey’s charm was inherited from? The Ajusshi was good with the fan girls, made cute boy band smiles at them and posed for pictures. Auntie Yan wanted to take a photo with him but later changed her mind because it would be utterly inappropriate for her to take photos in such a holy place. After all, Mickey worshipping exists in the hearts of every young girls out there. Auntie Yan and Auntie Aiman are not willing though, to bring themselves down and start fan girling with the other girls in the café. Mickey’s father also gave us some stickers that bear a Mickey mouse shape and above it, a slogan that says Always Keep the Faith. Probably it’s about the DBSK lawsuit incident?

Nonetheless, Aiman continues to rise in the ladders to becoming the Alien of South Korea. I reckon that a space ship will be here anytime to pick her up. I mean seriously, the South Koreans are still in illusion that someday, as they pass by Auntie Aiman, a rocket like space ship is going to stop right in front of them. And as the space ship opens, they see 24K gold in there with a bunch of Indian looking, black looking, ugly looking things that look exactly like Auntie Aiman. They are going to step out of the space ship and blast a nuclear bomb into the city hall metro station and kill all of the Seoulites. I mean come on, stop it already. Stop staring at her like she’s a piece of dung! Although she really is, but at least she doesn’t go around screaming plastic bitch at every girl who passes by alright? If Auntie Yan catches anyone staring at Auntie Aiman again, well all she’s going to do is laugh her ass off! HAHAH!

We went to Itaewon again to try out more Foreign Cuisine food. As we walked blindly into the alleys we found a newly-opened Turkish restaurant. The food is really good; I’d say 90% Authentic Turkish Cuisine. The service offered was really good (good English-speaking staff, free-flow of bread like a real Turkish custom, frequent re-fills of plain water and clearing of mess on the table). The chef was generous with the food servings, which left us really full just after one course!

Sultan Restaurant
Name of the Turkish Restaurant; the number is: 070-8954-5954

Mutton Mozzarella
Mutton in Tomato Base, with Mozzarella all round it

Chicken Kebab
Chicken Kebab with an assortment of sides

We continued to walk blindly from Itaewon and noticed many political nominees going hot with their public campaigns. Big lorries passed by the road, as each candidate waved to the people and shook hands with them. Some shook hands with us even though we are not Koreans. So we somehow ended up at the Han River and continued walking until we didn’t really know where we were. Then we realized that the campaign lorries had followed us there too! One of the candidates passed by us and helped us find our way to the nearest metro station; and he spoke English fluently. It’s important to be able to speak English to be a politician!

Campaign Lorry
Campaign Lorry Parading the Streets

At Han River Again!
At Han River Again!

Another Korean person who could speak fluently was the old man who sold a Korean chopsticks and spoon set to me in Itaewon. That old man can put all the younger Koreans to shame! This old man can pick up a new language just by interacting with foreign customers in Itaewon, and look at the students and working people who stubbornly think they can live with just one language. Learning English does not mean we bow to the English people; it is to enable them to communicate with us and learn that we are as equally worthy as them. It’s funny though because we are looking at a White-supremacy society, where the people copycat their fashion, accent, makeup and food, but not learn their language.

Many Koreans follow the White-copycat fad of bringing their prized dog pets for walks, showing off to other people their pure-breeds. The thing is in Seoul, these dogs are being brought to the wrong places; especially to the shopping malls in Dongdaemun! Auntie Aiman frequently gets freaked out by dogs coming towards her, then getting pulled back by their leashes. If their dogs poop in the middle of crowded Dongdaemun, how will they clear their doggies’ mess?

We have been in Seoul for quite some time now, but every day we still discover more oddities of the Seoulite society that we’ve not expected. Would we ever make sense of it all?

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Beauty Overhaul

Last night, we complained to the guesthouse owner (or as Cheeky calls her Samonim, meaning Lady Boss) that our TV is spoiled. She told us that she will call for the repair man tomorrow, but Auntie Yan told her to just get a new TV because this one was so old. The Samonim jokingly said she had no money, but when we came to our room today we saw a new TV already installed! We also found out that Samonim had a new washing machine delivered to the guesthouse. As Cheeky has always hoped, God had probably touched her heart…?
Well the problem with our Samonim and many Lady Bosses here in Seoul is that they are way too stingy when handling their business operations. The case is even stronger for a small-scale guesthouse business like our Samonim’s.

When we first stepped into Alpha Guest house, aka our current guesthouse, the first thing we noticed were the old furniture and appliances available in there, a far cry from the pictures featured on the internet. Korea is the nation of LCD screens, hence we thought LCD TVs are cheap to buy. But there was only as old TV model set in the living room. The washing machine was old and only had basic features and so is the iron that barely even worked. The furniture seemed to be from the 60s or something.

