Korea Update #2

Travel Diaries

I’ve spent my first week in South Korea without too much awkwardness! Huzzah! 
Day 5: I struggled really hard down by the beach trying to load money onto a Starbucks card! The language barrier is so real!! I think Sarah was embarrassed by my lack of social graces, but what can I say, I have no idea what I’m doing. We ate at this wonderful place called The Cafe and had steak and rice pilaf! Yum! I also ventured outside by myself to take pictures around the little block where Sarah lives!! They gave us a little bag of snacks when we left, it was really cute! 

Day 6: It was a pretty lazy day, all in all. I’m in love with these little pocket sandwiches that Paris Baguette! They don’t have crusts on them, so I’m down! We ate burritos for dinner! Not very traditional, but they were so tasty!! I also tried a corn latte today, and, needless to say, it was not too tasty…not too tasty at all. It was basically hot, liquefied cream corn. Sweet potato Lattes are LEAGUES better than corn lattes. 

Day 7: Ready for the weekend!! Probably the best day ever! We went into downtown Ulsan, well, it’s actually called old downtown to do some shopping! We ate at a barbecue place, where you cook the meat yourself on a hot plate! Then…WE WENT TO A CAT CAFE!!!! AHHHHHHH DREAMS DO COME TRUE!!!!! I got a vanilla latte and a munchin Scottish fold mix came and laid next to me! TOO CUTE! I named her Potato Junior! I also acquired a selfie stick, cute socks, and a kick butt sweater! Seriously, best day ever! We spent A LOT of time in that cat cafe, so much so, that we didn’t get home until around 8pm!! I was just so enamored! Then, we ate salads from the place down the street and watched some stuff on our laptops! A great end to the best day ever! I’m actually still wheezing about this cat cafe, I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover. I am in love. I want to go back and smuggle Potato Junior out and bring her home….you think she’d make it through customs? Probably not….

Day 8: Today we went to new downtown, which is different from old downtown. The bus ride there is a little longer (almost an hour, with traffic and all the stops) and there seemed to be way more people. The main difference is that old downtown is full of smaller shops, like boutiques and has less restaurants, while new downtown has a lot more places to eat and bigger department stores (with a lot more luxury brands that I’ve seen in the States) there was even an H&M in new downtown. No, I didn’t shop there…I can do that at home! We ate at a traditional style restaurant at the top of one of the department stores, the kimchi soup was spicy (at least to my baby palette) but it was still really yummy!! Although, I think I prefer old downtown to new downtown, the shops in Old Downtown aren’t as expensive and not to mention, there is a cat cafe in Old Downtown….so, I’m more partial to Old Downtown! In New Downtown I picked up a pair of shoes (I’m lucky I have small feet!) some more cute socks, and a nice fuzzy cardigan/coat type thing! It’ll come in handy for keeping me warmer! 
Day 9: It’s Monday again, so it’s back to my daily schedule! I got a bagel stuffed with cream cheese, although it’s a lot sweeter than the normal cream cheese I’m used to, but it was still really tasty! I also picked up more of my favorite pocket sandwiches and a little fruit jello thing! Back to the daily grind! We went back town to the beach to try a fast food type place called Mom’s Touch. They had amazing fries and it was a nice break from the regular meals, since it was so fast and easy! (And I got to eat with my hands! Which is not the norm here at all, so I have to re-teach myself manners) We got more ice cream for an after dinner snack too! I’m getting really good at riding the buses as well, I’m starting to feel pretty pro, and I’ve only been here for a week! Haha! 
Day 10: Today I ordered myself a Hot Chocolate, which was something I never do. I barely speak over here, since I can’t speak a lick of Korean, but everyone knows what a Hot Choco is, so that wasn’t too hard. People probably wonder if I’m mute or something. I probably flushed when I ordered it though, I’m pretty sure, I always get nervous when I speak here. But it was worth the extra effort! It was so chocolatey and good! I’m glad I spoke up and ordered something to drink this morning!! I’m also amazed that it’s already day 10 of me being in Korea! (I didn’t even count that full day of travel, which was Day 0 in my last Korea Update post!) Tonight for dinner we didn’t go out, but instead got Kimbap from the little grocery type store called Home Plus Express! Kimbap is a little triangle of rice wrapped in seaweed and stuffed with filling, the ones we got were tuna and mayo! So tasty! I also picked up some tea, so I’m a happy camper!
Day 11: Today is the first overcast day since I’ve been in Dong-gu! Normally it’s sunny without a cloud in a sky, but today, the sky looks just like Pittsburgh! Tomorrow it’s apparently supposed to rain, which stinks, but we didn’t have anything big planned, so I guess it isn’t too bad! Anyways, it was overcast and drizzled basically all day, but it didn’t really rain too hard on us while we were out. The plan after school was going to the big Home Plus (I mean like, it has a lot of floors, too many floor) which I’m going to compare to a Target/Macys hybrid, if that makes any sense at all. Sarah needed some new moisturizer! We were then going to head to a duck place, but we went the wrong way so instead we stopped into a barbecue place, which, let’s say, was so worth it!! It was also the first experience I’ve had drinking alcohol over here. We got a little bottle, let me stress LITTLE, of Japanese Apricot Wine. It was so tasty but OH MY GOD it has such a kick. I don’t know what they put in that (aside from the alcohol pickled apricots (i think) that were floating near the bottom of the bottle, but it was strong stuff. Although, that wasn’t the best part of the night, the best part was the fact that we were standing at the bus stop, trying to figure out which buses we could catch and this nice old lady held her umbrella over us, since it was drizzling. Then, her bus came before ours, and she GAVE us the umbrella!!! Isn’t that sweetest thing you’ve ever heard?!? I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such kindness from a stranger before in my life!!!
It has been an amazing week in Ulsan! I’ve experienced so many new things, tried so many new foods, stumbled over my words, been that awkward foreigner, and was even graced by an angel at the bus stop with an umbrella. It’s been good. Can’t wait for next week/the weekend! 

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By Jess

A bookworm since the tender age of whenever I stopped chewing on books and started actually reading them. A cat-mom, graphic designer, and introvert originally from Pittsburgh, but now resides in the humid, hot, state of Texas. Cheers!

  • Natasha Partt

    Weeeeeeeeee it's so exciting reading your posts because I remember exactly how it felt when I first moved to Busan! I loved Paris Baguette and ate far too many calorific things in there! Make sure you try soju next time you're drinking – but prepare for the worst hangover if you have too much!

  • Oh I've always wanted to go to a cat cafe! Kitties~ <3

  • Kay

    CAT CAFE!!!!! That sounds like the best thing ever. Also, so far all the food you've been posting about seems quite delicious! I've always had the fear that if I traveled anywhere I would never eat anything as I'd be too nervous to try stuff! The little rice triangles with filling sound so yummy!! Corn latte….not so much haha.

  • The cat cafe was the best thing ever!! I want to go back every day and play with the kitties!! I've had a nice mix of western style, traditional, and fusion places to eat! I'm always up for trying new food, at least once, so I tend to try everything on the table! The corn latte was one of those things I'm only trying once….haha!

  • It was on my bucket list too! It was such a dream come true!!

  • I'm going to Busan this weekend to visit some temples actually! So I'm really excited!! 😀 They didn't have Soju on the menu at the place we went to, but I've seen it on the menu before! It's on my list of things to try!

  • Cat cafes, sweet old ladies, delicious hot chocolate, eating all kinds of delicious food!! You are living the life right now!! The corn latte sounds horrible! lol

  • Glad you've had a great week! That cat is so cute!


  • Ahhhh I'M so jealous! I LOVE Korean bbq soooo much!