I am always really excited when I have a full day off with no plans. I can do whatever I want and spend all my time perusing the streets of Seoul.
On this particular Saturday, I thought it’d be fun to visit another palace, Deoksugung Palace. This would leave me having visited a total of 3/5 palaces in Seoul.
Lucky for me, right when I got out of the subway station, there was a ceremony taking place at the front of the palace. Apparently this happens several times a day. Men dressed in old attire have some sort of pretend ceremony for tourists.
After the ceremony, I saw a booth offering free student-led tours. Since I was alone, I figured it’d be nice to have my own private tour and maybe even use them to take pictures of me! Always gotta think ahead.
My tour guide was a sweet middle school girl who was super helpful in describing the palace to me. Without her, I wouldn’t have known a thing about the place, as most everything was in Korean.
The palace was very small, but I liked it. Afterwards, we split ways and I went inside the art museum on the palace grounds. It was just okay.
One perk of solo travel is that you get to change your plans whenever you want, which is exactly what I did after touring the palace. I had planned on visiting a museum across town, but soon learned that the Seoul Museum of Art was right next to the palace! Score!
But first . . . lunch! Usually, I try to look for small Korean restaurants that sell kimbap. These places are usually super cheap, super yummy, and sell food for singles. One thing that sucks about living here is that many places only sell food for groups. Because it’s often just me, I have to find these hole-in-the-wall places. It’s just as well though because they’re usually SOOOOO good.
I chose to eat ramen.
After lunch, I headed to the Seoul Museum of Art, or SeMA. The art museum didn’t have a lot to display because there was a special Stanley Kubrick Exhibit.
Not going to lie . . . I was SUPER PUMPED about this. Mr. Kubrick is one of my favorite directors and I really admire him. As a film buff, I also enjoy his films.
In this exhibit, I was in film heaven. There was so much information about his films, including production schedules and scripts. They even had some of his film notes!
The man was very thorough in his directing, and I enjoyed reading all of his notes and watching his film process. I think I stayed about 3 hours in that exhibit alone, taking my time in every section.
Afterwards, I was so inspired by his filmmaking, that I couldn’t help but do some filming myself. I spent the rest of the afternoon/evening walking the streets filming different people and things. I haven’t done anything with the film yet, but I’ll be sure to post it here sometime when I’m finished with it.
I also ran into a few markets! I’ll definitely have to go back there to eat all the street foods.
The next day, I went to church and then met friends at a coffee shop. After talking for a bit, we went to Yoido Full Gospel Church, which is the biggest church in the world! I was really excited to see this church and worship in it.
Though the sanctuary was obviously huge, the rest of the building was not that impressive. I expected for it to look like one of the megachurches in America, with a beautiful coffee shop and bookstore, but it was quite plain. Of course, none of this really matters in a church, but it was still surprising to me.
I went into the service pretty skeptical, as I tend to be when entering megachurches, but the entire service was a lovely surprise. There was a fairly modern band that led worship and a huge, absolutely stunning choir that sang after them. I was surprised at how much I loved the choir.
After, the Pastor gave a message about receiving the Holy Spirit and then asked the congregation to ask to receive the Holy Spirit. I can see how a lot of people would not like this message, but I really enjoyed hearing hundreds (thousands?) of people praying in the Spirit and in Korean all at once for several minutes. It was powerful.
When the service finished, my friends and I went to Hongdae to eat some Korean barbeque. The food was delicious. Korean barbeque has got to be one of God’s gifts to man.