I woke up later than I planned to today. The coffee I had last night really did wonder. Not only headache gone, I was also sober until 4am. It was already 946am when I rose. Immediately showered and changed and left. (I dont do skincare routine and makeups, facial wash is enough, save so much time hahahaha)
I noticed that I became more alert and wary of my surroundings. Perhaps I was still scared that I might be approached by strangers again. This was Hongdae. Hongdae was supposed to be my territory. I used to roam around Hongdae freely at 3am eating kebab out of the many clubs around. Sighhhh…
Anyway, went out and straight to Isaac Toast for their amazing Prawn Toast. One of the reason why I had wanted to come early was cause this particular branch is facing Hongik University. I wanted to observe university students rushing towards the gate, missing my uni days ;( And the part timers there are mostly students (good looking too. Eye candy makes what you eat tastes nice too, okayyyyyy) HE HE HE
Ohhhh this reminds me, back in May 2017, when I was in Hongdae with another friend looking for a cafe, we were approached by two very handsome guys. Very tall and so good looking I admit I was drooling a bit. My friend was navigating Naver Maps and I was looking around when we were approached. They asked us where we would like to go. Again, I was in hijab. Trust me when I say that NO KOREAN would voluntarily approached me because I look so damn foreign hahahaha. So yeah anyway, my friend is petite, and she looked lovely so I thought okay maybe they’re interested in her im just a squid so just shut up and let them show the way. We tried to explain the name of the cafe and they didnt get it. Granted, the name of the cafe isnt Korean and Koreans has a strange way in pronouncing foreign words. Friend showed them the name and still they looked clueless. Anyway we said thanks and tried to continue looking but they tried to hold friend on (I WAS COMPLETELY INVINCIBLE TO THEM AT THIS POINT. NOT EVEN ONE EYE ON ME, CRIES) She freaked out and I was like ‘Hey, you got admirers’, in our language of course. She gave me the eye and pulled me away from them. We were literally quick walked uphill at the alley nearby to run away from them. I was laughing all the time coz hey I never seen anyone running away from handsome guys in a flash. It became a topic to tease her when our other friend arrived. Now that I was approached again by Koreans (scam?) and twice at that, I couldnt help thinking that MAYBE it was the same way back then. Only that we never encountered such thing before, nor have we heard about the recruiting thingy so we didnt have any guard on. MAYBE. I still dont wanna think that such gorgeous hunks could be involved in cults. What a shame, sigh.
Seoul has always been a safe place for me. Ever since I started earning, I kept on coming back to Seoul for healing (<- koreans invented this term. Not actually used properly in English hahaha) Well it was so safe that I never needed to worry about being pickpocketed or kidnapped. Sure, no place is actually safe but looking back since 2011 I never had any issue with Seoul or Koreans in particular (Note: I started wearing hijab in 2016. The way I am looked at and interacted with had changed since. Still, it lessens when they realized I speak enough korean to communicate) . It was that safe for me.
Moving on, after brunch, I went to Samcheongdong (talked about this in my Cold Seoul post.)
Sorry for the lack of photos but nothing has changed since I last went. Wanted to go through Gwanghwamun but I detoured to Myeongdong instead. Spent a couple of hours in Myeongdong, went to Flying Tiger to see if they have different designs of cheap totes and left the area at 4pm. Had a pit stop at Edae for this Fresh Milk and Strawberries from Life Coffee Company for 6,000₩. Honestly I just wanted the water bottle LMAO. I did mention I love to collect junks didnt I?
Went to LOHB in Hongdae, just across my apartment building and scoured a couple of Mise En Scene Hello Bubble Hair Dyes, 2 for the price of 1 heyyyyyylooooooowwwww.
