This doesn’t seem like a very exciting day to write about, but here goes!
I had heard about the toy market from other adoptive parents who had been to Seoul, and we decided to head there. We started to walk towards the subway when I realized that we really should take the stroller, so I ran back to the room to get it. (Good call, Melanie. We never would have made it through this day without it!) While I was gone, the kiddos posed for a picture.
We took the subway to the Dongmyo Market area. It is huge, and it took us awhile to find the toy area. While looking, we passed more pets and shoes than you can imagine! Shop after shop after shop! We finally found the toy market and started looking around. Ben picked out a Pororo remote-controlled car and Emma got Legos. (Yes, Legos. The same kind that are available at every store in America. She was sure that’s what she wanted.) Abby got a doll, similar to Barbie, dressed in traditional Korean hanbok.
Next, we decided to find the COEX mall…air-conditioning sounded good, and we knew it had a food court with both Korean and American food. More subway travel…up the stairs, and down the stairs, and up and down some more.
After finding the mall, we set about to find some lunch. Many of the stores had big picture menus posted on the windows, so it was easy to figure out what Ben wanted to eat. We got him some rice and curry and pork, which he happily devoured. The rest of us decided to eat at TGI Fridays, a restaurant we usually dislike. It was crazy overpriced, but at least it was food we recognized. When my food came, Ben was sitting on my lap, and started helping himself to my french fries. 🙂 This is the first picture of the two of us.
After lunch, we looked around for children’s clothing stores, but couldn’t find any. Where do they buy clothes for kids? We rarely saw anything. The COEX mall had mostly high-priced, big-time name brands and that was not what we were after.
We were trying to find pants for the girls because we thought (mistakenly) that they had to wear long pants for the trip to the DMZ that we had planned for the next day. It turned out that you have to wear long pants for another type of DMZ tour, not the one we took. So all this trouble was for naught. If only we’d known! We were tired, but since we thought we had to find pants, we headed BACK to the Dongmyo Market and found the clothing area.
After walking for a bit, we found a vendor who had these blue, stretchy pants that would fit the girls. She seemed to think the “stretchy” part was a big selling point; me, not so much. I thought they were an awful shade of blue, but the girls said they would wear them and we were all tired and desperate to find pants so we could go back to the hotel! Wayne asked for the price and the woman (using a calculator to show the number) told him 55,000 won, which is roughly $55.
Um, no thanks.
We started to walk on, but she grabbed Wayne and asked him to make an offer, again using the calculator. He put in 25,000 won for both. She said ok, but then saw he had more won and tried to get 30,000. She even patted his pockets and mine! Boundaries, woman! I think we ended up giving her about 26,000 won for both. More than they were probably worth, but at least we had pants.
Which still have not been worn.
It had been a long day, so we headed back to the hotel and ate at the restaurant with the fried chicken buffet. At some point that evening, we re-read the information about the DMZ tour and realized our whole afternoon could have gone differently.
Day Five: The DMZ tour