Friture Charles – Tradition

(en Français en bas)

With Sylvie, we get a sense of tradition, and a love for what she does. Making fries is a passion that has been passed on for a few generations. Sylvie still remembers going to the shop with her grandfather, back when it was run out of a trailer. She loves the contact with the people and especially making connections with the customers that come back, and many do come back. Many have been customers since they were young and are now bringing their own children to enjoy the tradition. 

Sylvie is nice and has a soft regard, with beautiful eyes that are enchanting (I hope to photograph her smile one day). But watch out, she’s also one strong lady who isn’t afraid to say it like it is. So if someone says something out of line, they should not be surprised to get a swift response and be put in their place. 

She prepares the fries in the same way it’s been done for generations. As such, it is a true Belgian fry. She doesn’t like the fries to be confused as  ‘a snack’, they are  fries, a moment shared, and a pause in the day.

Sylvie wipes down a mixing bowl, in the friterie since her grandfather’s time

Established in 1956 by her grandfather Charles, a veteran of WWII, Sylvie is now the 3rd generation running the shop…and her daughter will take on the reins in due time. The ‘friture’ was not always in its current location, although never too far either. It has been located at 2 of the corners across Place Dumon. Finally in 1994 the new location was built and set where it is now.  Even with a full  renovation in 2018, the location still contains a few kitchen staples from the original kitchen: family photos and a metal mixing/serving bowl can be observed in the back wall. 

One thing that differs from the tradition though, is that she serves the fries in a paper basket…but hey, not everything can stay the same. This is done mainly for efficacy, but if you stop by during lunch time and request a traditional cone of fries, you may just get it.

===FR===

Avec Sylvie, nous avons un sens de la tradition et un amour pour ce qu’elle fait. Faire des frites est une passion qui se transmet depuis quelques générations. Sylvie se souvient encore d’être allée au magasin avec son grand-père, à l’époque où c’était encore une caravane. Elle aime le contact avec les gens et surtout établir des liens avec les clients qui reviennent, et beaucoup reviennent. Beaucoup sont des clients depuis qu’ils sont jeunes et amènent maintenant leurs propres enfants pour profiter de la tradition.

Sylvie est gentille et a un regard doux, avec de beaux yeux qui sont enchanteurs (j’espère photographier son sourire un jour). Mais attention, c’est aussi une femme forte qui n’a pas peur de le dire tel quel. Donc, si quelqu’un dit quelque chose de déplacé, il ne devrait pas être surpris d’obtenir une réponse rapide et d’être remis à sa place.

Elle prépare les frites de la même manière que depuis des générations. En tant que tel, c’est une vraie frite belge. Elle n’aime pas que les frites soient confondues avec “une snack”, ce sont des frites, un moment partagé et une pause dans la journée.

Fondée en 1956 par son grand-père Charles, un vétéran de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Sylvie est maintenant la 3ème génération à la tête de la boutique … et sa fille prendra les rênes en temps voulu. La friture n’était pas toujours à son emplacement actuel, mais jamais trop loin non plus. Il est situé à 2 des coins de la place Dumon. Enfin, en 1994, le nouvel emplacement a été construit et situé là où il se trouve actuellement. Même avec une rénovation complète en 2018, l’emplacement contient encore quelques agrafes de cuisine de la cuisine d’origine: des photos de famille et un bol de service en métal peuvent être observés dans le mur du fond.

Une chose qui diffère de la tradition cependant, c’est qu’elle sert les frites dans une corbeille en papier … mais bon, tout ne peut pas rester pareil. Ceci est fait principalement pour l’efficacité, mais si vous vous arrêtez pendant l’heure du déjeuner et demandez un cornet de frites traditionnel, vous pouvez l’obtenir.