Later on we learnt that Samonim is indeed a highly stingy person, who keeps most of her business earning instead of buying better appliances and furniture, and makes her only worker cheeky work more than her job scope requires in order to save on housekeeping costs. Instead of employing one more worker, gives cheeky a measly sum of food allowance that isn’t even enough to feed a little kid. There is no housing allowance and cheeky has to pay for her rent. Samoim never gives cheeky a proper day off! And on days when there are no other guests in the house except for Auntie Yan and Auntie Aiman, the 2 were only given 1 long bread to share for breakfast.

Despite this stingy exterior Samonim portrayed, Auntie Yan believes though that she is still a kind woman. Because when a guest from Fiji checked in yesterday without any money on him, as he was unable to exchange any Korean won at the airport, Samonim agreed to let him go off and come back on Sunday to foot the bill for his room. She said she’s willing to trust him, and let the helpless man go.

Still I would recommend Alpha Guesthouse to other people, because you know that at least you are living with people who are good. Samonim is good, Cheeky is good. And for the low rate you are paying for the guesthouse, we really shouldn’t complain so much. It is already really cheap and good for the rate we’re paying? The place is quite comfortable if the guests you live with don’t strike havoc! Lol

It’s shopping in Gangnam today by the way. We were surprised to see the abundance of food outlets there taken that it is a city district. It isn’t really a shopping area but more of an office area. Beside Dongdaemun, Gangnam’s shopping district is going to make you ROFL. But the food there is equally as good as Insadong although they take on a more modern outlook rather than traditional one. There are many restaurants there selling western cuisine, some pubs, some seafood restaurants and some traditional restaurants. The good mix of food and beverage outlets there is sure one reason why you should visit Gangnam. Gangnam is also equipped with all kinds of cosmetic chains like Missha, Skin Food, Face Shop, Body Shop, Beauty Credit and so forth. Though as compared to Dongdaemun again, Gangnam’s cosmetic chains are really nothing.

Gangnam
Tall Buildings in Gangnam, but no skyscrapers

Dongdaemun is where all the youngsters thrive and party all night long until wee hours of the morning. The fashion district there is hella big! You can never finish it in a day, so plan for at least 2 trips to Dongdaemun. Not to mention the abundance of restaurants, unique and various street foods, basically every single cosmetic chain in South Korea would have an outlet in Dongdaemun. The clothes there are just a replica of the ones in Myeongdong. So if you don’t take a fancy to the clothes in Myeongdong, then you won’t like the ones in Dongdaemun. Be sure to try their street food though and leave all your money for the cosmetics and skin care there. Compared to Singapore, it literally is a ‘lelong’ sale of cosmetics in South Korea.

Huge Dongdaemun Market
Huge Dongdaemun Market, spans some 3 train stations long?

Boyband Clothes
The shock we got when we went to the men’s section; they all look like these!!

DBSK?!
For boys who desperately want to look like DBSK??

DBSK

We’ve noticed that even the youth spit on the ground, boys and girls alike. Although we have rarely seen littering in the metropolitan and suburb areas in Seoul, spitting occurs pretty frequently. Maybe it is just a nationwide culture (like the Chinese) to spit on the ground casually. The Seoulites are pretty odd; they diligently wear masks in public if they are ill, clear and assort their wastes daily, but they don’t worry about the chances of spreading diseases by spitting?

But to these Seoulites, nothing is odder than the presence of an Indian girl amongst them. Everywhere Auntie Aiman goes, she gets stared at from many directions. Many uncles love her, whereas many children stare warily at her. Auntie Aiman really doesn’t get how odd she really is, when she sees that these people are even weirder than herself. They dress up like clowns and freak her out all the time; she can never get used to their shockingly horrid fashion sense. She may look different from the Seoulites, but it cannot be helped that Seoulites are green with envy that she at least she takes pride in her own Indianish looks. Auntie Yan feels that Aiman is living in a world of delusions at times. Because she tries too hard to be Korean! Her Korean is made up of random words she learnt from all over the place, then mixed and matched into a oddly incomprehensible sentence. I mean, have you ever heard something like Pal ri jussaeyo? Give me the faster? What the hell is that? Conclusively, Aiman is indeed an Alien.

We could not find a single decent clothing or shoes to buy in our whole week of shopping outings in Seoul. Every product is a copycat of another, and hence all are equally ugly. Most, if not all, are designs copied from American tv, Japanese fashion, and where so ever. Korean fashion are just like Koreans who have lost their sense of identity, is just like Korean music who have strayed away from what they really are. Once upon a time, Koreans had a genre of music called trot, but now, they have strayed into American idol wannabes with all that background vocals and lip synching. Korean fashion can no longer be coined a term as such, for it is just a copy paste of several different ideas and pieced into a trashy piece of clothing. We are not generalizing everything and every single Korean fashion piece though. There must be something nice in the seas and oceans of clothes in South Korea, right? At least that is what we hope.

