Seoul, Korea – Day 32, April 25

I didn’t rush out in the rain for the SIM for my phone. I was trying to figure out how to get there without a SIM in my phone, then I remembered my Verizon SIM from home would let me use a $10 Travel Pass to get access to the internet on the go. It didn’t really work very well but once I found my way to the very close subway I was fine. Everything is sign-posted in English. All the ticket machines and ATMs have a button that switches the screen to English.

So I knew I was going to buy a full transport pass at Gimpo Airport, where I was sure I’d find someone who could install the right SIM and get it working, so I just wanted one subway ticket. It took me a while to figure out how to buy it, but eventually, I made it out to the airport and bought both a SIM and a Tmoney card, that lets me hop on subways, buses, and the Arex train to the airports. It wasn’t easy, but I got it done. Far fewer people speak English than I would have thought, especially at an airport and at Information Stations, who seem to know nothing.

I did some shopping at the mall at the airport. I was looking for some creature comforts.

I came back to Seoul and found a store like a Super Target called Lotte Mart. It has all kinds of stuff and a fantastic grocery store. I found both blueberries and raspberries! That’s a first in Asia on this trip.

It took pretty much all day, but after a rest in my room, I went out and explored the charming little neighborhood next to my hotel called Insadong. It’s full of real artists and Korean handicrafts. Even in the rain, it was really interesting and I plan to wander around in better weather.

I wanted a snack for dinner but the restaurant I chose served me enough food to feed three people. It’s a funny kind of spicy – 🌶️ – it doesn’t make my mouth burn like Mexican spices, but my head and face start sweating after I start eating. It’s very good food and I’m basically familiar with Korean food after eating so much of it in San Diego and Los Angles.

Now, I’m back in my room, watching CNN International, creating this blog post, and doing my laundry in the basement of the hotel. Very helpful. When you have so few clothes, you have to do laundry often. Also, it was hot and sticky in Taiwan. It’s much cooler here. Today’s high was in the mid-50s.