Mayflower by Eau489

For the series–Local-ish: Faces Behind the Counter / Visages Derrière le Comptoir

[English version below]

Il est 8h30 du matin et à peu près 1 degré celsius à l’extérieur. Les vendeurs du marché ont commencé à s’installer il y a quelques heures. Je rencontre Olivia et Justine, l’équipe de fleuristes mère-fille, pour en savoir plus sur leur histoire.

Olivia and Justine behind their work table

Olivia était graphiste, elle est donc formée à la coordination des couleurs et à l’unité de conception et peut appliquer ses compétences à la conception d’arrangements floraux. Elle est impatiente de me raconter comment tout a commencé pour elle et sa fille dans le commerce des fleurs, on peut sentir l’amour dans sa voix, voir la joie dans ses yeux.

Il y a environ deux ans, alors que Justine était étudiante au collège et travaillait à temps partiel pour un fleuriste. Un jour, son patron a annoncé qu’il prenait sa retraite. Justine est rentré chez elle pour annoncer la mauvaise nouvelle à ses parents. Elle avait aussi une bonne nouvelle: son patron était prêt à lui vendre l’entreprise. Justine était enthousiaste à l’idée de posséder sa propre entreprise de fleurs, car elle se sentait attirée par la profession. Après quelques discussions, sa mère a décidé de la soutenir et a acheté l’entreprise pour sa fille. Un cadeau fantastique! Justine s’est alors inscrite à l’école de fleuriste et est maintenant à sa 2ème année d’études, plus qu’une à faire.

Justine among flower bouquets

Aujourd’hui, elles travaillent ensemble sur les trois marchés place Dumon, Stockel (mardi, vendredi et samedi) et aussi sur le marché de la place Sainte-Alix (mercredi). Quand vous êtes au marché, assurez-vous de prendre le temps de vous “arrêter et de sentir les roses” (stop and smell the roses).

===EN===

It’s 8:30 am and about 1 degree celsius outside.  The market vendors started setting up a few hours back. I’m meeting Olivia and Justine, mother daughter florist team, to find out more about their story.

Olivia was a graphic designer so she’s trained in color coordination and design unity and can apply those skills in the design of flower arrangements. She’s excited to tell me how it all started for her and her daughter in the flower business, one can sense the love in her voice, see the joy in her eyes. 

About two years ago Justine was a High School student working part time for a florist. One day her boss announced he was retiring. Justine went home to announce the bad news to her parents. She also had some good news; her boss was willing to sell her the business.  Justine was excited by the possibility of owning her own flower business, having been feeling attracted to the profession. After some discussion, her mother decided to support her and bought the business for her daughter. Fantastic gift! Justine then enrolled in florist school and is now in her 2nd year of studies, one year to go.

These days, they work together at the three markets in Place Dumon (Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday) and also the market at Saint Alix (Wednesday) in Woluwe Saint Pierre. Whenever you’re at the market, make sure you take time to ‘stop and smell the roses’ (pun intended).

Les Artisans Ciriers Bruxellois

Meet wax artists Annette & Manu.

[version française en bas]

Annette, German, previously in human resources and youth learning. Manu, Belgian, previously in the food industry and business development.

A partnership meant to be…in life and in business.  Their wax story begins in the very recent past, 2019. Looking for more sense in their lives, for something that aligned with their family live, with their history and values, they encounter a wax artist at a point where he himself was changing, who transfers his knowledge and business to our power couple.

They’ve recently joined the Woluwe Saint Pierre Stockel/Place Dumon community with their pop-up store. They create custom candles for private and business clients, as well as host hands-on candle making birthday parties for children. I’d say adults would also be interested in such an activity.