Dongdaemun Trash
Dongdaemun Sells the Exact Same Trash as Myeongdong

Here in South Korea, try asking for a foundation and people will laugh at you. South Korea is the nation of BB creams and is where the BB cream craze started. So who was the first company who invented BB cream? We have no idea seriously. But for people with tan to dark skin, don’t attempt to get a BB cream here because nothing would suit you. BB creams in Korea only suit Yellow Asians and Whites. It gives your skin a fair and pinkish tone, covering the yellow in your skin. In a way this is ironic again because we are always trying to shun our yellow skin heritage. Weird I know. And if a tan or dark person attempts to put on BB creams from South Korea, the end result is an odd grey tinged skin.
Real Koreans are nothing like the celebrities on TV whom we’ve seen, like Geum Jan Di, SNSD, Wonder Girls et cetera. All of them have skin with a yellowish tinge and all the makeup is doing them wonders. Do not be fooled by the natural look they portray on TV, because their makeup is thick as hell. We’ve witnessed a live filming of a variety show and even the boys have scarily white faces. Fortunately on TV it does not show.

Seoul has many shopping districts but they are mainly useless for satisfying our fashion taste. However, we highly recommend Seoul as city to stock up your make up (especially for yellow skin people) and skin care products. Seoul produces many local beauty products and the endless variety of competing brands gets us to sample millions of products at really low prices (at least half the prices sold in Singapore). Clothes and shoes are really outdated but not skin products! Hollywood shivers looking at this rising beauty and skin care industry from Seoul.
Here are some of our favorite products, works good and really economical!

Clay Mask
Herbal Clay Mask; perfect for teenager skin (troubled skin, wide pores)

Sleeping Mask
Mask for leave-on overnight; next morning you’ll see that your impurities from your clogged pores come out on their own!

Faceshop Eyelash Curler
Face Shop’s eyelash curler is cheap and works fine

Etude House Lip & Cheek Stain
Perfect for lazy girls! Just dab and blend below the cheekbones, eyelids and lips and you’re good to go!

Nude lipstick
Perfect for creating the nude lips look: blend with a lipstick colour of your choice! This product has flexible uses! (even works as a stick concealer)

Eye and Lips Make-up Remover
Not alcohol or oil-based! This milk-based product is very safe for use on oily or sensitive skin.

Dual Primer
This dual primer covers pores very effectively
Pore cover powder pact
Comes together with the dual primer

Pink Rouge Lipstick
Lipstick from Nature Republic, makes you look like a real Barbie!

Mask Pack
Mask Pack for Troubled Skin

Face Shop Brightener
Perfect for dark-skinned girls who can’t find suitable BB creams! This product makes your face shine like you’ve used BB cream!

Face Shop Cleanser
Very good cleanser, clears thick makeup

Best and Cheap BB cream
Etude House BB cream; Auntie Yan’s favourite pick form the hundred she bought

Other must buys:
Faceshop Mascara at only 5,700 won, three times cheaper than Singapore.
Faceshop eyeliner @ 3,300 won! Cheap! Good!
Faceshop HD BB Cream, supposed covers your flaws on HD TV!
Inisfree Skincare products are really good too!

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Seoul is not a Fantasy Land

An entire week of stay in Seoul has passed, we feel as if we are integrated into Seoul as a society. A week is obviously not enough to say we understand them totally, but it is as if we really know the place as compared to the first day we arrived. We could not get around without confusing ourselves 10 million times with the metro lines, but now we get around just fine. We know where to get nice and cheap food, we know what is worth it what is not, we know which shops are the best for which kind of items and even got the chance to order home delivery yesterday as if our guesthouse is our home. It would be sad to leave a place we have been slightly attached to.

Jajjangmyeon
Real Home Delivery Jajjangmyeon

Nonetheless, this week has made us realize that Seoul is indeed just like any other metropolitan city. Apart from its culture, you see chain stores everywhere, duplicated all the way from Myungdong to Insadong to Gangnam to Sinchon to Samseong. It is heartwarming to see small differentiated home-styled themed cafes once in a while because these are the little things that add variety to a homogenous, conforming society like in South Korea.

The homogeneity extends out into the monochrome colors of buildings. One glance away into the city’s skyline and all you see are neutral colors of grey and nothing else. Auntie Aiman joked about the colored buildings being significantly more expensive to build, or else what’s with the little adventure? Isn’t the homogenous society boring enough to live with? Why not add a little color into your life and live a little livelier?

Housing area of Sinchon
Housing Area of Sinchon

Another thing we noticed though is that guys love wearing formal suits with jeans and track shoes. Girls skipping school to attend their favorite boy band’s filming, to music shows, shopping, even all over Everland theme park are school girls of truancy. It’s really a little opposite here in Singapore where most fashion disasters are girls because guys are always in their T-shirt and Bermudas, while most students who play truant are guys instead of girls. Though this might be a generalization but at least this is what happens in Auntie Yan’s school.

