All The Important Stuff

Today started off on the right foot.  We admired some modern architecture.  Look at the way Seoul’s new City Hall building looks like a tidal wave about to crush that old building in front of it. We admired that.

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After that, we pretty much slummed it.  Ill-advised souvenir hat purchases.

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A cat cafe.  Basically, a place that charges you $8 to get in, gives you a bad cup of coffee, and allows you pet an assortment of cats.  Admittedly, they had some pretty nice cats.  But there were a lot of rules.  No touching sleeping cats.  No picking up the cats.  No hitting the cats on the butt.  No touching the three cats wearing yellow scarves.

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A dog cafe.  Again, a place where you drink drinks and pet dogs.  There was no cover charge at the dog cafe but you had to order a drink.  Kinda like a comedy club.  There were some pretty good dogs at the dog cafe but it smelled bad and the dogs peed everywhere.  One guy’s job was to walk around with a squeegie and wipe up all the pee.  He didn’t seem that sad about it. Here’s Kellie sitting on the pee floor while a dog pees behind her.

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Sadly, there’s no pictures of the next spot, the Happy Day Spa.  For $9, you get in for up to 12 hours and can sit in any of the following: a hot pile of salt, a SUPER hot igloo (and talk to guy who’s nephew lives in Baltimore), a frozen igloo, or many hot tubs filled with naked Korean men and their naked children and you are also naked and one of the naked children throws your water bottle in the hot tub and then his naked dad pulls him over and makes him apologize to you in Korean naked and you’re naked and the kid won’t stop squealing.  There are no pictures of this. Apparently, the naked Korean ladies liked to do exercises in their hot tubs.  I did not see that part and cannot verify its validity.  Kellie is not a reliable source.

Today was not purely a novelty act.  We’ve gotten really handy with the Seoul subway.  That sucker is clean and efficient.

(On a side note: The Seoul Metropolitan Subway is the world’s most extensive subway system by length, the world’s second largest subway by number of stations after the New York City Subway, and the world’s most highly used subway consisting of 19 lines that serve theSeoul Metropolitan Area.)

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And we ate lunch in a noodle bar in an alley where no one spoke any English. That would have scared the bejeezus out of us only a few years ago.  You smile.  You try your best.  You eat a cheap tasty lunch.  You feel proud that you can move amongst the people in this world.

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And you start to understand that the cat cafes and naked all-male hot-tubbing afternoons are as much a part of moving in this world as the palaces and shrines.  And one day you discover you have the confidence to enjoy every facet of this life.  The ridiculous, the mundane, the surreal, the beautiful.  No judgements of yourself or the experience.  Just let it happen.

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