I quite enjoyed this photo session. Both Annette and Manu are natural models. And they are such a complementary team. Their energy feeds each other. Emitting and absorbing light every which way.  Annette describes Manu as someone with a high capacity of breaking tension, contributing a bit of fun, a joke perhaps, to make moments at ease. Manu also likes to take the most difficult road, he loves a challenge, not wanting to be like the others, driven by creativity…and wanting to make an impact. But whereas some may think he’s all over the place, chaotic perhaps, his mental efficiency is such that he envisions many perspectives before taking the next step.  So in reality it’s not really chaos, rather, well analysed steps.  Whereas Annette, a fan of structure, apports her constant and reassuring personality, bringing equilibrium to the partnership.  Their dream is to be part of a cultural and artistic shared space. I’d say they’re on the right path.  It was my impression that they make every visitor feel welcomed, as if they were at a friend’s house…in a way making their small space a place for sharing.

Both über charismatic. It is rare to see a couple that complements each other so well, and that can transfer that to the workplace.  Why don’t you go meet them yourselves, let me know what you think 😉

FR

Annette, allemande, précédemment en ressources humaines et apprentissage des jeunes. Manu Belgian, auparavant dans l’industrie alimentaire et le développement des affaires.

Un partenariat qui se veut… dans la vie et en affaires. Leur histoire de cire commence dans un passé très récent, 2019. À la recherche de plus de sens dans leur vie, de quelque chose qui correspondait à la vie de leur famille, à leur histoire et à leurs valeurs, ils rencontrent un artiste de cire à un moment où il aussi changeait, et les transfère ses connaissances à notre couple puissant.

Ils ont rejoint la communauté Woluwe Saint Pierre Stockel / Place Dumon avec leur pop-up store. Ils créent des bougies personnalisées pour des clients privés et professionnels, et organisent des sessions pour des fêtes d’anniversaire pour les enfants. Je dirais que les adultes seraient également intéressés par une telle activité.

J’ai beaucoup apprécié cette séance photo. Annette et Manu sont des modèles naturels. Et ils forment une équipe tellement complémentaire. Leur énergie se nourrit. Émission et absorption de la lumière dans tous les sens. Annette décrit Manu comme quelqu’un avec une grande capacité à briser les tensions, à apporter un peu de plaisir, une blague peut-être, à créer des moments à l’aise. Manu aime aussi prendre la route la plus difficile, il aime les défis, ne pas vouloir être comme les autres, animé par la créativité… et vouloir avoir un impact. Mais alors que certains peuvent penser qu’il est partout, peut-être chaotique, son efficacité mentale est telle qu’il envisage de nombreuses perspectives avant de passer à l’étape suivante. Donc, en réalité, ce n’est pas vraiment le chaos, mais plutôt des étapes bien analysées. Alors que Annette, adepte de la structure, associe sa personnalité constante et rassurante, apportant un équilibre au partenariat. Leur rêve est de faire partie d’un espace culturel et artistique partagé. Je dirais qu’ils sont sur la bonne voie. J’ai l’impression qu’ils font en sorte que chaque visiteur se sente accueilli, comme s’il était chez un ami… en quelque sorte, faisant de son petit espace un lieu de partage.

Les deux über charismatiques. Il est rare de voir un couple qui se complète si bien et qui peut transférer cela sur son lieu de travail. Pourquoi n’allez-vous pas les rencontrer vous-mêmes, dites-moi ce que vous en pensez;)

Seoul: Criminal Background Check & Apostil

I am compelled to write this short post after reading many unclear/wrong/outdated posts online. And finding myself running around the city to wrong offices and unclear idea of how the process was done.  This is my experience.

Criminal Background Check

  1. Visit your gu’s police office and ask for a criminal background check for ‘foreigners’ for visa/official purposes (unless you are Korean).  In this form (unlike the other one for Koreans or personal use) it asks who the certificate should be addressed for.
  2. It may take up to seven days for the police office to have the report bac

 

Apostil

  1. Note that the Gwanghwamun Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs no longer handles Apostil
  2. You’ll need to go to the Diplomatic Center, 4th Floor, near Jangjae station, exit 12, walk about 400 meters.  1376-1 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul
  3. There a volunteer may help you fill out the simple form, take a number, wait to be called, go to the cashier window to buy a 1,000 stamp…wait 30 minutes, return to the first window that helped you to pick up your Apostatized document.