Truant
Truants in Everland

Bad Fashion
Another form of formal top and casual (Ah Lian) bottom

Everland had not been as eye-opening as we expected it to be. Being rated one of the best theme parks in the world, I can say the staff there are quite entertaining though not quite as warm and friendly as Disney land’s or Movie World’s. They are properly trained in all safety measures and hosting of rides, but what they lack is the open heartedness and the enthusiasm. The staff in Movie world and Disneyland is always smiley, always loving the children, and always warm and lovable. Whether or not they are pretending that is another story. But in Everland, the staffs are always dead-panned. Whatever happened to the Everland of fantasy? I love Disneyland for this because they are always creating and making dreams for us, both adults and Children will forever be trapped in the most precious moments of their life and be given a reminisce of how being a child and being able to dream is really like. In Everland, you can spend million and gazillions of dollars building rides, nice scenic backdrops, but you are not able to portray fantasy or spur childhood memories in a person.

Fountain
One of the many fountains in Everland

Rose Garden
Entrance of the Rose Garden

Fountain
Fountain with the T-express ride in the background

Neither were the rides for our liking. They were either too childish or too hardcore. The only decent thing around is probably the Viking? The rose garden was well furnished with water fountains, colorful roses and Victorian, roman as well as Greek garden themes. That was one of its catchy attractions we thought was differentiating enough.

Rose Garden
Naked Greek statues are too explicit for children!

Little fountain
Little fountains sprout from the ground, entertaining the little kids

The staff in Everland all spoke Korean though and was not tourist friendly. Everland itself has sign directories in English though, and this will be a plus point. Maybe it’s just us not being adventurous enough to try one of the steepest roller coasters in the world, but we feel that Everland needs to re-train its staff and build more rides to suit people of all preferences. The carnival parades were not attractive enough compared to Disneyland’s, they received poor reception from the audience (mostly little kids and their parents). Older children and teenagers did not even bother staying to watch the performances.

Many elementary and middle-school kids go hang out in groups on their own in Seoul; we see them in shopping streets and metro stations even at night. And Everland is no exception. Auntie Aiman finds that Korean kids are really lively and have real fun when they go out together; they don’t hesitate from jumping and shouting and they love harassing tourists! Many kids and older teenagers are pretty daring, they join the long queues for many hard-core theme rides.

After Everland, Aiman and I proceeded for dinner at Itaewon again! Arabian food, Egyptian food, Turkish Cuisine, Indian Cuisine and other exotic dining outlets flourish on the streets of Itaewon. We chose Egyptian food in the end but felt cheated for its gross lack of authenticity. Not only were we disgustingly overcharged, the portions were extremely small. We knew it would be expensive, we just didn’t know they would serve such tiny portions of low quality food at such luxurious prices. The restaurant was called Ali Baba with a Halal certified kitchen by the Korean Muslim federation. But the owner was dressed in a sleeveless tank top, sells alcohol in the restaurant and situates the restaurant next to a bar.

Egyptian Cuisine
A Measly yet Expensive Dinner, the Egyptian aunties weep to see this!

This is another controversy of Itaewon as the area is not only a thriving area for Muslims but also a thriving area for nightlife. It’s so weird that a mosque is situated opposite to countless gay and transgender bars, with transgender people soliciting customers for prostitution just across the holy mosque. It is just like situating Clarke Quay and Changi next to Mecca, though we have no intentions of gender or sexual orientation discrimination when we mention the above. Itaewon is indeed famous for these 2 things agnostic to each other. It’s probably also the only place in Seoul that we can seek refuge from all the other homogenous parts of this city.

Muslims and Clubs
A Muslim Family walks by a Gentlemen’s Club; on their way to the Mosque nearby!

Club
One of the numerous club spots in Itaewon

But what’s good is that because Itaweon is a night spot, the restaurants there close late, some up to 11pm or more. Some close at around 9pm though, just like many restaurants in Insadong. So make sure you do your research first before you decide which dining outlet you want to have supper at!

More shopping (again?!!) continues tomorrow as we will finally set off for Dongdaemun! Till the next post.

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Greedy Singaporeans and their Food Fetish

Today we went back to the shopping district near Shinchon and Ewha University and also caught Iron Man 2 on Cinemas. They are really slow in terms of English Movies and don’t even have Shrek 4Ever after. As for usual, Auntie Yan bought loads of cosmetics at the shopping district and as usual, the clothes still sucks ballz. Auntie Yan initially wanted to get her brothers something, but guys’ clothes are as ballz-sucking as the girls’. Hearing that the clothes sucks from us should be a norm by now! So rule number 1, bring enough clothes because the fashion here might not appeal to you! They are extremely floral and lacey, too much pastel colors and too flamboyantly complicated. For those who prefer sophistication and simplicity or casual, skip South Korea’s clothing line. Because the topshop, forever 21 and other chain stores still have all the old products on the shelf! And the prices are the same as Singapore, so there’s no point, though this could be just our point of view.

Ewha Shopping Street
View of one of the shopping alleys near Ewha Women’s University

Instead of sightseeing which we didn’t do today, we have decided to give a detailed account of all the delicious food we’ve consumed over the past days because we intend to present to the audience great temptation.

