Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, trip to Dongdaemun and Nondaemun and back

I come to Mary's room every morning and type on my blog every morning, prior to us setting off to somewhere new.  On Tuesday, after typing and Lucky Charms, we go to Seryu Station, which is two doors down from the entrance to Suwon AB.  We caught the KTX express train to Seoul Station.  I took videos out the window while, Mary read her book.  We exited the train station then entered the subway and went down, down, to the train that would take us directly to Dongdaemun.  It turns out Dongdaemun Textile and Craft Market is located right were exits 8 and 9 are from the subway.  We went up a couple flights and found fabric.  It was not what I was looking for. We found some oil cloth type fabric on rolls, cotton duck, shirtings, silk, and more silk and fabrics for clothes. This place is huge and stuff.  Mary helped me decided which way to go to cover more ground in our search for cotton for quilting.  We made it to the craft floor and boy did we run directly into some awesome quantities of varieties of para-cord.  She got an AA+++ for resisting.  Meanwhile, we finally stopped and looked at some fabric samples that I decided was actual cotton.  The man there spoke a little English and while I was deciding, on what my top three favorites were, he brought more fabric swatch sample books and said, "This is soft cotton."  Listen up ladies, the thing to ask for when you come here as a quilter, is soft cotton.  Then he said the minimum cut was 3 yards.  Yikes! My fabric addict world was trembling, but I decided to choose just one fabric, which made it extremely difficult, so I could have been there for days deciding which single fabric I could purchase 3 yards of.  I was not leaving without some fabric, so I picked the floral with the green back ground. It was 7000 won per yard, which comes to a little less than $7.00 per yard.  So, I got three yards for 21000 won.,  Not bad for some lovely fabric that I could share with my friends. The man said, "All the fabric is on the sixth floor. I will be right back with your fabric." I sat on his stool, while he was away at the six floor getting my fabric cut and everything for me.  In about five minutes he was right back with my cut fabric. He put in a black plastic bag and I gave him 21000 won. Mary told me later it came to exactly $18.62, American.  He gave me his card, which I will scan and post on my blog later.  It has one of those square bar code things [sparqcode?]on it for accessing his site from outside Korea (aka in the USA).
Then, we moseyed down a couple more rows and found a vendor who had a few interested parties and nice things made as examples of their fabric selection.  They adorable fox, sheep, and strawberry fabrics, gauze backing fabrics, which were really had to resist.  They had a sale stack, which had two different kinds of robot fabric, ooooh so hard to resist!, but I did.  I needed help getting the white fabric out of the pile so I could check it over thoroughly.  Then I decided it was right up my alley!  I could do with two or three yards of this.  Maybe the sale stack did not have a three yard minimum cut requirement.  Well . . . .I asked the man if I could a couple yards, or was the sale stack [2000 won per yard] where you had to buy the whole piece?  Yes! You guessed it!  It is for the entire piece.  A whipped out a yard stick and in a flurry of arms, fabric , and yardstick he measured six yards.  I said I would take, much to Mary's surprise.  "That's a lot of f-ing fabric."  But at a translated $1.77/yard, you cannot beat it for something that is so versatile and Asian looking.  In retrospect, I should have gotten the robots, too!
   Then I drooled over some other fabrics on the way out of the building, but made it safely out onto the sidewalk.  We passed gobs of bright items in a row along the building as we made our way in the cool breeze. There were cars of trims, lace, pom-poms, and plastic ware.  We cut through the block in a wide area beneath the 2nd floor of the huge building, and people were zooming past on scooters and carrying stacks of goods.  We came out on the other side of the building, where we tried to avoid the man annoying us with his loud whistling, who thought he had something to do with managing traffic,  We grabbed a couple bottles of water and escaped across the boulevard to see the temple that was there.  From the other side of the temple, we could view a hillside with a wall along the top, and people were sitting on the hillside enjoying the afternoon.  We decided we needed to rest, so we journeyed to the hillside.  You could not cross the street to get there, so we had to go back the way we came and go around the other three sides of the huge intersection to get there.  Then we walked up the hill to a park bench where we relaxed a little and watched the world go by.  It was a lovely day, and we witnessed five fire trucks rushing through the intersection below, and along the road on our left, which was also going uphill.  Besides being giddy over a lot of fabric that I could not get a little of any, earlier, this was the most excitement I had had all day.  We walked further up the hill and visited a gazebo/pagotta?  There was a wall museum there, but we did not go in. 