And that’s it…hopefully this helps.  Thank your public service staff.

Take time to smell the roses…or drink an herbal tea while taking a foot bath.

“Today, just take time to smell the roses, enjoy those little things about your life, your family, spouse, friends, job. Forget about the thorns -the pains and problems they cause you – and enjoy life”

– Bernard Kelvin Clive, Your Dreams Will Not Die

So I try and take time to smell the roses…but sometimes we forget as I hear more and more from friends.  I recently had the opportunity to do choose an activity through One More Trip.  My first thought was to choose an experience that left me a souvenir: top choice was making a personalized chilbo (enamel) ring, or the natural stone Hangul stamp.  Taking a step back (not literally of course, mentally) I reconsidered and chose an experience that left a different souvenir…an experience, a taste, and why not a moment of calm.

I chose the Solgaheon Healing Café: Foot Bath and Medicinal Herbal Tea Experience.  The place does right by the it’s description, promising the fragrance of pine trees and a space to take a break from ‘busy modern life and enjoy nature and take care of your health’.

 

The owner was welcoming and even tried helping with baby to make the experience ‘easier’ for me, but baby and I did just fine.  The session begins with choosing a tea: tough choice but I chose the Chaegam tea as my body felt tired. Then the foot bath is prepared with an emulsion to help in blood circulation, and the feet go in (it’s a bit hot at first).

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As we wait for our tea, we enjoy the calm that the patio, surrounded by the wooden building, offers.  We are alone, just our thoughts and each other’s company.  I have to remind myself to stay off the phone and take in the moment.  Sofia and I sing a song.

The tea comes, accompanied by red ginseng cookies, juju berries, and pumpkin seeds.  We wait while the timer indicates the tea is ready for drinking.  It’s hot outside and we’re drinking hot tea.  Yet, it’s still comforting somehow.  20 minutes are up and we are done with the feet and the tea (and the cookies).  I should have brought lotion; I dry my feet and put on my socks.

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The owner offers a refill of the tea and we take it inside the cafe, shielded from the warming exterior…it is summer in Seoul, and the Cafe is not immune to the heat.

As we are leaving, 4 women arrive…ready to enjoy their own session.

 

#OneMoreTrip #GlobalSeoulMate #liveplayexperience

 

 

Daydreaming of Speed and Power at The Seoul Motor Show

I like driving, I like cars.  Do these things always go together? Probably not.

I like driving. I look back at making the drive between Los Angeles and Madera in Central California.  A long, straight highway in which one can get lost in the flow of the road and speed it encourages.  There were a lot of speeding tickets in the early days, so I learned to enjoy the road otherwise, keeping a maximum speed of 80mph. There was the one time though, a Friday morning on a friend’s Thunderbird with my sister in the passenger seat.  No traffic except for cargo trucks.  A beautiful summer day, we let the windows down and I let the road drive me.  The time passed quickly and we arrived more than half an hour early…we straggled in town before arriving home not to worry my mother.

I never owned a sports car, yes the price could have been a factor but also I was not sure I could trust myself with the power of these cars.  My ’99 Nissan Sentra got the job done all the same.  Meanwhile, I enjoy looking at the design, feeling the curves, and daydreaming of driving one of these on a long scenic highway.

BlancaMadrigal_Emotion-6662

Honda NSX

 

The Seoul Motor Show provided a lot of content for this dreams, at least in the morning when there was less of a crowd and it was easy to move around and look at the cars.  From compact cars, sport cars, luxury cars, big SUVs to electric/hybrid cars, family campers, and children cars…the Show was a popular event for car enthusiasts of all ages.  27 different auto brands were represented at the Motor Show in addition to another 194 parts companies and other auto-related service companies.  Around 20% (50) of the 243 car models presented were eco-friendly or green cars (hybrid, electric, etc).