The café business competition has stepped up the quality and variety of drinks and delicacies, and pushed down prices. People who are regulars at Starbucks or Coffee Bean will forget their loyalty as soon as they see the tens of cafés that lie down the street. Hop in one and try their caramel macchiato, then hop in the one right next door to try their affogato. This variety is just too sinfully tempting to resist.

Affogato
Affogato: Cubes of vanilla ice cream with espresso, topped with strawberries.

Caramel Macchiato
Caramel-flavoured coffee with steamed milk, topped with whipped cream and even more caramel fudge! The flavor tastes like sinful luxury

Waffles and Pancakes do sound like a common desert that you can get at supermarkets, or some neighborhood confectionary in Singapore. But you have no idea how exquisite they make them here in South Korea’s competitive cafes. A single white plate is lined artistically with chocolate sauce. The pancake or waffle itself is even in thickness, shape and size. The batter is neither too thick nor thin, neither too sweet nor bland! 1 pancake is placed over the chocolate sauce followed by cream and bananas nicely set as if in a strudel. The cream is not revolting to taste as it is not too sweet. Another pancake is layered on followed by bananas and cream again followed by another layer of pancake. Next, the pancake is topped with some chocolate and caramel sauce before they are sprinkled with cinnamon powder. The final touch will be whipped cream that could come in either sweetened or unsweetened forms. If you want less fat in your desert, ask for no whip cream.

Banana Cinnamon Pancakes
Banana Cinnamon Pancakes

The waffles were no ordinary waffles. They use Belgian waffles in Korea. Plates are almost always artistically lined with chocolate or other sweet sauces. Followed by waffles and real Green Tea Ice Cream! The finishing is a mama mia load of unsweetened whip cream just enough to make you close your eyes and go Mmmmm….

Apple Cinnamon Waffles
Apple Cinnamon Waffles
PS: what’s with the cinnamon craze?

Brick Waffles
Brick Waffles: with Green Tea ice cream, Cinnamon again, banana slices, and whipped cream

Caramel Macchiato is the one drink that Auntie Aiman regrets not trying earlier in life. This hot beverage is not popular back in Singapore, but it’s really popular here in Seoul. Auntie Aiman loves the sweet caramel-flavoured coffee with hot milk, topped with whipped cream and even more caramel fudge (sometimes chocolate fudge). We have not seen hot coffee-based drinks topped with whipped cream before, and we think this combination is genius! This cream makes the flavor a whole lot richer and of course, sinful. It gets Auntie Aiman back for more every day, hopping around every café to discover the best one. But she has tried way too much to even remember them all and decide!

Caramel Macchiato
One of the hundreds (exaggeration not intended) of Caramel Macchiato we’ve sampled.

Korea’s kimchi is the mascot of its traditional cuisine around the world. But seriously, kimchi’s the last thing we’d eat here; there are so much more mouth-watering dishes to try out! Did I mention cheap? And really huge servings of meat and rice? And numerous side dishes never failing to tag along? But in case you didn’t know, Kimchi is severely overrated in Korean idol dramas and will never be able to play a main role in the cuisine of colors. Kimchi is always the side dish, never the main. Simply for the reason, it’s taste is not addictive enough, does not vary, and the texture often cold and hard, but sometimes crunchy. Kimchi is preserved cabbage kept refrigerated for at least several weeks, and indeed it taste like rotten cabbage. Everytime Auntie Yan attempts to taste Kimchi at different restaurants thinking one could possibly make it nicer than the other, the same thing happens. She never succeeds in swallowing one of that awful disgusting tasting rotten cabbages… If you’re not a fan of rotten cabbage, do not attempt to try Kimchi.

Bibimbap Set
A Bibimbap Set, costing 5000won (SGD 6)

The main dish is more often than not something like Bibimbap or Bulgogi. Bibimbap is basically rice and half cooked vegetables mixed together with sauce and soup. The variety of vegetables, sauce and rice varies with the different F&B outlets. Some serve a wide variety of vegetables, some serve hot pepper paste, some serve it with sesame oil, and some serve with white rice or sesame rice, or even red bean rice. With the hot pepper sauce, Bibimbap is no longer merely vegetables and rice. It has become a dish of colors and full of flavor. The pepper paste is spicy, the vegetables are crunchy and the rice is soft. The combo is fantastically marve-licious. If there were sesame oil or sesame seeds, it adds more fragrance to the combo.

Bulgogi set is basically rice with bulgogi beef. The beef had been seemingly mashed and hammered to an extent the muscle tissues of the usually tough beef had been tenderized. You can visually see the specks of beef literally melted into the meat stew. And in your mouth, the tantalizing taste stays on your taste buds for sometime before it goes away. If you are not a fan of beef, don’t try this dish because its taste is quite strong. This also shows that the original flavor of the beef is retained; the beef stew is merely complementary with the beef and never overshadowing it. The key to tasty bulgogi is of course the skill of the chef, how they are able to tenderize the beef without making it look like some minced meat, the way and how long they can cook it with the stew in order to obtain the right amount of taste within the beef and retain its texture as well. Take note that a serving is pretty big for a person with a small appetite, so order one set first to see if the both of you can finish it.

