The only thing on my agenda today was to get extra pages added to my passport at the American Embassy in Seoul. Since it's a major thing to get to a consulate or embassy for me in China, I need to get it done here since it's easy for me to get to the embassy and I have free time. However, I got all the way there (it's easy to get there, but still takes an hour or so bus ride), got up to the front door and a Korean policeman pointed out that today was a holiday, Martin Luther King day. A great man and a great holiday, but I had no idea. Actually, I remember seeing it on some calendar recently, but it didn't register with me that I shouldn't go to the embassy today. I guess I'll be going back tomorrow.
Anyhow, I had a nice day in downtown Seoul. I ate some cheese dduk bokki (one of my favorite things - you can get it in China, but it's not the same) and then went to Kyobo bookstore. I looked at the Korean language learning books and the fiction, but figured I have enough of both already. I spent a lot of time looking at all the different schedule books (Korea may produce more of these than any other country in the world) and chose a tiny one, picked up some face wash at The Face Shop, the best cosmetics store around, and then headed to Insadong, the artsy touristy section of town.
The pictures are from a mall area in Insadong. Seoul is getting more and more hip. There was a gallery downstairs with some of Andy Warhol's paintings and then other artists paying trubute to him. Every store in the mall had some form of tibute to Warhol, too. The umbrellas were hung up in the open area and looked pretty cool. There were lots of people posing for photos.
This guy was outside on the pedestrian street. His sign says "I give warm hugs." On the other side, it said in English "FREE HUGS." I wanted to go up to him and ask why he was doing this, but I didn't. This is one thing I've gotta get past - not speaking to people in Korean unless I have to. (I'm not really a talkative person anyway, but I need to learn how to be talkative in order to practice these languages I'm learning!) I didn't see anyone getting a free hug, but I do like the expression of the girl in the green coat.