Third Chapter : Lost in Seoul


Monday, 24 Oct
We plan to visit Cube and JYP building before we head to Arirang. But we got lost! We got lost in around Seongsu area so we decide to look around the area instead of going back. We didnt find any extraordinary thing around the area cause most of the stores were closed. We decide to head to Arirang. And after visitting Arirang, we got lost for hours. Why this happened to us?

Seongsu Area 
After experiencing tons of enter and exit (get lost when we transferred to the same line for two hours), we finally arrived at the closest subway station to Arirang. I found out that the KTO website direction about “how to get there” is not reliable enough. We followed the direction and got stuck. We got helped from a grandpa that showed us a bus map to get there. But before the help, we asked to a grandma around the exit but she was very scared looking at us and running away. It looks like some korean really have serious problem with this. My friend said that most of them tend to avoid questions because they are not confident to speak in english. But do they know that foreigner can also speak korean? Another grandma showed us way to go to Samngakji in subway but she barely said nothing. She only directed us and asked us to follow her to enter the train. I know that she kept her question by herself. But there is always a story reverse sometimes, right? I found this grandma when I headed to airport asking a lot of questions in korean to foreigner. Lol. The foreigner (she is thai I believe) said to her that she cant speak korean and didnt understand at all and she was showing herself uncomfortable. Thats really funny. I smiled at her all the way to airport. She looked at me and smiled at me but couldnt say anything because we were sitting across each other. She was so cute.

Back to the arirang trip, we took a bus from the exit to Arirang broadcasting station based of what grandpa told us. It was quite close, though. I dissapointed when I saw bunch of youngster lining up for IOI comeback. It was two hours before the show, and they already lined up in front of the building. I need to confirm about the show invitation that I got from my email but there was no one. I saw some people wandering around the area but they didnt use any kind of identity card or something. I read from internet that someone will try to approach you if you wait around the building in the time of their recording. But no one helped. We left early because we spent so much times waiting and waiting. I met a japanese traveler and she said she want to go for the recording also. I asked her if she got the invitation and she showed us that she is a part of fancafe or something. But, they left her outside for the recording. They dont seems approaching foreigners that waiting around the area. I didnt know what happened afterwards, cause we left right away. We decided not take the bus because we studied the bus line when we were on our way head to Arirang. But the confidence stayed for only 15+minutes. We were lost again. Thanks to Yeouido for all similar buildings. We got helped from another grandpa when we stared at the big hole in front of us. It does looks like an exit door of subway, but doesnt seems like one. The grandpa said that it was an exit door, so we followed him entering the hole lol. The exit way was so scary cause it was like a cave and I coundnt find people except the three of us. The grandpa asked me multiple times the same question about how long I stay in Korea and I answered multiple times also, three days lol. He was confused cause I speak korean fluently, he was like “Not three days, three years?” lol. 

fans lining up for IOI comeback
The worst part is coming right after the subway. We followed the apps and it was said there were like three stops after transferring to go to Samngakji station. But the second stop was in Noryangjin station! I realized that something wrong and asked a man immediately and he said I missed Samngakji station. Hell yeah. (I studied about how could we miss the station after the trip because it was mysterious and it turns out that we took the wrong train). We got off at Noryangjin station and decide to go directly to Namdaemun. Another nightmare was waiting for us. We transferred in Express Bus Terminal (?) station and the transfer hall was soooo huuugeeee. That was the biggest transfer hall ever for me. Another grandpa helped us how to go to Namdaemun and he was like “You need to go in and tap, then you can take the subway.” But we already tapped our card before, so if we did tap it would be counted as exit? This is happened before when we took the subway for the first time. I didnt count my tap and I couldnt get out in my last subway station. Fortunately, the subway guard let me out through emergency exit. Lol. We were so confused and not only us. Three korean grandmas were standing there and confused. The conclusion is some subway station need to retap to get to the transfer hall. Dont be like me, guys. Stupidity is always be the problem, everywhere Lol.  So make sure to study first!

We were so hungry after got lost for 4 hours. We decide to get something to eat. I screamed for halal foods and there are no ones. Hundreds foodstrucks and restaurant did sell something but they also sell meat etc so I refused to eat because they probably used the same cooking utensils to cook haram foods (The conservatism is still here now- thanks to my korean trip- and now I’m being very careful towards what I eat eventhough I live in Indonesia). When I start to give up, suddenly a small restaurant corner was found nowhere. It was filled by grandmas. Again, grandmas. Lol. What a fate! The place is selling noodles only. I confirmed there was no meat or haram foods so we ate it right away. It was around 4000 KRW-7000 KRW for each. Namdaemun is a place where you can buy almost everything in a very cheap price. I bought a T-Shirt that costs only 3400KRW. I bought souvernir (key chains) 6000 KRW for ten of them. My friend bought magnet 7000-8000 KRW for ten of them. Shopping in Namdaemun is definitely a must. Some of sellers are quite sensitive when we asked the price. My friend asked a shoe price and she was cursed in korean. Why didnt he display the price, then?

Namdaemun Market
Namdaemun is quite close to Myeongdong shopping center. What you need is to walk from the information center in the center of Namdaemun straight to the intersection. You can find a building in front of the Namdaemun information center that provide toilets. The building was selling kid clothes and the toilets is located on the third floor. Now, I know that everyone seems very excited about my Myeongdong trip. But, Myeongdong story will be in the next chapter. Before closing the third chapter, I’m going to give you some advices for shopping in Namdaemun :

-Compare the price around the area. You can get better price if you’re going inside the market or find someone that knows your country or your culture. I found korean that had been living in Jakarta for 3 or 4 years and he gave me special price. And dont forget to bargain! It works! What you need to say is “khakha juseyo” (please give me some discounts).
-Namdaemun have a lot of building. Find the information about which particular building you’re looking for. I found out that in front of information center, there was a 4th floor building that selling a lot of kid clothes but there is almost no foreigners inside.
-And for the last one, spare your time and eat first before going around the area. Trust me, you can not go shopping on an empty stomach. 

See you guys in the 4th chapter. 

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