Bulgogi
Beef Overload in a Stew; that’s Bulgogi for You! (corny joke not intended)

Dokbokki is spicy rice cake in English. Dokbokki is extremely common in South Korea, from small street vendors to big established restaurants, everyone sells Dokbokki. But keep in mind that it is not very easy to find delicious Dokbokki! The extent of spiciness, the texture of the rice cake, the stickiness and tenderness of the rice cake, the extent of sweetness are all keys to creating delicious Dokbokki. It may seem like a simple dish but take note also that the simpler the dish, the more difficult it is to stand out. Auntie Aiman loves them spiced up with loads of Chungyang peppers, whereas Auntie Yan prefers them sweet rather than spicy. We both prefer them less chewy; guess the best DokBokki varies to personal taste after all. It’s a very cheap snack, where roadside stalls frequently sell a serving at 2,500won (around SGD 3).

Auntie Aiman has been dreaming of noisily slurping that long juicy noodles soaked in starchy black bean sauce, and she finally got to do so yesterday. Jajjangmyeon is originally a Chinese dish (with its own Chinese name Za Jiang Mian), but it has been a popular dish in Korea now. It’s just as good as she had imagined! The noodles are starchy but not too chewy, and the black bean paste does not have a strong bean flavor. Instead, it has a stronger dark soy sauce flavor, which makes the dish taste like really good dry instant noodles (if you’ve tried those before). Just slurp on continuously and indulge in its simply delicious taste; and before you do realize it, the bowl is empty and you’re left craving for more. We have not tried more Jajjangmyeon dishes in other parts of Seoul (other than Insadong), so we’re not sure that every Jajjangmyeon dish tastes this good. By the way, the heart of Korean cuisine lies in Insadong. Many tourists who’ve been to Seoul for a week or more had visited Insadong for its Korean restaurants many times. It’s a PERFECT PLACE for you herbivores, carnivores, omnivores and muslimahs (the Vegetarian stall is one of the best there)! (gender discrimination is not intended)

Jajjangmyeon

Jajjangmyeon is JJANG(BEST)!!!!!

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Observations of The Korean Beauty

As we were in the train moving on to Insadong; we realized that there is indeed a huge height disparity among Seoulites. For the men, many are in the “175cm and above” range but some are also in the “165cm and below” range (like Singapore men)! For the girls, many also are tall, in the “165cm and above” range, and we’ve seen quite a few girls taller than 170cm. But some girls are also pretty short, in the “155cm to 160cm” range; though we’ve barely seen girls as short as the “150cm-155cm” pedophile-friendly Singapore girls.

Other than height, most Seoulites are skinny too. Other than the daily exercise they get from climbing staircases in metro stations (it’s crazy, to go from the train platform out to the station exit we’d have to climb an average of 4 flights of steps, an Auntie Aiman REALLY hates climbing steps), we think that Koreans in general have high metabolic rate. Yes, they sell drinks and snacks at really small sizes, but we’ve seen many skinny girls eating more food than us (and we’re always sharing food for 1 person). Guess their good genes from generations of inbreeding did help the population in some ways.

Generations of inbreeding has indeed resulted in a population of chink eyes and flat faces (though 30 percent of them might have to send their gratitude to their a small percentage of their European Descent), but had also resulted in extremely good skin as compared to people in tropical countries? One of the reasons could be due to their cold weather inhibiting the production of serum and growth of acne-causing bacteria, or it could be due to the highly oxygenated water from mountain sources, or it could also be due to the obsession with skincare routine. Their good genes certainly play a huge role I guess. We seldom see acne or pimple infested youths or wrinkle-infested Ajummas. Which do you think is the cause of it?

As we were shopping along the streets, we heard every stall blasting the latest Korean songs. Don’t know if you have noticed how catchy and commercial-like Korean pop songs are; but we think that the music industry here keeps producing such songs to keep up with the demand. It’s odd though that with such an aging population in South Korea, there are even enough young people to appreciate such music. Maybe this comes an era of Ajumma and Ajusshi age reversal. Since many old Ajummas also wear thick makeup, youth clothing and pretend that they’re 18. This has resulted in every industry regardless of the products they manufacture to be focused on advertising that portrays intangibles like beauty (or aesthetic pleasure). Cafes have beautiful settings and serve pretty desserts and drinks, hand phone commercials always using young idol groups for endorsement, Everland Caribbean bay with all that SNSD and 2PM shit. I think they want you to think that if you possess such material goods, your image will be as youthful, and beautiful as them. But that is obviously beyond their wildest dreams. (Plastic Anyone?) I guess god is always fair. You are born with something good, but you also have to accept that you have something bad. I guess the Koreans just aren’t satisfied enough and want everything! Human nature is always greedy!

