A Travellerspoint blog

Seoul South Korea-Found Indonesian Music and Lost Umbrellas

i woke up late yesterday, since I got to bed 4:00 am the night before and had a headache. I woke up roughly around 8:45-which is late for me but really really early for most people in the hostel.

This was just as well because the weather was pretty crummy, the temperature was in the mid 50's and it was raining. After eating breakfast and doing some work on the computer, I set out wearing the sweater and leather jacket for the National Museum of Korea, which was a 3 different trains on the Seoul Metro.

The museum itself, in a giant building was a short walk from the metro in the pouring rain, and while it was giant, I couldn't get much into it. I went to the first exhibit, something like Korea before the Joseon dynasty-starting in 1392, and all sorts of paintings/artifacts, and after what may be 15 minutes-the lack of sleep caught up with me. I went outside and took a nap on a bench in the museum.

After a 15 minute nap (i think), i went back to the museum, and looked at the guide, it appeared that the third floor might be more interesting with old pottery, and something emulating the Terracotta warriors in China-it wasn't. I just gave up and went to the cafeteria for lunch, which consisted of some mushroom and rice dish, and went outside.

Outside, my whole opinion of the Museum turned around, in the museum plaza, which had a roof to keep out the rain, I heard the Lantun Orchestra, playing to a large crowd of family and children sitting on steps. The orchestra, which came from Jakarta and specializes in Indonesian Jazz had an absolutely phenomenal sound, complete with a smiling, wonderful lead vocalist, and instruments that, in addition to a normal Jazz sound, sound like they come from Indonesia. I watched the band as they played 6 songs, or so, and stayed till the end and purchased a CD.

After that, I went back to the hostel and took a nap for a few hours.

At around 6:00 pm, I went out again. First I went out for some Korean Barbecue. At home I don't eat much meat-but I like to eat food that is indigenous to a specific region. On the way out i borrowed one of the hostel umbrellas, as it was still raining. (someone here said people forget to return the umbrellas-but I was committed and i was going to).

First I stopped for Korean Barbecue. Normally, I don't eat meat, but I like to eat food indiginous to a specific region, and i stopped here. I dropped my umbrella off at the entrance.

The barbecue, cooked in front of me on a small grill, was delicious. On the way out i collected the umbrella, and then I walked around Hongdae, and stopped at a place called Dystopia (with copies of 1984, and Animal Farm on display), for a $6.00 Mocha drink-all coffee is expensive here for some reason. i sat there for a while, and read my travel guide. On the way out, I looked for my umbrella. I couldn't find it. I thought I found it-(I wasn't truly sure which was mine since I only had it a few hours). I asked others in the cafe an umbrella i thought might be mine was there's-the person working at the cafe thought I was bothering others I guess-so she asked the other people). Out of two possibilities, they we're both claimed by people there. The second umbrella, the cafe girl asked every person in the cafe-and the very last person said it was his.

So I lost the umbrella. I was umbrella-less. I walked around without an umbrella. It didn't really bother me. Throughout my life, I always almost preferred to get wet then to carry an umbrella. In this case, it was just a light drizzle, so with my hat I was ok. It was at this time that I noticed that EVERY Korean carries an umbrella. Old people carry umbrellas. Kids carry umbrellas. Ladies carry umbrellas. Men carry umbrellas. Nerds have umbrellas. The cool with tattoos and piercings carry umbrellas. The only exception is that with couples, sometimes one is carrying an umbrella shielding the couple, (in which case the other is usually carrying a folded-up umbrella).


I felt like I would let the Lazy Fox Hostel down if I didn't return the umbrella, but I bought a new one for the hostel for around $10.00, and came back around 11:15 and went to bed.

Posted by DavidPearlman 17:53 Archived in South Korea

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