Yo blog readers, when we left off I had just had my last night in Jeonju, and a very good night was that too. The plan for the rest of my stay in Korea was to head back up to Seoul with Anna, see some sights and meet up again with Raymond and Daniel. But on our way we would visit Suwon where there would be a Toilet Museum. This perfectly sums up Korea and its randomness. I love that fact about Korea. Even a trip to the supermarket is random as you find crazy flavours of things Sweetcorn crisps, Pine bud soft drinks (tastes like washing up liquid) and other various random things.
So we got to Suwon and made our way to the Toilet Museum. The story behind was there was a guy who was born in his grandmother's toilet, because of this he got the nickname dog s***. He became fascinated with toilets and became heavily involved in aiming to get Korea better toilet facilities. For this he got the new nickname Mr Toilet which he embraced, so much so he built a house and made it look like a toilet and when he passed away in 2009 they converted the house into a museum. The museum was fun, random even though very short, there was various statues of people pooing and methods they use back in the day. For example they use to use a rope and a spoon to wipe their behind. There was around a 6ft statue of a poo, which kids liked to climb up, as did I. And there were various pieces of art dedicated to toilets. It was all very surreal and odd but I suppose you could say it was 'poo-tiful', and amazing to think about in the last 48 hours I had visited a sacred temple, bamboo forest, sang karaoke and was now at a toilet museum. Like I said Korea is totally random. From the toilet museum we had to return to the station to pick up our bags which we left in a locker (which we expertly sorted in Korean) but in an unlikely turn of events we accidently got on the wrong bus and ended up in Seoul. Meaning we had to return to Suwon for our bags and then back up to Seoul. It wasn't ideal but looking back it is something we can laugh about and all part of the adventure. When we eventually got to Seoul we were greeted by Raymond and Daniel, who took s to a restaurant in Hongdae for a food a few beers and Soju. We then made our way to another bar where we ate squid balls, fried sweet potato and shrimp. It was a fun night, telling tales of our adventures in Jeonju and then discussing how our country's animal's noises differ. After this we headed to where we were staying that night. It is called something like Jimberzerbang. This is basically a spa, with various baths, showers, sauna rooms. You are split into male and female rooms get naked enjoy the baths then re-join in a main hall where you get a small mat, and the worse pillow in the world and sleep until the morning. They even provide pyjamas; I may have even mine swept a pair of their pyjama shorts. That night I slept terribly, I think it was because I wasn't use to it and it was a bit noisy and the light is on all night or maybe because I was just excited for Seoul zoo the next day.
So we got woke up the next morning by a guy as we exactly slept in front of the gym door, so we headed straight out and straight to the zoo. After our disappointment of Jeonju zoo we were eager to find a better one to restore our faith in zoos. After a Google search we found that Seoul zoo was the biggest in Korea, so decided to go while we were in Seoul. We were slightly nervous it still may be shoddy but our nerves were settled when we got there and found animals in satisfactory enclosures and looking healthy. The zoo was massive and very good. Our highlights included a chimpanzee who stared in King Kong, some very camp ostriches, a Korikjou that kept walking backwards and Anna was very impressed with a soft shell turtle for some crazy reason. We also got to see a dolphin show which was very good even though we couldn't understand much and also elephant feeding show. We got to feed Deer's and Kangaroo's. All in all it was a great day out and only cost £2 which included entry to the rose festival across from the zoo, which was also pretty decent. Ann then convinced me to take the sky lift back to the subway station which didn't look the sturdiest of things but I survived as you might have guessed as I am writing this blog, but it was very nervous times for me. My fear of heights is very inconvenient at times! When we got back Anna wanted to visit a Dog café she had done some research and said there was one in Hongdae, we spent ages looking for it, only to realise that the website Anna had done her research on was 6 years old and the Dog café had closed, so we went to have Korean Barbeque as going to Korea and not having Korean BBQ is like going to Pizza hut and not having Pizza. It is simple it is just a stove in front of you where you cook various meets and foods. We both tried Octopus here which was pretty weird and not on my agenda to try again. After this we made our way to an English bar which was dedicated to English rock music, especially The Cure. It was a really weird place and very hard to describe, but we had a couple of beers before exhaustion caught up with us and we headed to the Jimberzerbang where I got a much better night sleep despite a Korean guy wanting to use my feet for a pillow.
The next day, we tried to find the famous Hongdae wall paintings, but asking several people and studying maps we gave up and headed to Myeong-dong where we eventually found Anna a Dog Café. The dog café was very weird and looked like the dogs may have been drugged or something as they were very lethargic and had no energy. Anna had a good time and bonded with a cute little sausage dog called Conan. It wasn't really my thing but I suppose it was ok, but it was hard work trying to drag Anna away from the dogs. We then went to find something to eat, I nearly ate penis fish, which is exactly how it sounds if you have never heard of it, a fish that looks like a penis but I bottled it and ended up with a rice omelette instead. From here I said my goodbyes to Anna who had to go back to Jeonju and I made my way to Raymond's where I have did one of the most controversial things of my life and ate dog. To be fair it was very tasty, it was in a soup and tasted very much lice braising steak. But it was so challenging to eat, and mentally tough just because the thought of eating dog was so wrong. Raymond's Mum did say it was good for stamina in men though. But as they say when in Rome do as the romans would do. We then went for a few beers with some of Raymond's Korean's friend Ryan and June. But we headed back fairly early as I had a flight to catch in the early hours of the morning.
So that completes my time in Korea. It was a very very enjoyable experience. I can't thank my hosts enough Raymond and his Mother for looking after me and Anna to for showing me around. It has been very random, but that's what I love about Korea. It has influences from around the world but still had its individuality. It is a country I definitely want to visit again. I spoke to Anna at length about her teaching over there and she thinks I would be able to do it, I think her faith is miss-guided but it is something I will definitely be looking into in the future. Anna has made some great friends and had great experiences and even though I have had plenty over the last 15 months it was something I envied. She also said it was pretty good to save money too. So who knows maybe in the future I will find myself teaching Korean kids English, we will see.
But for now stay safe and Take Care