Today we also visited Insadong again! Obviously for the food there! The Korean food there is mamalicious. Auntie Yan had a Bulgogi Set with side dishes and Auntie Aiman had vegetarian JaJJang Myeon, Spicy Soup set, and side dishes. Today was again another of our café expeditions too. Auntie Aiman ate at a café near the Gongbukyung Palace and ordered a hot macchiato topped with chocolate caramel hot fudge while Auntie Yan ordered a blueberry smoothie. (Auntie Yan is not a fan of coffee because first, it doesn’t taste good to her, and second, she wants to sleep in peace at night for fear the caffeine will disrupt her beauty sleep)

And to inform you guys, not every night of our holiday here is of peace and quiet. Last night around twenty American guys moved into our guesthouse; and they brought some girls and had a boozing party. Oh gosh, we couldn’t even leave our room to use the toiled because the living room was so packed, and the toilet was filled with vomit everywhere. The whole guesthouse reeked of cigarette smoke, alcohol and vomit; we almost puked just breathing it. They were shouting and laughing so loudly over some teenage social games like truth or dare and some confession game. Some even banged on our door in an attempt to pose explicit questions to us, as it was their dare missions. They initially wanted us to join them but we kindly refused their offer. Auntie Yan was fucking annoyed and blasted some ultra Cheena songs under her door to disturb them back, then Auntie Aiman called the guesthouse owner to come down and tell them to stop; which they didn’t until they left the place for more boozing later at about 1am. Cheeky’s gonna scream when she sees this reeking mess she has to clear later! Late in the night after that, Auntie Yan opened the door believing she heard the spoilt TV set in the living room turned on. She opened the door to see one blonde, one dirty blonde and one black staring back at her in awe.
*Faints*

It has come to the 4th Day of our South Korea trip and how we hope we can enjoy life like this every day of our lives and never have to go home and will never run out of money! One little tip for you though. Always plan your budget on a daily basis, and make sure you don’t exceed them on any one day for the first half of your trip. This allows more spending allowance for the second half of your trip!

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The Freezing Summer Woes….

Today was FREEZING cold! It’s been raining for 2 days now, and the wind gets stronger every day. This afternoon the temperature was 13°C; and we were just wearing clothes fit for 25°C and above.
It’s extraordinary how Seoul is only an hour different from Singapore, yet with such vastly different weathers. The earth is always beyond the understanding of us homo-sapiens, we reckon. It’s just like the trashy fashion sense of Seoulites. Another extraordinary discovery that trashy fashion and loud color combinations are just not an idol thing.

Oppa

A Typical Korean Oppa

Ajusshi

A Typical Ajusshi

Opshi

A Typical Mid Life Crisis Oppa Transiting into Ajusshi Stage

What you see on TV is what you get on the streets. Ever seen purple leggings with yellow skirts, a tuxedo like suit with a straw hat and jeans, men and women wearing suit with casual bottoms like jeans and Ajumma skirts? That is what you get in Seoul from Seoulites. So the next time you think your clothes are trashy, think twice again. There is always someone worse than you, no matter in which part of the world they’re in. Feel free to wear anything you want to Seoul, as long as you don’t take one step down as to wearing the Kopitiam Uncle outfits.

Plastic
Plastic Barbie Girl

And of course there are the ’fashionable’ plastic Barbies too who buy branded stuff, wear thick makeup, who had plastic surgery-ed their entire face while they sashay down the streets of Myeongdong. Their stilettos are so thin and high I believed I felt my ankle crack just by watching. It’s also astonishing how these girls for the sake of beauty is able to take the cold while they put on super mini-skirts where as just around the corner, Auntie Yan is trembling in the summer night. So never under-estimate the word summer for fear it would rob you of your dear life. Wear something long and thick that traps the heat!

Weather
13 Degrees Summer is no Joke

And yes, summer is at 13 degrees Celsius and winter is probably negative 13 degrees Celsius. If you think this is astonishing then you’d probably think the following is even more astonishing. The girls in South Korea simply adore the Aegyo oppas. In English, it simply means babyish older guys who act cute. I mean it is bad enough that there is gender confusion amongst the South Koreans because men and women don’t look any much different except for their genitals.

Aegyo guy
Aegyo is Gross

Now the Korean men have to further aggravate the situation by acting like a total gay cutish teddy bear. I mean I have nothing against homosexuals, but why do you have to degrade yourself just to get your girlfriend into bed? Just tell her already you pabo!

Speaking of homosexuals, Auntie Aiman and Auntie Yan was in the subway just yesterday when we noticed a guy around our age, watching super junior on his Ipod. It is probably an old video he specially saved because he liked it. He seemed to ignore all the members, and unleash his beautiful charming smile only upon the sight of a certain member, Heechul.

Heechul
Like A WOMBman

Heechul is famous for his ultra girly looks and I believe that guy was seemingly interested in him. Oh how he affectionately squinted his eyes and raised the side of his pink kissable lips just for him and only him. ‘Oh Heechul darling, I wished I could hold you in my arms and kiss you to no end’, that was what he was screaming in his mind as his longing eyes ate Heechul with lust and passion.

