Man that is sad to write.
I actually wrote this entire post last night, and another page in Chrome chose to freeze which meant i couldn’t save this post. The one thing that i am kicking myself about was i thought to save it before and didn’t. AND I WAS SO WITTY IN THE LAST ONE! Okay, let’s try again.. It may also be terribly written as the idea of having to write this three times has killed my brain.
As check out was midday I had all the right intentions of waking up for 930 but it turns out that my body just wasn’t agreeing with this new plan. SO i hit the snooze button, pulled my copious amounts of hair over my face (I use it as an eye mask. It blocks out the sun) and went back to sleep. I somehow by fluke managed to wake up an hour before i was meant to leave and sat right up in my bed completely puzzled about what i had to do this morning. Until it clicked. So i hurled myself from the bed and into the bathroom.
I have a habit of having to clean even if i paid a cleaning fee. I could never leave anyone to clean up my own mess. Maybe it’s my mum who ingrained it into me but i am always that person at the restaurant that will stack all the plates together and wipe the table just so the waiter/ress doesn’t have to dirty their hands. So while in the shower i scrubbed the bathroom, then while changing managed to strip the bed and fold my towels. Multitasking at it’s best!
Just with half an hour to go before check out i heard a failed attempt at the lock on the door. As i went to hit the button an insanely tall Chinese girl burst through the door. It was this awkward moment of she didn’t expect me to be here and i didn’t expect her to arrive so we both laughed and chatted for a bit then went our separate ways. She was just dropping her luggage off before she ventured on with her day.
It hit midday and i managed to say goodbye to the apartment, unlike Jerry i didn’t embrace the floor, but just closed the door behind me. Now, i don’t know how but my luggage weighs the same as 7 little chubby kids who are bound for phat camp. I haven’t bought much, although my spending habits doubt that, i think it must be all the makeup and liquids i bought. WATER WEIGHT! Turns out this is not the best combination when i’m in heeled boots and a stylish coat. I managed to hurl it almost down the stairs and out the front door as i made my way to the station. After stopping at the stairs and contemplating the weight of my bag, the idea of ACTUALLY boarding two trains with it with a transfer and no escalators almost made my hair turn white. I flagged down a taxi (with my limp wrist and spirit fingers) and set off for Sinsa. After all the price of a distance like that is insanely cheap here in Seoul.
We cruised over the Han River as the water almost met the sky. There is a heavy fog all over Seoul which makes the colours so saturated, it’s beautiful. We pass by daily commuters and children all bound for daily routine while the lights flicker from green to red. The constant stopping and driving provides a nice surreal view to the world outside. Being able to just come and go and catch a glimpse into someone’s world is so fascinating to me, knowing that this is last time i will ever see their face in my life.
Sydney is different in that context. You know 6 degrees of separation? For me it’s more like 1 or 2. Back to the story…
As we leave the city center we pass over a bridge where the tree lined sky line looks like watercolours, bleeding back into the earth. The constant sound of pinging comes from the speeding taxi driver trying to make better time to grab another passenger. With no other noise than that, the surroundings feel like a Ghibli film.
We pass over a bridge that shows the housing below almost like slums. Houses weaved and dotted between old hanboks, all vying for the space on the expensive land. Contrasted, there is a set of apartments aesthetically based on Parisian apartments and a ‘Italy House’; a set of apartments where the building is covered in what seems like fake vines and concrete sculptures.
We pull off the main road and notice the steep incline of the road. I’m talking, like, at least an easy straight drop down and the only thing i could think about was “man, this car smells like leather. A really nice, clean leather… Maybe a pebbled leather?” Wouldn’t that be a sad last thought. Me questioning what type of leather finishing it is. Oroton is even with me in my last thoughts…
Like a pro my taxi driver inches down the drop and managed to navigate through the tight winding streets, Almost scraping around corners to reach my destination. Well, he was until we almost went up the back of a vege truck.
(OH MY GOSH I GOT OUT OF THIS POST AGAIN, AND NOW I HAVE TO RESTART FROM HERE!?! I wrote all the way to the end again…EQLJEJOAJS)
After my taxi driver having an aggressive chat to himself and my fear for being on the next series of Taxi Drivers Exposed i paid the man and hopped out. He followed with a giant grunt in his efforts to get out of the drivers seat he helped me with my bag, reversed and drove off leaving me in the middle of the street with no idea where my apartment was… oh, and it had started to rain.
Great. So begins Maddie’s walk of shame around the neighborhood in the wet scurring from free wifi hot spot to free wifi hotspot. I pulled a few passerbys into the mix to see if they knew the streets at all and it turns out they didn’t. After walking around in circles and back and forth i tried to imagine what the building looked like from Google Maps.
