The World as I see it

My Life. My Views

South Korea: 7 days; 2 families; 3 kids; vegetarians — April 14, 2019

South Korea: 7 days; 2 families; 3 kids; vegetarians

Day 1: Seoul

We left hotel Nine Tree at Noon. We went to Geongbokgung. P and I wore Hanbok.. Had an amazing time :)) They even make your hairstyles 😀 Truly princess-y moment 😀

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Lunch here:

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Fabulous pizza and pasta here.. super vegetarian food!

After this we headed to the Hanok village in taxis. There we saw beautiful traditional Korean houses.. some of these had signs in front saying “Silence please. This is private property. Do not touch or climb”. Hahaha we peeked through one of those houses 🤣

We then sat down for coffee/tea at a nice cafe. It was called Trad Cafe Daon.

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It was a quaint little cafe hidden away.. with amazing views and beautiful interiors.

From here, we proceeded back to hotel. S, T and V’s stepped out to roam around a little bit. Junior S slept on the way back and slept through the night 🙂

We saw this amazing art while walking back to the hotel. It was all pots and pans conjoined to make this structure.

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Day 2: Seoul

Morning around 9 am we left hotel to catch the bus for Ever-land.

We found lots and lots of cherry blossom trees on the way. Some streets were lined with cherry blossom trees on both the sides of the street. Those made for some pretty remarkable sights.

I could not capture any of those because of the speed of the moving bus, more cherry blossom pics coming further down the travelogue.

After reaching Everland, we did a lot of rides.

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Most of them the kids found super fun and very short wait times (15 mins each). We also found a lot of rides closed.

We had steamed butter corn cob (which was terrible…chewy and bland). We also had cotton candy which was yum 😋

After this, we did bumper car and a few other rides. There was a holland exhibit of tulips.. just breathtakingly pretty!

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After this we had homemade lunch – yummy pooris with Khachri chutney. We all had a good meal post which we proceeded to Safari world. We had a really long wait but so so worth it! We got into a bus which took us into the safari area. We saw White tigers, Bengal tigers, Hyenas, Lions and Bears. The bears were pretty huge and they would come and stand next to the bus while the bus driver fed them some finger food. It was absolutely wonderful. After this, we wanted to do lost world (where we could feed giraffes) but there was 90 min wait, which we couldn’t afford. So, we went back to do some rides that kids wanted.

The kids got to enjoy a very unique type of Ice cream called “Dipping dots”.

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P and I did VR show where we were hanging in the air and getting thrown all over!! It was fun 😄

We got back to the city to eat dinner at an Indian place. We walked close to an hour to Jyoti Indian restaurant. Food was decent and tasty. We really ate our fill. I would give it 3* because Paneer was too less and too small. Stingy people! Dal makhani was amazing! And so was veg jalfrezi

Overall, a great great day!!

Day 3: Seoul

Left early morning at 730 for DMZ. Bus ride of 1 hour approx from the hotel.

We went to Imjingak to see the bell, the bridge with the ribbons

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We had a 30 min halt here post which we proceeded to the DMZ. We went to the railway station that was built to connect Seoul to Lisbon, Portugal.

After we were done with DMZ, we went to Plant cafe and ate a hearty lunch. It was a great vegan restaurant. Loved eating the rice with thai green curry, chilli burgers, tofu wraps and hummus salad. As soon as we got out, it had just started to drizzle. Luckily just after we reached our hotel, it started pouring. We just escaped being drenched. *whew*

After relaxing for a bit in the room, P, T and V came to our room. Kids just ran around and jumped on the bed. S and T, after about 15 mins, decided to roam around in rain. They stepped out and sat in a bar to have a drink. The cafe lady kicked them out since they were only planning to drink and not eat.

P and I watched “Zumbo’s just desserts” while Junior S watched Hindi movie songs and the kids hid all our stuff (shoes, torch, etc) under the beds!

Guys returned with drinks for all and some Pringles. We ate Thepla and khakhra with achar for dinner. Called it a night at 9 pm.

Day 4: Seoul

We took an early morning 8 am bus to Nami Island, Rail Park and French Petit. I woke up super late and had to rush to take the taxi to the Eujiro station but it was raining and we did not want to get wet (also we were late!).

Our bus took off at the right time. The entire journey was surrounded by white/pink cherry blossom trees lining both sides of the roads. The bus journey was comfortable. Only downside was the absolutely horrifying guide. His name was Bruce. He was condescending, rude and kept flirting with all the women. Not to mention, he had no intention to answer any questions but he kept promoting people to ask them! Annoying!

