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South Korea 2017: Seoul Searching Day Two

Annyeong!

So here’s our Korean Adventure Day Two. I must say our second day is the most tiring but it is also the richest in culture.

We started our day with the usual free breakfast from our hotel. We had cereals, fried egg and toasted bread. We can only hope that it will sustain our energy until half of the day. With our black boots on, we headed out to the streets of the shopping district – Myeongdong!

         

Myeongdong was full of shoppers and tourists when we arrived. So that morning, we took a little time to explore it before we headed to our first tourist destination. It’s nice to see the streets clear with people. A perfect time to take blog worthy photos.

   

On our way to the Gyeongbokgung Palace, we saw a group of people wearing Korea’s traditional dress, Hanbok. We were so fascinated that we even followed them anywhere just to take stolen photos of them. We were clueless that by the time we enter into the palace, there will be hundreds of people who are wearing the same. We can even rent our own Hanbok and wear it ourselves. There are plenty of Hanbok Rental stores to choose from. We entered one near the palace so that we will not have a hard time returning it. You can rent the Hanbok and wear it anywhere you want for 6 hours. We chose not to go far from the shop so we will not have to come back again to return it. We just need a few pictures wearing them. But, you can never have enough photos wearing their traditional dress.

There are a lot of designs and sizes to choose from. Mix and matching took us a while before we finally settled. I chose a blue one and my friend, Jillian, chose a pink one for herself. We could pass as a Korean for a day. Prior to this trip, we already planned our photoshoot.  Here are some shots.

There was this one shot that we tried our best to achieve but failed miserably because, first, no one will take our photo. We had to ask other people to take our photo. As expected, they cannot get it right and it would be too much to ask them to take our photo again and again. Second, there are just so many tourists at that time. There are photobombers everywhere. So we just settled for this…

Next time, it would be nice to travel in group so taking a perfect photo won’t be a problem. Just like this group of friends…

When we’ve had enough taking photos of ourselves wearing Hanbok. We just stood by and waited for the changing of guards. It’s nice to witness such activity in the palace.

Half of the day is almost over. We had a mini break in a park inside the Palace – my favorite place. We did some people watching while eating dewberry cookies which Jillian brought from the Philippines to save us from hunger in the middle of sightseeing. I could stay here all day. I just love how quiet and peaceful it is there.

                                                                                 

The colorful and intricate details of the Palace’s ceiling.

Once we had enough of the palace, we just took few more photos and then we headed to our next destination. The Bukchon Hanok Village. We had a hard time locating the village. We were already exhausted and very hungry. We didn’t even have the energy to explore the place. We just took some photos and we went to find a place to eat. Our feet brought us to the nearest restaurant. We had some kimbap and chicken for lunch.

Here are some of the photos that we managed to take in the village before we lost the hunger game.

                                                                                                  

On our way to our next destination, we grabbed a Koreak bread that tasted really good. I just don’t know what it’s called. One thing is for sure, it’s perfect for the cold weather and it is yummy. We wished we bought more. Here’s Jill modeling the bread.

Our last stop for our second day, the Cheonggyecheon Stream. We originally planned to visit it on our fourth day but since it’s near the Gwanghwamun Square where we went to search for the outdoor ice skating rink which turned out to be a big parking lot and since it’s not snowing at that time, no ice skating rink was found; so we just decided to walk going to the Cheonggyecheon Stream.

Cheonggyecheon Stream is a 10.9-kilometre-long, modern public recreation space in downtown Seoul, South Korea. (c) wikepedia

It is open for 24 hours for those who wanted to relax while listening to the sound of flowing waters. It was filled with people but thank goodness we found a good spot. It’s just so good to sit down, talk, and relax there after a very tiring day.

 

  

It’s time to go back to our hotel and have a restful sleep. As usual, we grabbed a snack on our way back to the hotel. We grabbed a Korean Carp Bread with red bean inside. As expected, it was good.

And for our finale, of course, just like the usual, the streets of Myeongdong! We had Myeongdong’s street food for dinner! hahaha! Myeongdong is totally different at night. It’s so lively and packed with people and colorful lights.

