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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Delayed trip; report

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I hope I was able (with punctuation) to keep Gpanda from assessing penalties because the trip was delayed - not the report.

Just returned from a short trip to Seoul. It was scheduled for Christmas day. My packed suitcase was beside the front door in anticipation of an early flight when DS called - REALLY sick and it wasn't going to get better in time for the flight. So - Cancelled.

Back on last week. After 14hrs and 45 minutes, arrived in Seoul! Stayed at the Renaissance, located south of the river - across the river is more concvenient for tourist (this is an upscale business location). However, the subway is easy, cheap, and avoids traffic. Taxis are also comparatively inexpensive.

It was dark when we arrived and we were exhausted from excitment and packing as well as the loooong trip, so went to bed. It was a good choice since we started the next morning at 6:00 am and never had a time adjusment problem. This morning was spent on a tour to the DMZ zone. What a strange, surreal, place! There is a village with a small amusement park for children next to all the barbed wire, military personnel and rules. They seem to view it as any day the north and south will be reunited and they are ready. They have had 3 reunification events in the DMZ zone and they have a train that is sitting on the tracks, and ready to go to Pyeongyang I suppose when "the" announcement is made. I wonder how the North Koreans view it??

Returned to Seoul and was dropped off at City Hall. Saw the South Gate in passing. Then we made our way to the Changdeokgung Palace. While waiting on the English Tour, we searched for food. It was Sunday and we were finding all the restaurants closed. Finally had to settle for a sandwich bought at the 7-ll across the street from the palace (and eaten in the Palace coffee house!). I would recommend this tour - although it was the only palace tour we went on so I can't compare it.

After the tour, back to the hotel. DS didn't want to look for a place for dinner so I went out to search.
Had been told to go up the hill by the hotel for many, many restaurants(re the lang, was told they had pictures). Well - they were
numerous and local (i.e, no English!) I picked one that had lots of people and happy noises coming from it and went in. Well, all the shoes at the door were the first thing I saw and then realized all the noise had stopped and all eyes were upon me. Strange feeling - but I've lived too many years to let that deter me (and I was starving). So the waitress came over and started talking to me in Korean - I answered in questions in English - but she didn't have any English. So a young man sitting at a floor table (as they all were) with about 8 others, jumped up, came over and started translating for us. Seems I wanted something to take out and she couldn't provide that. So he asked her where in the vicinity I could find that and she told him some places to try. Then he turns to me and says, I will take you. So he puts on his shoes, leaves his dinner and friends, goes down the street with me to look for BarBQ beef to take out. First place they tell him no but the second place he works it out where they will cook it there and give it to me to take out. He then turns to me and with a slight bow, says excuse me, but I need to leave now!. Of course I thanked him profusely and then he was gone! I was floored at his willingness to inconvience himself to helf a gray-haired American find dinner. (I kept remembering Bob's comment on Korean food, but it was good, not great but okay)

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