I found the street just not the apartment. All the front doors looked different but it was the right hill. After virtually giving up on personally finding the apartment, i hiked up the hill dragging my luggage behind to find internet on the plateau to contact the owner. Even he didn’t know where i was but he told me to sit tight and his wife would come and find me. Small flaw in the plan, she hadn’t left their house yet. At this point i looked very much like a homeless yet stylish Russian escapee prostitute. Not the type of image you want to portray in the pricey streets in Gangnam…
The owner sends me back down to a restaurant i had been outside before hand and then directed me from there. Turns out, much to my surprise i was standing outside it all along. It had been about 7 meters away from me. Yep.
I walked up to it and just laughed like a mad woman. What else can you do in that situation. It’s moments like these when i think to myself “Maddie, you are an epic tool.”
After feeling like a complete idiot i felt like fist pumping but instead i worked the door codes and faced the challenge of lugging my bag up three flights of stairs…
As Jerry would say, ‘Challenge Accepted’.
As i am incredibly lame and weak due to my uber stupid hypermobility, this was an incredibly slow and boring task. Also, because i don’t have a soundtrack to my life it was just my sighing and whining in my head. I burst through the door, hurled my bags down and left. As i had to kill time until the owners wife had come to clean, i popped into the wee family run corner store and charade’d myself into being the owner of a new multi-coloured umbrella.
As i had now known the streets a little bit from my hunting, i decided to skip from one Cherry Blossom tree to the next amid a bunch of blooming Magnolia! It was perfect!
In my head it was a picture perfect moment, but i’m sure to the old men staring in the park i looked like it was ‘Special’s day out’ and my flailing limbs weren’t quite as picturesque as i had imagined….
I managed to potter around some streets until the rain became unbearable and i began to freeze. I found a nice welcoming cafe and shivered myself inside to where i was met at my table by a waitress with a blanket (awww!) and a menu. I ordered a sandwich as i had no clue what anything else was and an apple juice. The apple juice purchase was purely based on the design of the bottle. I figured i would save it for later when i go sneaky branch snapping… Bring some life and vitality into my tiny apartment for a little bit!
This sandwich was killaaaaaahhhh! Chicken teriyaki and they even had Kewpie and bulldog sauce in there. Salivating…
When i saw a break in the weather i made a dash home to get settled in and charge my phone. I decided to rest my head for a bit as this hayfever is doing odd things to my brain. I didn’t wake up for another 5 hours…
After contemplating going back to sleep and being a fool, i got up and made myself presentable to head out for a bite to eat. Due to the fog, this city is stunning. The street lights bleed into the wet road and create a kaleidoscope of colours.
Oh, and they love LED lights here. Like, reaaallly love them!
The petrol stations here are so smart. All the petrol pumps are up in the ceiling and the handles are pulled down with a drawstring. They also have pump attendants that come to fill up for you. Very nifty indeed! Also they have tv screens that play ads here instead of print.
I think i just missed the filming of either a part of a tv series or commerical.
Another long name for a store ^
I walked down this street in particular and reaslised there was no English, anywhere. Mind you, on most of the streets i walked down there was barely any English then it hit me again. You’re not in Sydney, you’re on a street in Korea where you cannot read a single thing on the menu let alone find anything to eat. After realising that i wasn’t going to find anything to eat at a table for one, i took the sad walk to the closet 711 and purchased some dirty, instant ramen and set off home. After realising the freeze dried meal i had purchased probably had my own weight in MSG added i knew the outcome would be fun… just not the flavour.
The top of my street in the rain!
The front of my building.
And i finally made it home, after almost going all D.I.D (damsel in distress) on some hot peice of man that got out of a Bentley right in front of me.
Time to begin brewing this udon dish.
I am sure no one has ever gone to this much effort for instant ramen before, but i aim to try!
Mmmmm. nothing says gourmet like freeze dried seafood stick and misc.
The misc is my favorite part in instant ramen. It’s like a lucky draw!
Is it wrong to drink ramen broth through a straw?
Well, I just did. Haters gonna hate.
It was the most tasteless thing i have ever eaten, i even tried to put salt in it. WHERE IS MY MSGGGGGGGGGGGGG?? I WANT TO BE ABLE TO TASTE MY EYELIDS!
After chasing every last bit of tempura chunks around the tasteless liquid i finished writing this post, then the computer froze, and i lost it all so i went to sleep but couldn’t due to me downing a beverage of caffeine previously and just stared at the roof.
I also realised around 3 am that i left a whole bunch of clothes in the apartment back in Hongdae. I’m such an idiot. I miss Hongdae.
Also this bed isn’t as bad as the previous apartment. it’s still hard and i can feel every spring in my back but it’s almost as if no one has ever slept on a western bed before.
(If you haven’t seen that Seinfeld episode before, hunt it down now and then i will TRY to see if the friendship is worth saving…)
I think i would have rather gone full blown futon on the floor, at least then i would be by the heat. So i have decided to crash out at 4 am.
I MADE IT!
Thanks to this i am now super late in the day to visit the gallery but let’s see.
Oh, PS. this is my jar <3