How to be old—we're all learning

A Saturday in Seoul: go, eat, walk, drink

Orientation: memorising landmarks so that you get on the right bus at the right bus stop.

What does a beginner tourist do
on a Saturday in Seoul?
Start with orientation practice:
take bus number 7612
and go five stops
to Hongdik Uni station.
Map, signs, card, gates, signs, gate, done.

A better class of fried chicken with daikon on the side

Next a hearty chicken lunch
in Hongdae, fried and fresh for once
which we consume like dainty gluttons.

Stone wall with vertical beds of impatiens (i.e. flowers) inset

Metro homework carries on
take Subway Line 5 this time
(the purple one)
to Gwanghwamun Station
and congregate at Exit 5
for a mini-walking tour
alongside Cheonggye Stream.
Map, signs, card, gates, signs, gate, done.

Korean drummers in their glorious traditional costumes

It rains and so the tour’s cut short
and we catch some young men
drumming while they dance and spin
and women dancing while they drum.

Next we follow our sexy guide
(seventy-six with two crook hips)
to his regular after-work cafe.

There I like the tofu soup
and the mystery of makgeolli
the living drink that’s milky white
rough and ready like a rice home brew
and touted as a health food too.

Back in Hongdae crowds are swarming
and I saw what I never thought I’d see
a punk musician trying hard
to snarl and scream
and looking cute and clean
in a brand new tidy T shirt.

Petting a sheep in the Thanks Nature Cafe, Hongdae

After such a busy  day
we slipped into a sheep cafe
for cup of tea and a gentle sniff
by a couple of bleached and back-combed lambs
who live indoors as fluffy toys.

Then it’s home again
on green bus 7612.
I must remember that.


Travel notes and photos by Rachel McAlpine. Share if you wish.