I imagined that by now green cars would make a bigger percentage at car shows, and in the streets.  But the consumer, and the market, can only move toward this new product at a certain pace.  There are many aspects that affect the market (speed, power, size, etc.) and the consumer will get what it wants.  It was encouraging to learn that the Korean Automobile Environmental Association is installing electronic car charging stations throughout the country, a step forward in the infrastructure work needed to increase the green car appeal.

I asked Guillaume Muller, chemical engineer, for his thoughts on the green car market…this is what he had to say:

“It was good to see this kind of show in Asia*, one of the biggest car markets. Since Environmental questions are a question of the future, it will be interesting to see if Asia will turn electric or not.  We saw that Toyota, Hyundia, specific Asian makers, are leading to increasing the number of electric car models.  The fact that battery factories and auto makers are also in Asia, LG Chemistry/Samsung amongst others, will push the Asian car market to be more electrical.  Particularly in China, the strategy is to build batteries and cars in the same company, and to open an internal market, the biggest which is China, to this development.”

And indeed, there seems to be a pattern of car companies investing in R&D for their own batteries, instead of outsourcing for this component.

It was surprising to see the self-driving cars. I wonder if this really is the future of automobiles?  A far future perhaps as there would need to be a lot of infrastructure work in order for these to be appealing.   I know I am not ready for this move…what’s the fun in not driving, I can just take a train if I don’t want to or can’t drive.  But that’s me, I like driving.  In the meantime, I may be changing my dreams from ‘sport car’ to ‘green vehicle,’ next time I drive again.  I miss California highways.

* China is listed as number 1 and Japan as number 3 of biggest car markets. CNBC, http://www.cnbc.com/2011/09/12/Worlds-10-Largest-Auto-Markets.html?slide=11

Discovering Yoga with Baby 

Why is it that mothers (and maybe fathers) feel guilt with baby? Are we spending enough time with them? Are the activities enriching…entertaining enough? More on this another time.

I don’t know if guilt was my motivation or my multitasking attitude OR simply the desire to involve my baby girl Sofia in an activity that would be good for her as well; good for our bond and physical/mental health.

I have recently started to exercise again regularly and this week I thought I should incorporate the yoga practice, in addition to running and other cross-training activities.  Yoga accompanied me during pregnancy and I feel it was this practice that kept me strong and energetic.  Curious to see how I could involve Sofia, as I already do at times with other exercises at home, I searched YouTube for “yoga with baby”  and I found a lot of content.  We chose two short videos not to overwhelm Sofia…we mustn’t push ourselves too hard when trying something new.

Sofia was mostly engaged, taking the experience as play time perhaps but more importantly feeling close to mom and being happy with this moment of interaction. She was also very relaxed in the end. However, as with most babies, Sofia’s attention span is not long and she was definitely done after 30 minutes.  So, momma will have to start or finish without her if she wants longer sessions.

Needless to say, I have no guilty feelings about our new-found activity. I’ve scheduled weekly sessions for us and as long as she is awake and willing, we will do yoga together.  If only I was as flexible as she is!

This week, we also discovered swimming.  Sofia and I joined our two friends Greta (9 months) and her mom Maxie in the kiddie pool and Sofia loved it.  She chuckled, she splashed the water with her hands, she kicked around her legs.  A natural in the water.  I was moved to see her enjoying this new activity.

Exercise is very important to me and I am happy that I can share this time with my baby as well.  Getting strong and fit will be even more fun.

 

And now the required health disclaimer :/

It is strongly recommended that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Reading health and exercise information online may be helpful, but it cannot replace the professional diagnosis and treatment you might need from a qualified healthcare provider.

 

Shopping: Objective ‘Breast Pump’

I had bought one in the United States, but it was defective so I returned it.  Looking back, I should have bought one in France prior to moving to Korea.  It was a bit challenging asking for a breast pump not knowing the language, it involved gestures of squeezing my breast and pointing at Sofia…not pretty.  Luckily, I remembered I had the Google Translate app on my phone, this simplified things.

