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Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Jun 2, 2011

Seoul #1

In May we took a short trip to Seoul Korea. The 3-1/2 hour flight with Cathay Pacific went well and we landed in a new country. This was the kids 8th country. Nathan commented he was in his 30's before he had visited his 8th country. This is the life in Hong Kong, an international hub making it convenient to travel.

The Hotel Sun Bee - Insadong -The reviews were right about the location being a good one. It was clean, had free internet and was relatively cheap.

We spotted a toy store while walking the street and went in. We soon realized it wasn't a store but a museum. We paid the1000 won and made our way round. There were so many items packed in all together it was hard to know where to look first. We recognized some of the memorabilia, and toys that have the origins in Japan and China, the cartoons, comics that are still found in the pop culture here. A hanging Cabbage Patch reminiscent of my 80's childhood, hung from a string among other random dolls. Most items were greatly used, dingy, broken and there was no rhyme or reason to most of the displays. Still It was quite entertaining and worth the buck it cost to walk around..

I explained to Jane about how the juke box worked, feeling old as I did. I remember juke boxes at Pizza Hut.

My first impressions:
Surprised that signs could be found in English
Felt like I was in Japan some times and Suzhou at other times.
Even though I felt the culture was distinctly Korean and that people proudly identified with being Korean, it seemed more western than Hong Kong. A result of our presence and relationship with the country is a guess as to why this is. I also assume this is mainly true of Seoul.