   We went back to the subway and traveled on to Nondaemun.  This is an area with a outside market where items are a bit cheaper.  On the way there we, wondered passed "Line Friends", when there was no line, but I said we could stop there on the way back., Okay.  We walked on around and found the Cat Café.  We met a traveler from New Zealand, as we were pausing deciding to go in.  He came and also was deciding if he should go in.,  Mary worked out the shoe system situation, and we all decided to go in.  I took off my shoes and Mary got me a pair of slip-ons to wear in.  They were not as uncomfortable as I suspected.  We were greeted at the door by a young lady who sprayed some disinfecting soap on one of our hands.  We put our personal belongings into plastic bags, to keep the cats from catching anything from us.  We ordered from the coffee menu and sat at the table next to the man from New Zealand.  He was 'on holiday' and had just come to Korea from Japan.  He gave Mary some travel tips about Japan.  We enjoyed the cats and had a very relaxing time.  One cannot help relaxing when a new friend has found a comfy spot on your lap.
Mary tries to pet the squash-
faced kitty's tail
A friend found my lap.
Cat on the counter where you order.
Mary took a photo of me with the cat on my lap.  I must have petted the kitty for 20 minutes or more.  It was funny that it walked around NZ and Mary and jumped up on my lap as if to say, "Your the one I want to nap on."  It appears they have a lot of cats, but they do not let them all into the café at one time.  I think they are rescue cats.  And the one little gal was giving them their afternoon tooth brushing.  One after another she would pick them up and carry each to the table and sit down, and lay them on their backs and use a pre-prepared tooth brush on their teeth.  The cats were very patient with her.  We said good-bye to NZ, and he wished us an enjoyable holiday. 
    We left and strolled on down the way, loud music coming from every store front and in the street.  We made our way back to "Line Friends" and stood in line so I could take Mary's photo in front of the BIG BEAR at their storefront.  Then we went in and looked at what Mary called "more really cute crap we love."  We went on and found "Art Box", which had a crap load more of really cute crap we love.  I could not resist purchasing a couple things in there.  I got me a note pad, so I would not have to write my blog info on old used envelopes of Mary's or the back of my prescription description paper. It has a pineapple with eyes, that says "I'm fine" on the cover.  I love all this cute art and odd verbiage smattered everywhere.  I took a video to capture the noise, while Mary was checking out with her baggage strap.
Mary at Art Box with her friend
     We went further and found a place with food. Up a couple escalators, we chose a place that had steak.  Nice place, quiet and unhurried.  Mary gave the waiter my 'food allergy' card.  He took it and a representative came and showed me the two menu items he said I could consume.  I was disappointed that I could not have the gold hambak.  Actually none of those meat patties could I have, however, one of the options was one I had eyed initially.  I had the Rice Bolognaise.  It was a chubby wiener served on top of a slice of cheese that was melted on top of some lovely red sauce that was covering a heap of rice.  IT WAS DELICIOUS!!!!.  They got an A and I did not get sick.  I am sorry, I did not get one of their cards on the way out, as I cannot remember the name of the place.
    We finally made it to the market. It indeed reminded me of the Roseville Flea Market in Roseville, CA.  Mary was bag shopping.  She finally found one, which was a bit more than she wanted to pay, but she gave in and to her surprise when she looked at it out in the street, it had a flaming pink inner lining.  She said it was inside and she could live with it.  We went on to the end of the road and came out where the No. 1 National Treasure was.  We decided to go see this temple.   Of course, we could not just cross the street to get there.  We crossed the street then walked around the block to the entrance.  It was very nice. There were few people there, so photos were mostly unobstructed.  It was the Sungnyemun Gate, (not a temple) which dates from 1394.  Sungnyemun means gate of exalted ceremonies.  It was also known as Namdaemun Gate, meaning south gate. 
Carol at the south gate
     Then we headed back to the train and as we were boarding the KTX express to Suwon Mary got me laughing so hard I could hardly breath.  I think it was about the typewriter on her translation bracelet.  As we were walking back to the barracks after going through security, Mary said when we come to Germany we would have to go to the vineyard and make our own wine.  We would squish it with our own feet and then stay up all night getting smashed.  I thought that sounded wonderful, but I told her I would need latex gloves for my feet.  She replied that would mean boots. I said okay, socks. She said the juice would leak through the socks and it would be boots.  I said, my boots have laces, so the juice would still leak in.  We had a great laugh and I still think latex socks or gloves.  This morning Mary told me that "Grapes are known to be great arch supports."  And there you have it! 

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