Seeing that it was still early and I needed to recharge phone, I went up to apartment, had a shower and waited until 5pm. The usual noms place I frequent closes at 2pm-5pm daily for cleaning and preparing for dinner time. I was praying hard that it wont be as crowded as lunch time. I always hate it when it’s full. The place is not big. It’s the type of normal Korean eatery where you need to sit down on the floor, legs crossed. Thats what made it always full tbh, guys in suits sometimes not able to sit close enough to each other. Think older guys in suits with protruding bellies. They mostly work at the area around. Even until today I cant figure out their exact lunch hour coz I would be there as early as 11am and 10-15 minutes later they would always be groups of men arriving in loud voices. Lunch hour that early?? So I missed my chance for lunch the day before and had to settle for the expensive Busan Jib, I walked over for 5 mins praying that dinnertime would not be as crowded. I was lucky, it was empty and the two server ladies were surprised seeing a foreign lady so casually barging in at 5mins after re-opening. The place changed. No longer we need to remove shoes and sit on the floor. They have proper tables and chairs now. I kinda missed the old layout. Ordered my usual 지리탕 and 알마리 just caused I was starving and feeling greedy with noms. The lady was surprised when I ordered in Korean. I was almost laughing had I not realised that those two ladies were not the usual Eonnies. (Erm how do I explain this…in korean eateries, foreigners would sometimes imitate what they watched in Korean dramas, calling the servers Ahjummas (older or married ladies) or Imo (direct translation = maternal aunt but in this case, it shows that whoever calling is a frequent at the place and thats the term of endearment towards the server. They get called that even tho they dont look any older than my mom. Correct me if i’m wrong, that was what a Korean friend explained to me when I tried calling the owner of a Korean eatery in Malaysia ahjussi. That ‘ahjussi’ is now an ‘oppa’ to me and he is so nice he even dragged me to a traditional tea house in Insadong when we were coincidentally in Korea at the same time hahaha. Not a scam I promise. He just values his customers.) Not even 5 mins after I had a seat, the owner of the place arrived. He was so surprised when he saw me and after we exchanged pleasantries he even exclaimed that my korean got better HE HE. it does oppa, I spent most of my free time watching dramas and listening to musics HO HO HO. And can you imagine the look on the two ladies? Theres a foreign girl in headscarf and I was chatting with the owner as if he knew me personally. He was so friendly he asked me a lot of things when he found out I could speak Korean LOL. Oppa asked me if I came alone again, which I answered him that I indeed came alone, but not for concerts. I just needed to have a nice break and winter nearly ends. In the past, when he found out that I came alone and for concerts, he always shake his head disapprovingly. Then he would ask why I wasted my time staying in Seoul when theres so many places I could go and enjoy. Many years later I found his words to be true. I was young, Oppa >_<
I didnt go to Seoul for 2 years after my father passed away. He passed 5 days after my 2 weeks long South Korea vacation. I didn have the heart to leave for any where after that. When I returned back to Seoul 2 years later, I had already donned the Hijab. He was so surprised at the change and I explained to him that my father passed away and I felt that I need to change. He always knew about muslims and the religion, Islam, but i dont think he knows anything about fathers bearing single daughters’ sins even while being six feet under. he understood that muslim ladies need to cover our aurah. He understood that much. Thats whats important. Thats why I could go to his place comfortably without being scrutinized. He last saw me in Summer 2016 and mentioned that I seemed to lost a lot of weight. I did. Not a lot but I did lose a noticeable amount of weight. I just said that work has been hard. Losing weight due to depression isnt healthy. I dont wanna mention anything about being mentally unstable. Koreans are sensitive when it comes to mental health. I will explain that in another post.
After more than a year of not seeing me, he noticed that I lost weight. He is that attentive. I dont go as often as back when I worked with AAX, but he still noticed changes. I was touched.
Drop by if you’re in Hongdae. They have amazing menu.
After dinner, I went back to C27 Cheesecake & Coffee for last round of dessert. The plain cheesecake from yesterday was so amazing I needed to try the lemon one. Not disappointing at all. Had the urge to have a few other slices for take out but I knew I wouldnt eat them later. I only eat lots when I travel or if my mom’s cooking.
Still had another hour, I decided to go back up and repacked my luggage. Most people would be surprised as to why I only had 2 nights here after the painful 9++ hrs of flight. As I mentioned, it’s a comfort place for me. So many eye candies and the overall environment makes me happy. Even if I’m all alone. Not a problem at all.
Checked-in, went past the long assed security Q and hello 11++ hrs return journey.
Goodbye, cold Seoul.