Saturday, December 28, 2019

Seoul Day 4: FRIEND 친구 chingu

It's Saturday and I'm meeting my another Korean friend today, 선영 Sun Yeong. She told me to go to 광화문 Gwanghwamun gate to meet her.

When I got out of the subway station, I saw that the Gwanghwamun gate is soooooo far away. Oh dear, it will take me forever to get there because my legs are really in agonizing pain.

Midway through, this is 세종대왕 King Sejong, the king who invented 한글 Hangul, the Korean alphabet. It is indeed a great accomplishment. Though Korean is an old language, the Hangul in comparison is a very young written language. And it is certainly easier to manage compared to 한자 Hanja, or the traditional Korean writing. 

At the gate, I waited a while for 선영. When she arrived, she began looking for a foreign looking person but couldn't find any. Must be because I look like a Korean to begin with. she called me and when I answered her call, she was just a few steps away. 

We were so happy to meet up finally. We texted and chatted a lot for the past one and a half years. She uses English a lot at work and I have helped her sometimes when she asked me to go through her emails or messages in English. We also talked a lot about life, about work and so it is great to finally meet in person. 

We didn't have a fixed plan, or at least I didn't, and so we decided to go into 경복궁 Gyeongbukgung Palace for a visit. 

We bought tickets at ₩3,000 per. If you wear a 한복 hanbok, a Korean traditional costume, you can go in for free. We didn't.

선영 went to the information counter and got two palace guides. One in Korean for herself and the other one turned out be in Malay. It was so funny. I suppose she just grabbed one with Roman letters thinking it was in English. When she handed it to me, I said she must have thought I'd wanted one in my national language rather than in English not realising that she still didn't know that she didn't take an English one. It was only when she asked me to read out a passage about the building we were at, that she did a double take. She was so surprised to hear what came out of my mouth. Haha. Well, too bad I lost the Malay guide. I must have left it behind somewhere.

Here you can see that the palace ground is huge and I commented that the king really had a big house and many houses at that, since there are so many palaces!

We walked around a bit, had coffee in a cafe in the palace area and then we left to go for lunch. 

When we arrived at 토속촌 삼계탕 Tosokchon Samgyetang, a famous ginseng chicken soup restaurant, there was a long line. We lined up and although it took us 20 minutes, it didn't feel long because we were happily chatting away. 

Doesn't it look absolutely delicious!

And of course, I finished it. Everything! It's so yummy.

The next stop is a movie we had planned to watch. 선영 had asked me when I was still in Kuala Lumpur if I would like to watch the Cannes award-winning movie 기생충 Kisaengchung or Parasite. I eagerly said yes and so she bought tickets there and then, which was a good thing because it was a full house. 

It was still early after lunch. Our movie is at 7:20pm but I told her that we don't really have to go anywhere because I would be just as contented having a coffee and a long chat with her. So we decided to walk to the movie theater to the cafe there. 

We took a long leisurely walk. She knew I can't walk well and she knew my legs were already killing me by then. And so she was ok that I held onto her arms as we walked. I was a bit unsure if she would think me as weird. She kept saying it was ok. I wasn't so sure until we saw two ladies doing the same walking past us. I commented about it and we had a good laugh. 

She then told me that there is a Korean saying to that: 팔짱끼다 paljjangkkida. As for its meaning, she asked me if it make any sense in English if she said, "Can I fold your arms?" I said, "No way." Haha...and so it now became an inside joke for us for me to ask her if I can fold her arms. 

When we arrived at our destination, I didn't realise it's a small and cozy place, unlike the cinemas I've been to that are usually bigger and in malls.

We stepped in and headed to the cafe It's a book cafe! A very interesting place. We arrived at about 3:30pm and we sat there and chatted for about three and a half hours before we went upstairs where the cinema is situated. 

We chatted about lots of stuff. About work, songs, apps, books. And I even managed to Shazam a few good songs that was playing in the cafe. It was a really great time to chat in person face to face rather than through an app; and to really see our facial expressions rather than just emoticons. 

Soon it was time for the movie and we went to get our tickets. 

I really like this place. Even the waiting area is so conducive to look out into the gardens. Anyway, it was already dark while we wait. Ok, I admit it. I sometimes forget to take photos and I got these pictures from somewhere else. 

When it was time, we got into the small boutique cinema and took our seats. There were many foreigners since this place provides English subtitles.
It is a very good movie and very engaging throughout the entire show. There are many metaphors and symbolism to it that I will have to read up about and watch it again. After all I am one who really loves metaphors. And I am someone who can watch a movie over and over and over again. Seriously.

I took the bus home this time and got back about 10:30pm. It was a good day and I chose FRIEND 친구 chingu as the word of the day. We didn't do that much except to really kindle our friendship in person with a hope that we will continue to grow to be long lasting friends throughout our lives. 

Thanks for such a great day 선영!


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