Ok I think I just side tracked. I love it how the aegyo or also known as the baby fetish in Korea is getting so popular it only makes Auntie Yan and Auntie Aiman stand out for one, being mature, two, being logical, and three, being able to clearly differentiate between what is practical and what not. I mean guys, if you like your girls cute and babyish, try marrying them and see if they’ll cook you anything after a long day at work. Girls if you like your guys cute and babyish, try marrying them and see if they can save you from a macho robber full of chest hair. Your guys are going to run away at the sight of chest hair I reckon. Even before guns.

But thank goodness, older Seoulites are less inclined to succumb to the temptations of disgusting baby acting partners. Unlike the youth Seoulites who unshamefully check into motels on a Saturday night, older Seoulites are less likely to have PDAs (public display of affection).

Cafe
A Cozy Cafe, Ignore the Commotion Outside

Singapore Cafe
Kaya Toast Cafe is Expensive in Seoul, and No Longer Authentic

Cafe
More cafes opposite the one we were in

Cafe
Another cute cafe at Insadong

Cafe
Nescafe is high-end in Seoul

There are many couples going on dates every day; we think that is because Seoul has so many dating-friendly places! Gazillions of cafes with romantic settings line every street we’ve been; almost every tourist attraction looks good enough to be a dating attraction too. If we were to come back to Seoul again, it’ll likely be for a honeymoon with our future husbands. :p Auntie Yan feels that Seoul is a good learning platform for future owners of nice cosy cafes that will generate tones and tones of repeat customers! From the creativity of the architecture to the variety of the menu and the outstanding but young baristas, South Korea can is notably the one place that produces one of the best hang out cafes for youths and girl talk. Usually couples and girl friends hand out in cafes as they enjoy a cup of warm fragrant coffee and sweet desert like waffles and pancakes. Food aesthetic, menu variety and creativity wise, I have to say Singapore’s cafes are no match for the Seoulites’. Cafes in Seoul are not to be missed out! Try not to go to cafes in tourist areas because they are much more expensive. Unless the price and the quality of goods do not ridiculously differ!

Today we went to Insadong at daytime. It’s a tourist attraction shopping district; with many buildings related to Korean culture and arts. But of course, the place was filled with more Seoulites going on dates.

couple A
Notice the boyfriend’s bad fashion sense

couple B
Notice the platform in the boyfriend’s shoes

couple C
The boyfriend probably knows we’re taking a picture of him, look how he’s smiling to us!

The eye-opener for us was that neither we nor the Seoulites could buy clothes or shoes there, for most costed above $100! We guess everyone just goes there for the cafes and the romantic sceneries. The stuffs sold there obviously look way better than those trashes in Myeongdong.

insadong

insadong

insadong

At night we set off for the Seoul Tower on the peak of Namsan. The weather was awesomely cold, that even the Seoulites were shivering from it. It’s an awesome place for relaxing at night though, because of the scenery of bright lights of the city from below.

namsan

namsan
The Auntie Ghost of Namsan Park

seoul tower
The Sexy Oppa Ghost of Namsan Seoul Tower

observatory
The Night View from the Tower Observatory

The ticket for the observatory is at 7000won, surprisingly half the price of the one at 63 Building. But other than looking through a glass window into the never ending and beyond, it’s nothing really entertaining. So don’t waste your money going up there for the sake of it unless you want to try out the nice café there. There is a N.Grill revolving restaurant right at the top of Seoul Tower and is frequently fully booked, so please book in advance before going! The nice café one level below the observatory though (A Twosome Café), offering the same view of the city as the observatory deck and is a great place for chilling. Prices are cheap and you get the great skyline view from high above.

A Twosome Cafe, Seoul Tower
Twosome is Awesome

Other than cafés, karaoke rooms (Noraebang) are numerous and also line every shopping street we’ve been to. We went to one in Myeongdong after being bored looking at the trashy stuffs there. It’s really really different from the ones we have back in Singapore! Firstly, they charge by hour, and we had to pay 10000won ($12) per hour, not getting any free drinks at that! Really expensive. While waiting for our turn to enter our room, we heard all sorts of horrendous voices from other rooms. Compared to Singaporeans who usually mumble softly if they can’t sing, these Seoulite teenagers scream through their songs; girls in really screechy voices on SNSD and 2NE1 songs and guys sounding like croaking toads on DBSK and SUJU songs. We heard a decent voice from a guy though, he was singing some ballad songs; but he was nowhere as good as us hitting the Gaga songs. The sound system sucks, with overloading echo until we could barely hear our own voices. We can’t adjust the music or microphone volumes, or select many songs on a queue list, and the scoring system is so inaccurate. Singapore noraebangs are way better. Oh, maybe Filipino ones are the best, since Cheeky hasn’t bothered to enter a noraebang here for a year already! But nonetheless, it is worth an experience if you want to show off your powerful vocals to the screechy Koreans.

Once again the clock has struck two, the Cinderellas need their beauty sleep right now, as they are going to meet the Princes at the Palace tomorrow. Till then.

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