Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Need Crampons?!?

On January 14th, Chelsea and I decided to be super productive and hike up Moaksan mountain. ( The mountain that I've previously blogged about that absolutely kicked my butt!)

Well, our plans ended up changing a bit! But don't they always?! Traveling has absolutely taught me patience and well... in all honestly, it has taught me to expect less.

"Luxury bus" = a bus with a semi-reclining seat, no bathroom
"Mexican Food" = a restaurant that only serves fried chicken
"3 hours to Cusco" = 6.5 hours

I literally could make a list that went on and on, but is pretty difficult to think of the little things (since so many happen day to day when abroad). Thank Goodness I'm this way (also, thanks to my Dad!), when I find myself traveling with extremely picky people.. I cringe a bit on the inside, and thank God that I do not allow ALL of the little things to ruin my trip/day/vacation/LIFE!

Anyways, when I said that our plans changed a little bit.. they ended up changing a lot! The first part of the day, Chelsea and I were going to meet downtown to take a bus together to the mountain.. of course, I missed the first city bus I could have taken, and the next one that I "knew" for sure would take me straight downtown wasn't coming for about 20 minutes... so I checked the bus map, and found one that looked like a go! Get on the bus... and dangit, it isn't exactly going the route I thought it would. I asked the bus driver in my amazing (hah! non-existent) Korean where Gaeksa was, because I was already like 5 minutes late meeting Chelsea.. and he said I had 3 more stops. I get off the bus, and I'm on the opposite side of Gaeksa (btw, 'downtown' is really just 4 blocks by 4 blocks of a busy shopping area)... I haven't exactly explored very much of my city yet, I know certain areas of Seoul MUCH better than I do my own city (unfortunately!).. so I call Chelsea and say 'Uh Oh! I tried to pick the right direction to meet you at Starbucks, and I asked a guy, and he pointed in this direction, and now I'm just so confused, and I'm soorrryyy, I don't know where I am! I'm so stupid, why does this always happen!!! Where am I?!" haha (this wasn't the first time Chelsea has had to rescue me from the Gaeksa area). And she figures it out right away, comes and finds me (I was hardcore walking in the wrong direction). Luckily she is such a chill person, it doesn't bother her at all, love her!

So that was problem number 1... problem 2... we get on the correct bus, get dropped off at the trail head of the mountain... and everything is PURE ICE! Most all of the snow/ice had melted in the city weeks before hand (it snowed the last part of December) and we had NO CLUE, whatsoever... we just stood there.. in our tennis shoes and our non-snow gear.. staring, dropped jaws, staring... one person falls.. we look around and see what all of the Koreans are wearing (because of course there are looootttss of people there hiking).. they had freaking chains and picks on their feet.. another person falls.. you have to be kidding.

Luckily Chelsea and I both didn't like the idea of broken bones (or more bruises.. see picture from my fall down the stairs on January 1st because of the random quick ice storm we had in the middle of the day)... we found out that the things on their shoes were called crampons... we weren't knowledgeable enough to realize that they weren't ridiculously expensive, and we could have bought some and strapped them to our shoes for about $8.. but you live and you learn.. and when we realized that when we climb Hallasan mountain in Jeju Island (Hallasan is the reason we wanted to hike that day anyways.. to prepare a bit, since we don't work out) the week after.. we would need them! We got them, and all was well.. we actually LOVED using our crampons.. I can't wait to get a chance to wear them again!!

This is kind of what our crampons looked like.. so cool:

We were super bummed... but kind of relieved at the same time (hehe). We needed a Plan B.. it was cold, it was windy.. what do ya do? DAK GALBI FRIED RICE is what you do! Our go to place whenever something is wrong or we're hungry.. super cheap, super delicious, super spicy, awesome restaurant! After that, we decided to do some shopping at the Moranae Market... it was a lovely walk and we had fun gawking at the random happenings around us!
Pictures from the Moranae Market:

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