January 17, 2011

A laid back weekend in Seoul?!

This weekend Laura and I decided to go up to Seoul for a winter festival. Once there, we soon learned that the festival was cancelled, but that was only listed on the Korean website (not the English one). All plans of ice fishing with our bare hands were quickly diminished. We made the best of the situation, and honestly, it was great to not have an agenda in Seoul.

M. Chat, French graffiti artist, tagged his famous Mister Cat all over Seoul. This is one in Hongdae by the hostel I stay at in Seoul.

To our pleasant surprise, a second Taco Bell had opened up in Seoul, and just happened to be right next to our hostel! Life was delicious.

Saturday we went to Deoksugung, a palace in downtown Seoul. Our goal was to see the Royal Changing of the Guards Ceremony, but it was cancelled due to cold weather.

We braved the cold long enough to check out the palace grounds and buildings.

It was really interesting seeing such an ancient palace set around a bustling city.

Then we went to a special exhibit at the National Museum of Contemporary Art. It was called Picasso and Modern Art, but was primarily expressionist works. It was a fantastic exhibit, and I would highly recommend anyone in Korea to check it out.

Next, we ventured out to the Seoul Museum of Art, which was hosting a Chagall exhibit, called Chagall : A Magician of Color. Of course the Chagall and Picasso exhibits both did not allow photography.

The museum was hosting a modern exhibit of work that was much more hands on and interactive.

It was an interesting and welcome change after a day full of well-known art.

On Sunday Laura and I went to a cafe called Cats Living. It is a cat cafe, which are actually fairly common in Korea. Neither of us had been to one before, so we stopped in for coffees. It was wonderful.

The basic idea is that you pay an admission to get in (about $7.50) and get a beverage for free. As far as I can tell they can't serve food for sanitation reasons.

You can play with the cats, they had about 30 all together. They were well socialized and friendly. The employees were wandering around, cleaning the cats eyes, giving some medication to others. They all seemed very well cared for.

A lot of cats in Korea have these flat ears and shorter tails. I'm not sure if its breed here or what, but they are quite cute.

There were a group of middle school girls that were pretty awesome too - they spoke some English and were extremely polite. They had bought cat treats - I don't know if she realized the chaos that would ensue from the excited cats, hah.

Last but not least, we wandered to Myungdong for some shopping before heading home to Daegu. It was nice to get away, to see some art - I feel like its been a lifetime since my days of going to gallery openings, the DIA, the GRAM, and local art shows on a weekly basis.

Now I am preparing for my sister, Tricia's, visit. She will arrive on the 30th, and stay for two weeks. I am already compiling lists of things I want her to see and experience during her trip. I can't wait to show off the place that has become my home.

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