I first went to Lotte Mart at Seoul Station.  This store has everything and anything one might need for daily life, from a one floor grocery store, to kitchen and other household supplies, office supplies, clothing, shoes, pets, etc.  I spent a long time just looking at everything they had, and now I don’t remember if they carry hangers…the one thing I need next.  Oh well. They carried only one brand of breast pump, and only two models. I found it was a bit expensive and decided I would look elsewhere to compare.  The next day I ventured out on my search for this item.

I was heading to  Shinsegae, a department store not long from the hotel, but somewhere on the way I took a slightly wrong turn, no big deal I thought, I get to explore some more.  Well, on this other way, I found 2 other malls (LOTTE Department Stores and LOTTE Young Plaza).  That means, that within walking distance there are at least 4 huge malls…along with many other smaller markets.  Seoul seems to be a shopper’s paradise, offering brand names and a variety of goods/products.  Besides the department stores, there are places like Namdaemun Market, the largest traditional market in Korea, with shops selling various goods at affordable prices.

Back to the pump, I found that all the department stores carried the same pump, but more expensive. I decided I would return to LOTTE Mart and buy the pump there.

It was lunch time when I headed back to the hotel and I thought I’d try some food at Nandaemun Market.  I saw a small street food shop selling Hodduks, a fried Korean pancake, which is filled with clear noodles and vegetables. The shop had a long line of customers waiting and I took this for a good sign.  Well, I had my first bad experience with food at Seoul.  Perhaps this isn’t a reflection of the meal I ate and rather of the sensitivity of my stomach to certain foods.  I won’t try this again anyway, just to be safe. Hodduks, a fried Korean pancake, which is filled with clear noodles and vegetables.

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Anyway, I bought the pump and I am hopeful because this time Sofia took the bottle much better than when we tried at 2 months, she drank nearly 50 ml at one feeding (followed by breast)!

Next, I’m happy to explore food shopping districts 🙂

 

#Seoul #Shopping #breastpump

Seoul – First Week

It felt as though we were driving toward one of those cities in end-of-the-world movies.   Guillaume (husband) didn’t seem to appreciate this comment, we are moving here for three years after all.  A dense fog covered the horizon and there was a slight snow falling around us.  I wondered how Sofia (baby daughter) would grow up here.  On the way from the airport to Itaewon, where our hotel, Hamilton, was located, we passed what seemed to be industrial areas, followed each time by a conglomeration of closely built hi-rise apartment buildings. When we got off the freeway and arrived at Itaewon it was not much better.  A city with buildings one upon the other, a concrete jungle.

Sunday (Day 1): We were tired from the trip and did not leave the hotel on the first day.

Monday (Day 2): Happy to find breakfast with egg at Paris Baguette bakery next to the hotel.

We ventured on a morning walk, north of Itaewon-ro street.  We started to climb.  You can see the night was cold as there was still ice and snow on the way.  We had to walk carefully to avoid slipping on the ice, there were some close calls.  Sofia was on the carrying scarf, I wondered if it was too cold for her.  We were climbing and so the wind was more chilly.  We were randomly choosing the streets to go on and by chance we arrived at the embassy street.  It was a clean neighborhood with very nice houses, spaced out, with gardens.  We caught glimpses of the city from viewpoints high in the mountain.  When we started to descend, we found ourselves at the park with the tower, we were close enough to hike up to it…but we didn’t want Sofia to be cold, so we took a right back to Itaewon.  The park was full of snow.  The sidewalk was icy.

The first meal out was barbecue, the typical Korean barbecue.  The restaurant was close to the hotel in Itaewon.  Itaewon, as it becomes very obvious, is an international neighborhood, housing restaurants from many countries and a shopping district that attracts tourists and locals alike.  Back to the food…Maple Restaurant: one order of barbecue and one Bibim Bap.  Unlike my previous experience with Korean BBQ, the waitress was the one putting the meat on the girl, not the customer.  And, they serve several styles of kimchi on the side, little salads/lettuce, and even tofu to accompany the meat.

