Tuesday, December 20, 2011

When NOT to go to Seoul

I almost didn't get a visa to Seoul because the embassy only had two days to process it. Usual processing time is three days. But because I was in Surigao and there was a Thai public holiday, I had to ask the embassy to reconsider my case.

The visa was issued to me the very same day I flew to Seoul with a number of colleagues for a two-day meeting.

I was already warned by our partner in Seoul that the weather was going to be below zero. Thank god, Uniqlo in BKK has some thermal underwear. I used to scoff at the racks where they sell warm clothes. Who needs them in Bangkok? Now I understand.

But nothing could have still prepared me for the weather in Seoul. The average temperature was something like -3... at daytime! One night we experienced -8! I'm not a fan of cold weather; and it was also my first time to experience winter.

Those thick coats we see on TV and the movies look cute all right, but NOT in real life, I realized. I just couldn't stand having to wear two socks, two underwear, a shirt, jumper, coat, scarf, hat, and gloves. Awful! And my skin was flaky and itchy as shit.

I hated my time in Seoul, whereas it was lovely autumn weather when we went there last year. This time around, going outside was just discouraging. I shivered like crazy the moment I stepped out of the hotel. At times I literally ran to the car from the hotel lobby.

Well, on my first day, I had the courage to go to the National Museum of Contemporary Art. It was a long subway ride. The museum is located in the mountains, a good contrast to the concrete and steel of downtown Seoul.

But other than that opportunity of exploring Seoul, we were mostly holed up in the warmth of the meeting room. Even shopping was not an option as they were selling winter clothes now. Duh.

I'd go back to Seoul anytime there's an opportunity though. It's a lovely city, with heritage and modern buildings sitting side by side. The shopping is not bad either. But definitely, I'd rather be on the right season when I go back there.


Lyka Bergen said...

Its time for you to gain more taba naman for the cold. Ching!

Liberty London Girl said...

Growing up in England, I've never thought about what it would be like to experience winter for the first time. Thank you for letting me know! LLGxx


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