Monday, August 16, 2010

Seoul has Soul... and damn good fried chicken (and there is Karaoke on the bus)

Our day started off really tense yesterday. There we were sitting in the lobby of our hotel with no bus, no driver and no guide. Wondering how the organizer would take care of things. The driver and guide showed up eventually, and we started our day on a rather tense note, though no where nearly as terse as the night before. We had to take the bus over a mountain pass that had the driver really nervous and quite frankly so were some of us (think Loveland Pass on the way to A Basin). We made it over, no issues and headed towards Icheon. As the day progressed the tensions melted. There was this attitude of enjoying the rest of the trip, despite what happened previously. This was refreshing.
Our first stop of the morning was the Living Ceramics Museum where we were greeted by a staff that opened the museum for us for 1 hour. There was this table ware show that was to die for. Each room had exquisite place settings, each one more elegantly funky than the previous. This was a wonderful place.
After leaving there we were treated to tea at the MOKA museum. This museum was set up by an ICA wood carver by the name of Park Chan So. The place was so exciting, sculptures in every niche, both inside and out. The buildings on the property showed the 5 typical roof lines you would find in Korea. There was a gallery space for local artists and Buddhist artifacts from all over Asia and the Pacific. After tea we were treated to a vegetarian meal on the grounds. Park Cahn So will be having an exhibition opening in NY on October 1 at the Korean Cultural Society. I cannot wait to check it out.
After leaving the woodcarver's place we went to Icheon to see the World Ceramics Exhibition hall (again we had to have special arrangements made to visit as it was not open). We had a very staff rushed hour in 3 exhibits that we could not take pictures in. The museum was a wonderful place that I wish I had had more time to contemplate.
We visited a tool shop and another pottery before heading to the Somerset Palace in Seoul. We had our traditional happy hour on the bus and Gillian tried to get our guide Mr. O to sing Arirang again to see if we could soften the tension in the air even more, next thing we know we are in full blown karaoke on the bus.
We unloaded our stuff, immediately put some wash in, or tried to anyway, our washer seems to get stuck on lock and has to be run twice to get the clothing out. We then headed out to Insadong to score something to eat. We saw a restaurant with rotisserie in the window and headed in for chicken and beer. Cool thing, there were forks and for 10 people, 5 baskets of chicken, each one a whole chicken, and 5 pitchers of beer the bill came to less than 10/person. After a great meal we headed back and called it a night. It was a good day.

1 comment:

Pete said...

Awesome to hear about a good day, after "The Tensions"... Thanks for keeping the blog... it's almost as good as being there with you !!
Hurry up and come home !!