We really didn’t get much jet-lag from the flight over, so an early rise and day of shopping was in order
We took our time getting ready and packing on the layers for the day. It was still 4° out and we only brought hoodies with us… So we decided to go have breakfast and then head over to Doota! to get our shop on.
We went to this cute little cafe near our apartment to get breakfast. I was super surprised that the coffee was actually good! We had bacon and prawn bagels… Yeah… They were pretty awesome. They also had some Dutch coffee cold drip going on, we will probably go back for some later in the week.
After breakfast I wanted to show Jess my favorite design store ‘Millimeter Milligram’, so we went in search. Turns out it was over the road from our apartment… We went and got some cool little gifts and gloves for the trip. The gloves are awesome! They are a design collaboration between MMMG (Millimeter Milligram) and YG Entertainment (my favorite entertainment company, they manage/own 2ne1, Big Bang, PSY, Lee Hi and more. I’m talking K-Pop right now…). The gloves also have some sort of conductive fiber on the index and thumb so you can use your touch screens still.
It was time to go shopping! We walked all the way to Dongdaemun, about 3km, along an inner city river. It was about 1-2m deep, but so clear you could see everything in it! And there was no rubbish! It had ducks, little silver fishes and huge carp swimming up and down. And it ran right through the middle of the city.
We spent most of our time in Doota! (Fun Fact: Doota! is owned by a young entrepreneur who also owns Jinro Soju, the very Soju we drank the night before, one of the major beer brands, Hite I think?, and a ton of other things.) Doota! Is awesome! 7 levels of the most amazing clothes at half the price of Australian shopping. They had lower level with up and coming fashion designers, essentially a whole level of pop-up shops. Another level of well established Korean designer labels, like the ones you would see in NY Fashion Weeek, etc. and a bunch of more generic but equally awesome shops. I got a huge jacket that resembles a sleeping bag with arms, while Jess got some fierce boots, super nice netted sweater and cool puffy black jacket. All up we spent about $300.
The only thing we were missing was a bag to carry it all in, so we went to another shopping mall and got a cool travel bag for about $80… Probably the same kind you would pay $300 for at home…
On our way doubt we found a K-Pop stage that was setting up. We figured it must have been a trainee practice stage. Basically the entertainment companies here take on high school kids as trainees, they go through 4-8 years of training and then debut in a group or solo as singers/dancers. There was about 6 girls that looked like they were being trained to debut as a group. I think they get the trainees to do little public shows like this to get their confidence up, so they don’t get scared when they debut, and to help set up a little fan base even before they go public. Kind of a smart marketing move. Anyway don’t ask me how I know so much about the inner workings of a foreign entertainment industry.
We made our way back home with all our new swag, quickly got changed and went back out for dinner. We found a really really nice place and had some local spicy beef soup stuff. They waiter was really nice and must have lived in America for a while because his English was better than mine… Again we drank a bottle of Soju…
We decided to have one more drink before we went home, so we went back to MMMG. Yep… It’s a design store, cafe and bar… It’s heaven. I drank my favorite beer, Hoegarden, Jess had an awesome Red Rice Beer! And we got some awesome magazines and mugs… They gave me a loyalty card… I spent a bit of money there… We are going back again later in the week to buy more.
That was it for our first full day in Seoul! We were pretty tired/boosey so we went to bed at around 12.
Tim & Jess