19th Oct 2019 (3rd Day in Seoul)
Seoul Museum of Art
This day, we finally realised we can refund our single-trip tickets from this machine which can be found, normally next to the ticket machines, in every Seoul Metro Station.
By the third day, we amassed quite a stack of single-trip cards, so by the time we finished with our refund, the left pocket of my pants was heavily weighed down by all that change.
Then with my “new found riches”, we took a train to City Hall Station, looking to spend some time exploring Seoul Museum of Art.
There was some renovation going on, it would seem that the direct path to the museum was blocked off. Signs had been put up to provide alternate ways to get there which was basically walking around the barricaded area, clockwise or counter-clockwise.
It was a lovely day; clear blue sky with white fluffy clouds. The bright sun provided warmth, but it was not too hot. There was breeze, but it was not too cold. Perfect kind of weather to spend strolling around.
Seoul Museum of Art has a beautiful exterior. The garden is well kept and there were even a few artworks lying around. Great, comfortable space to loiter around, perhaps have a chat with a friend on one of the benches provided.
The general subject for the exhibitions was something along the line of “growing old”. With its current content, I would say that spending an hour in the museum would suffice. Not all the exhibits were engaging or interesting.
There was one which left quite an impression. In a dark room, there were what seemed a pair of white stone sculptures of a man and a woman. While they were detailed enough and well produced, as far as sculptures go, they were rather common, but they have a hidden feature.
However, we were admiring the sculpture of the male anatomy when Constant Companion RR asked whether if her eyes were playing tricks on her; the leg of the sculpture seemed to be getting skinnier and skinnier.
Because the change was so minor and gradual, we stared at the sculpture for a good bit before we were certain that it was indeed “losing muscle mass” as its bone structure became more and more prominent.
Initially, I thought the artist used shifting of light to make the sculpture “lose weight” but a soft hissing sound gave the secret away. The sculptures have some kind of skin on the outside, and with a small electric air pump on timer, they inflate and deflate constantly. Very clever!
For lunch, we walked into a restaurant situated in some deep alley. Where we ordered some Korean dishes which were served with side dishes. One of the side dishes, was some kind of unknown leaf and its taste was crazy intense. It was like the leaves have been soaked in concentrated star anise juice. Not something I would like to put in my mouth again.
To my surprise, our order of Bulgogi pork arrived at a portion which was meant for two people, I must have missed that bit of information when I ordered a la carte from the menu. Since Constant Companion RR is pretty much a vegetarian now, I had to deal with the mountain of pork and spring onion. Fortunately, the flavour was savoury and light enough that I did not immediately get sick of it. I did, however, get really full by the end of that meal.
That brings me to this reoccurring issue whenever I dine with Constant Companion RR during our travels.
Dining with Constant Companion RR During Traveling
Right from the start, I must say that our issue is mainly cause by the fact that Constant Companion RR is a really picky eater and I do not like to waste food.
She does not eat too much of any carbohydrate rich food item or made from rice-flour, like rice, noodles and mochi. This also extends to rice cakes and the wrappers of any kind of dumplings. If we are traveling around Asia, where food items of this sort is practically staple food, it can be slightly challenging to find a “happy middle” for food. This is especially true if we want to something “local”.
Now that she is switching to a vegetarian diet (good for her; I am supportive of her choice and I too, am making changes to my diet but cutting down, not completely, meat in take), our choices became even more limited. Sure she would insist that we can walk into any restaurant and she can find something to eat from the menu. Still, I would have some kind of mental restriction when the time comes to choose a place to eat. For example, while she says she does not mind just munching on french fries if I bring her to a fried chicken joint.
But where is the fun in that? I had to make sure she gets proper nourishment and the same enjoyment for the meal as I do since both of us are on a holiday together. This concern resulted in us not being able to experience the famous and super popular Korean Barbecue.
Another example, would be the chicken soup restaurant we went to on the first night in Seoul. Since the vegetables and chicken came portioned for two people, she would skip the meat and worked on the vegetable. That means I had to deal with the entire chicken by myself (while she ate my share of the mushroom), and my meal would not be as balanced as I would like it to be.
Whenever she could not finish her portion of the food (and it is something which happens quite often), I will stand out and lend a helping mouth. Not to mention, I often worry how the restaurant staff/ chef might feel if they see the amount of food still left on her plate.
Ultimately, from the way things go, the effect of our eating habit during travels, if prolonged, will result in me getting less healthy (over-eating, too little vegetables and too much meat), while Constant Companion RR gets healthier.
- We will lookout for any eateries serving any kind of salads and/ or specialise in hotpot; those kind of restaurants definitely would have something for us. Depending on where we are in the world, those type of restaurants may not be the kind of places to offer us a taste of the country, if you know what I mean.
- Like everything else in a healthy relationship; compromise.
Heh. That night we had fast food, both of us felt like having something different from Korean cuisine. We were at Lotte Shopping Mall and decided to have its in-house fast food chain, Lotteria, for dinner.
For fast food, it was decent enough, but I cannot get over how little ketchup I was given. We were given one single satchel.
Myeong-dong Market again
That night, Constant Companion RR decided to go get her shopping done. Where would we go? Myeong-dong market, of course!
As usual, I took up my role as the designated “Travel Mule”. Whatever Constant Companion RR purchased, I carried. This is our unspoken (Constant Companion RR never actually give me the option to say no) agreement.
We walked back to our hotel and ended our third day in Seoul.