Our first stop was Nami Island. It was drizzling a little bit and that made our fingers freeze. Even the kids were gladly wearing the gloves. We got a few nice pics and ate pizza for lunch.

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We saw some emus and the kids played at the slides. After this we set off for Rail Park.

That was a tremendous experience!! We got the kids into ponchos as it was continuing to slightly drizzle.

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We then got into the cycling 4-seater vehicle. P, Junior S and I were in 1 with 2 Korean girls. T, S and the boys in another.

Junior S was sitting on my lap which made it incredibly difficult to cycle. P and the other 2 had to do the major heavy lifting. Luckily, a lot of the path was slopy making it easier to not paddle.

The boys car was ahead of us. When we started, our car jammed into them. The organiser showed us the breaks again and the boys were worried we will ram into them again 🤣🤣🤣 They were so scared that everytime they saw us coming near, both T and S would start showing signals to break 🤣🤣

The entire rail track had some tunnels on the way… some had bubbles blowing inside with some awesome K-pop music playing, some gave the illusion of bright stars lining the tracks.

It was brilliantly cold but we had a great time 😀

Next stop was France Petit. It was quite okay. Some good scenic spots but not worth revisiting.

We took some jumping shots here. Lol. Even the guys jumped reluctantly 😀

We were exhausted on the way back so ended up going to Jyoti again. This time also we ate our bellies full! A super end to a super day. Icing on the cake was when we decided to walk back 😀

Day 5: Seoul

We left around 945 am to go to Yeouinaru metro station to hopefully catch some full bloom sakuras and get some pics!

As soon as we stepped out of the station, we were enamoured by all the cherry blossom around us. There were full bloom sakuras all around us. We got our hearts content of the cherry blossom beauty.

V even managed to climb one of the trees 😁

The beautiful flowers were on full display. The kids collected some beautiful flowers that had fallen off the trees.

Once we were done, we rushed for our appointment of the temple food at a place called “Sanchon”.

Our taxi driver lost his way and took us twice the usual amount of time to reach this place. By now, we were hungry enough to devour a bull! It was a nice place. They served us 20 different dishes and drinks.. some of which were super nice. The hot bibimbab and the fermented drink were my favorite. Kids liked the mushroom stick with special sauce and the lotus stem. They even got second servings of the same.

It was a calm and serene setting with birds chirping. Our kids absolutely ruined the serenity of the place. They screamed and howled and crawled and jumped… The other diners must be surely cursing us!!

After this, we went to the namsen tower. On the way to the tower, we realised all the flowers had gone missing! They collected and lost all the flowers in a matter of a few hours!

T was suggesting the uphill climb of 2.5 kms to the top to get the cable car from there. Luckily, we managed to get a bus all the way up. The steep slope made us thank the heavens we did not chose to climb!! Pushing the stroller up the slope would have been excruciatingly painful!

After reaching there, we saw a show by some performers. They were doing some stunts with knives and swords and some really big knives. They were amazing and I was just glad I wasn’t fighting them!

Now we started to make our way to the cable car. We saw tons and tons of love locks spread across the tower. P and I got enticed and bought our own (outrageously expensive it was!). They really know how to encash on people’s emotions! Anyways we were sold! We bought a blue heart shaped love lock. Wrote all 7 of our names on both sides and the date. Then we put it on the bridge.

Maybe when the kids are older and if they come back to Seoul, they will come find the lock!

On the cable car side, it seemed really boring so we chucked it and went back to the hotel. That evening P and V came over for some thepla dinner. S cooked maggi in the kettle. It was quite tasty! V’s had one more night of awesome fun! Then S and I finished packing to get ready to leave for Busan by 9 am train the next day.

Day 6: Busan

We got up really early to leave for Busan. We were down to grab breakfast by 8. Left hotel around 820. It was a 10 min taxi ride to the station. We got the ticket validated then ran for the train track. Reached the train track on time and put all our luggage in #12 car thinking it was #11. We had 2 seats – 1 in #11, another in #16. We decided to settle down in #11 and occupy a vacant seat if nearby. There indeed was a vacant seat and fortunately for us, did not get filled the entire time.

On reaching Busan, we directly went to the Restaurant Bombay Braű. This was near the railway station. We ate our fill. The food was pretty okay!

From there, we got into a taxi for the hotel, Laon. Once we reached the room, the view from the room blew our minds away!

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The kids wanted to immediately hit the beach. Sia kept screaming boats and jumping. The kids were ecstatic. So was their mom 😁😍 She just wanted to sit there by the window and drink a hot cuppa chai! But we had only half a day so we got going!