That concludes the second day of our Korean adventure. I can’t wait to tell you about our experience in Nami Island and Petite France on our third day.

I hope you enjoyed reading and will visit my blog again. Have a blessed day! <3

The Rebirth of Summertime Sadness

Can you feel it? The burning sensation of the summer heat?

It’s exciting and alarming all at once.

It causes my heart to beat faster than usual remembering that one summer in my life. That summer that is different from any other summer. That summer when the heat burned twice as much or even more; because it burned not just my skin but also my heart. It left me some scars. It haunts me every now and then like a horror story with an open end. Nobody knows what happened to the characters. Nobody knows what happened next. Nobody knows what happened after she stopped crying behind closed doors. Nobody knows what happened during winter and how she convinced herself that she’s fine. Nobody understands what really happened. Nobody tried.

My mind is so full of voices saying “Find out what happened. Open that door again. It’s not yet the end. Remember everything. Rewrite it. Choose how it ends.” I am overwhelmed by my own thoughts that I forget the much quieter voice saying “Keep calm because it’s over.”

I don’t know why am I remembering this now. But, every time the sun beams at me, it brings sadness that I don’t understand. Every time I stare at it, I see you and it hurts my eyes. I can always choose to look away but I keep on looking because that is my only way to remember you. Because that is who you are, a painful memory.

Then, I remember winter, the cold breeze that calmed my soul, the freezing cold that numbed my heart, the comforting warm hugs that melted the ice that imprisoned my heart and set it free, the strong wind that blew every bad memory away, the gloomy nights that allowed me to cry and gave a much deeper meaning to loneliness, the longer nights that enabled me to hug myself longer in bed (self love).

I think about all the good things that happened right after that summer. They’re so good, I don’t really wanna know what truly happened on that particular summer at all.

Summertime Sadness? Uhhmmm… how about No?

Dear Mr. Z

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It rained last night. And this morning too. It looks like it’s going to rain some more later. It’s cold outside but not as cold as you. It keeps on raining; it’s comforting. It’s like the heaven is crying for me. It’s crying the tears that I can’t cry. Because I no longer want to waste them for you.

Winter. The season that I have been waiting for. The season that officially marks an end to my “summertime sadness”. I am letting the rain wash away the pain of yesterday. I am moving forward. With my head held high, with no regrets, just faith, hope and love. I’d like to view it this way: God saved me from future heartbreaks. God saved me from what I thought was right for me but actually not. God loves me enough to spare me from another season of sleepless nights and chaotic thoughts.

Thank you for making me feel that I am not good enough. I realized that I will always be good enough for the right person.

Thank you for overlooking me all the time. I learned to see my own goodness and appreciate my own self.

Thank you for the heartbreak. I learned how to make myself whole again.

Thank you for the heartache. I finally know my worth.

Thank you for the pain. I am now stronger that I have ever been before.

Thank you for not loving me back. I realized that you are outnumbered by the people who love me.

Thank you for the tear stains on my pillow. They are signs that what I felt was true.

Thank you for pushing me away. Who knows, maybe I was pushed towards the person who will pull me in someday.

Thank you for preparing me for the person that I will be with in God’s perfect time. I will forever thank you for all the realizations and for making me the woman I am today. The woman who will someday be loved wholeheartedly by someone that God chose for her. The woman who has so much love to give. The woman who lost her breath running after you is now gone. I am now  the woman who finally had the courage to walk away and to welcome the hope the winter season brings.

Winter. It’s gonna be one long and cold season. But, at least, it would numb the pain until I don’t feel it anymore.

Thanks to you. I am always praying for you. Someday our paths will cross again. Winter, spring, summer or fall, I will always give you the sweetest smile of all. You are my lesson learned. My realization. My metanoia. I hope you find the right kind of love that will make you forget all your fears and hesitations. I hope you find someone who will accept you for who you are. I hope someday someone would love you better. Because that’s what you deserve. Because that’s what you need. Because I’d be happy to see you with someone who loves you more than she could ever love anything and anyone. Because someday, I still want to see that smile of contentment on your face because finally love found its way to you. After all, you are still my friend.

I enjoyed the ride even if I was always in the backseat.

Sincerely,

Me.