This weekend is a
weekend. Catfish and I head to Seoul to do a spot of shopping and I have made an appointment at Healing Hands for a much needed massage. Seoul
We arrive in Itaewon in time for a delicious lunch at Gecko’s. Their fish and chips is a guaranteed choice but we’re also in the mood for junebugs and quesadillas. Needless to say, we gorge ourselves somewhat on a delectable lunch that, to the best of our knowledge, cannot easily be found due south of our current location. Unfortunately, clothes shopping after having gorged ourselves at lunch is not the smartest decision we make today. Nonetheless, we head over to B & T, the “big size” store that KiwiKat showed me in January. After a bit of shopping there, I head to What the Book while Catfish heads to Myeongdong to see if Uniqlo and Forever 21 have any suitable clothing for her. Soon, it’s time for my massage…
As I settle in at Healing Hands, I can feel the tension in my shoulders resisting the upcoming exorcism. I’ve booked for a 70 minute full body massage with an additional 20 minutes of a hot stone massage and the foot care package. The 90 minutes fly by all too quickly as the masseuse slowly exorcises the tension that has been solidifying my muscles for a few weeks now. In addition, my feet love the paraffin wax and scrub that they’re receiving today and, at the end, I’m amazed at the smoothness of my feet, which, I’m pretty sure, is something that I haven’t had since I was a baby.
After 90 minutes of pure bliss, I stumble out of Healing Hands in time to meet Catfish so that we can go to Tartine – yet another amazing find courtesy of KiwiKat who refers to this heavenly bakery as “the pie shop”. We have a quick coffee and pie before meeting M and her friend Astro (self-named because he is a fan of the Astroboy cartoons) for dinner. We decide to go to the Buddha’s Belly in Itaewon, which is a Thai restaurant that we’ve heard about but have never been able to find. Fortunately, Astro is clearly a Seoul City Boy and confidently leads the way up a side street and down another street parallel to the main drag. The food here is delicious and, after a few drinks, Astro becomes more talkative.
From the Buddha’s Belly, we head to a bar down the road whose name eludes me but contains the word “Bungalow”. Here, we sit in hanging seats in a sandy garden where we swing to our hearts’ content while sipping the most delicious Raspberry Pina Colada. Losing track of time, we phone our hostel to let them know that we’re running a bit late but will be checking in within the next hour and then we say a hasty goodbye at 22:00. At 22:30, we again phone the hostel to tell them how close we are since their cut-off for check-in is 23:00. By the time we get to Blu Guesthouse in Hongdae at 22:45, we’re surprised by the rather snotty attitude with which we’re greeted at the reception desk. Admittedly we did say that we would check in at 22:00 but we’ve been in constant communication with them in the last 45 minutes so we’re somewhat disappointed by the unfriendly greeting.
We’re shown to our room which we will be sharing with 5 other girls. The room is quite comfortable and we’re quick to take showers, pack our purchases into our bags and make our beds. In all honesty, we consider ourselves to be fairly considerate roommates and try to minimise our noise production in hostel rooms when other people are sleeping. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same of our roommates for tonight. When the party girls return at around 2:00am, they don’t seem to give a moment’s thought to their noisy entrance and movement around the room. In addition, one of our roommates is clearly a light sleeper and someone is snorting.
I snore. I sometimes snore so loudly that I wake myself up. I know that I snore – other people have also told me – and I always apologise in advance to those unfortunate enough to be placed in a room with me. I also encourage people to wake me up in any way they like if my snoring bothers them. Around 2:00am, I wake to the complaint of one of my unknown roommates who, at the top of her voice, calls out from her bed, “Excuse me, you’re snoring.” Who, exactly, she is talking to remains a mystery but I naturally assume it’s me. I roll onto my side and go back to sleep only to wake a few minutes later with the same comment. Again, I assume it’s me so I force myself to stay awake for about 20 minutes while I play with my phone.
By now, it’s after 3:00am and we have an early start in the morning. When the same girl issues her next comment, however, I become confident that she’s not talking to me. Her comment, however, cracks me up: “Can we take turns sleeping?” Ironically, I’ve been awake for the past 20 minutes and no one has actually been snoring. Clearly, though, something is bothering her and I decide that it’s simply tough luck as I fall asleep once more but not before making sure that my snore volume is set to the max just to annoy her. With the snottiness of the staff upon check-in and the rude and inconsiderate behaviour of some of our roommates, this is a hostel that I would be hard-pressed to stay at again in the future.