First we went to the Buddhist temple, Haedong Yonggung temple. There were some gorgeous statues of Buddha and various small pagodas for the specific wishes. V went about praying and bowing to all the Gods 😁

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The entire place was built over a mountain so there were plenty of rocks for Kids to climb. They loved doing it but we were on high alert as falling on those rocks would not be pleasant!

On our way back, kids spotted a strawberry place and went crazy. It was just like when they were in Seoul 😀 We also bought a new wind chime for the new house 😊

From the temple, we asked the taxi driver where to go. He suggested we go to an APEC observatory just behind Hotel Westin.

It looked gorgeous but had closed down by the time we reached. Nonetheless, that entire stretch was amazingly beautiful with lovely stretches of sea in front of us.

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Throughout the day, V kept collecting flowers and storing them in my book. We called it the flower book. It has about 7 specimens of flowers.

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We hope these will make their way back safely to Singapore!

After this, we wanted to roam the area a little bit to see if we can find a nice dinner place. S went to the information in Westin to enquire. They guided us to try restaurants lining a road. We were walking towards it when we noticed a cruise liner docked. S went to enquire. He went in around 645 pm. The cruise was leaving at 7. We hopped in. It was brrrrrrrrr cold.

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We were on the top deck for around 30 mins before heading down. There was live music. The guy playing the guitar and singing some Korean and some English songs… specially Elvis songs. His Elvis impersonation was pretty spot on. The bridge was a sight to behold.

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This bridge changes light every few mins. It is a double decker bridge spanning over 7.4 kms. It was amazing to watch it from a distance. It all came together to create a magical evening 🙂

After the cruise, we headed to a pizza place for dinner. Pizzas were nice and we were hungry too. After dinner, it was a wrap 😊

Day 7: Busan

On our last day in Busan and South Korea, we decided to take it easy. We had a leisurely morning breakfast (which was a pretty average affair). After that, we went up and the kids took a longggg shower in the Jacuzzi.

After the long leisurely shower, we checked out and kept the luggage in the storage. Then we stepped out to go to the beach. It was nice cold but the kids did not seem to mind it. They got busy with the sand for about 45 mins.

After the beach, we tried looking for a Korean place but couldn’t find any that served vegetarian. Finally we decided to try out Punjab Indian restaurant. When we went there, it was deserted. We were the only customers there. That was our signal to get out. We decided to try the other branch of Bombay Braű across the street. The food was decent. One big negative- toilet had no soap and wasn’t replaced despite the reminder.

After lunch, V shot 6 out of 8 darts and won a small soft toy! Yay! After that, we were pretty much on the road or the air! We took bullet KoRail train back to Seoul. It was a 2.5 hour ride.

Tip to Vegetarian travelers: Korean Dining on the level B2 of the Seoul Station (which has the ticketing counter for Airport Express) has one of the best Vegetarian Korean food we had in the entire trip. The bibimbap was delicious, so was the cold buckwheat noodle. Icing on the cake: The manager there knows English very well and can help with customising the dish for your dietary preferences.

After an awesome dinner, we took the train to the airport. Junior S slept on the way and slept the entire way through 😀 Check-in, security, boarding, flight… woke up on the taxi ride back home. This could not have gone better for us 🙂

All in all, a great trip, which we will not forget for a long time to come! 🙂

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How to behave with drunk people? — March 13, 2012

How to behave with drunk people?

At a party recently, a few girls got drunk… I would say they were high so much so that they were swearing at the top of their lungs, dancing like no ones watching (which is good) and then falling over innocent bystanders in the process (which is not)… and then there was puking… the bathroom was obviously a mess and so was the path to the bathroom.. This did make me a little uncomfortable, unlike a lot of others who were pretty ok… but then I do get very uncomfortable around drunk people.. and this is something I am still working on…

Thinking back, one part of me tells me I should not take these things seriously and should casually brush them aside… another part gets super annoyed at anyone who cant handle their drinks…

What do you guys think? What would you do if in such a situation? Curious to know 🙂

When a man loves a woman! — September 14, 2007

When a man loves a woman!

When a man loves a woman

Year: 1994

When a man loves a woman is a movie that created a huge impact on me. To what extent can a husband love his wife. To what extent will he go to make it better for her.

At the same time the movie is very realistic. I am not kidding, but I was dumb-struck through out the movie. It was as if I was desperately waiting for things to improve. It was as if I was living right there with them, a part of their family. I cried with them. I laughed with them. This kind of impact very few movies manage to create. When a man loves a woman is definitely one of them.

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