Tuesday (Day 3): The next day we explored south Itaewon (south of Itaewon-ro) and it was different than the North.  Here we found houses more closely built…I’d say a residential area for the common people (not ‘ambassadors’ etc).  As we walked on, descending, the streets became narrower, until we found ourselves in small alleys, wide enough for 1-2 persons…and it was like this in this neighborhood for several blocks. Again it was very cold, even with gloves on, and hands inside jacket pockets, my hands were freezing. This has made it very hard to take pictures, the more pictures I take (since glove comes off to use phone), the colder it gets.  We headed back to the hotel, on the way we found a small coffee shop, I had a mocha and it warmed me up and gave me lots of energy for the return walk.  I bought a new pair of gloves close to the hotel.

And for lunch, Mexican food.  Why not, we’ll be leaving here long enough to explore the local flavors.  I was curious to taste food from a Mexican restaurant, to see if it would be descent enough.  It was.   The salsa passed the test, not far from a homemade one you’d expect to find at a Mexican household.  TomaTillo restaurant serves a good balance of ingredients and flavors.  There is hope for the days I have cravings of food back home.

Up until now, it had been a bit strange living at the hotel, bags packed.  We were scheduled to move to a temporary residence (serviced apartments) on Day 4…and by Day 3 we are really looking forward to it.

Wednesday (Day 4): Moving Day!  Alex, staff member at the Fraser Place Central Seoul, came to meet us, that was very nice of him as we had 2 large bags, 1 carry on, two backpacks, and another travel bag…traveling with baby vastly increases packing volume.  Also packing for one month which is the minimum waiting time for the rest of our household items (including clothes).  We are staying on the 20th floor in a deluxe 1 bedroom apartment/room.  At the entry, we remove our shoes and place them on the shoe closet. Then, there is a mini kitchen on the left and the guest’s bathroom on the left.  Then a dining/living room with large TV and a view to the west.  The large bedroom has a king size bed and large bathroom with shower and bathtub…also a view to the west.  My favorite thing was being able to empty the bags and organize the clothes in the closet/drawers.  It now feels a bit more like a ‘home’.  A home that includes breakfast buffet, that’s great too 🙂

Thursday through Saturday (Day 5-7): We took strolls around the hotel, tried Vietnamese Pho. The grocery store is different as most products are Asian (of course)…I’ll have to adapt my cooking.  Biggest shocker, the price of eggs!  More than double than in Paris. And me, I love my eggs for breakfast in the morning.

Saturday we visited Namdaemun Market. At the north west corner, the Sungnyemun Gate, Korea’s National Treasure No. 1, welcomes you into the neighborhood.  The Market is a place where you can find something for all your needs: clothes, jewelry, personal care, food.   We planned on eating noodles on noodle alley, but it was too narrow for the stroller…next time we’ll have to carry Sofia.  The noodle alley is narrow and there are many small noodle shops next to each other, with noodle ladies trying to convince customers to choose their stall.  And customers seating in cramped spaces enjoying their noodles and side choices.  Another day… we tried some dumplings instead.

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Drinks section at the grocery store

On the way back to the hotel, we passed a peaceful demonstration for democracy at City Hall.

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Sunday (Day 8): Today.  Sitting at the breakfast table, we look out and it’s snowing, it didn’t last long. We worked on our plan for the day, we were supposed to go for a stroll or even take the bus tour after lunch but it started snowing again.  So here we are, lazy Sunday, baby sleeping on the bed, we’re watching TV (Ocean’s 11).

 

Photo Disclaimer: I was not prepared for the coldness, and the first week my hands were too cold to hold the phone long enough or to focus on framing, etc.
#Seoul #Korea #travel #food #expat