Looking for Old stuff in Seoul

It was cold yet again this morning, though not as cold as the rest of the week. I think the temperature actually got above freezing at one point. That didn't stop a bit of snow from falling.

I started off my day at another amusement park: Seoul Land, located on the south side. I arrived about 10 minutes before the park opened at 9:30 and bought my tickets. A group of four high school-aged girls were waiting with me, but where were the crowds?

I took pictures along the way, and rode one ride at the same time as the girls, continuing then to shoot photos and travel around the loop. I came to discover that many of the rides wouldn't open until 10:10 or later, which wasn't a problem as I kept taking pictures and riding what was open, similar to my trip yesterday.

I figured out why nobody else was in line, too. There is a "back" entrance to the park where everyone who drove was coming in. There weren't many families, but there were tons of elementary school groups. Thankfully they stayed away from me (keeping lines short). I think most of them went off to play on the snow hill the park runs until March.

I got all my rides in by 12:30 or so, with just a little bit of waiting at a few rides because of the school children. This was so much better than Lotte World as far as waiting went. Unfortunately, there aren't many rides at Seoul Land I really liked, and there were flurries in the air. Having accomplished my goals, I took the 1km walk back to the station.

I had planned on visiting the zoo, but because it was so cold, overcast, and a light snow was falling, I assumed the animals wouldn't be worth seeing. So I headed off to look for baseball memorabilia again.

I started with the Janganpyeong Antique Market, just outside Sapsimni Station. I found another sheet of the baseball "menko" cards I had seen at the Folk Flea Market, and while the price was still a bit higher than I wanted, I picked up the uncut sheet plus an AstroBoy (or whatever his name is) sheet for half what the other woman wanted. After looking through four buildings of antiques, I had no further luck. Then again, professional baseball didn't start in Korea until the 1980s so none of it would be antique.

I pressed on, finally getting to the Hwanghakdong Flea Market near Sindang Station. Actually it's closer to another station, but I walked through a food market to get there. I found pretty much everything you could imagine at Hwanghakdong. But no Korean baseball stuff.

I found a great deal on candy, and paid only ₩3000 (about $3) for a Korean mask plaque. It's my souvenir of traditional Korea, and I got it for about 1/10th the price if I had bought it in a store. I also bought a skillet (₩7000/$7) so I have a nice smaller one too. And I played one of those crane games (except it was a plunger game) and with my skill it took only two goes to win a baseball. The box has korean writing on it and a photo of a Korean player for the Indians (his name eludes me right now), plus the baseball probably carries his signature (facsimile of course).

So I suppose I have a couple korean baseball souvenirs. But I really want some good team merchandise, and a few baseball cards too! I've spent a good bit of time in the evenings researching using all sorts of keywords to try for some luck in locating any kind of souvenirs, and I have another lead for tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed!

Meanwhile, I tried some more street food. For lunch, I had ddeokbokki, which is rice cakes and fish cake stewed in a chili paste. Spicy and delicious. I may have to bring home some chili paste or powder and stir fry it in with some veggies and chicken at home. I also had a couple Chinese style donuts and fish cake broth. Still haven't had the fish cakes, though they are quite popular. I haven't seen enough meat though, strangely enough. I see plenty of corn dogs, and I suppose I have to try a Korean corn dog soon.

For dinner, it was back to Itaewon to have a light meal. I ended up with a meat pie, almost Aussie style (it used thinner, crispier dough more like filo than crust dough. Pretty good.

Have I complained about my feet yet? My heels have been worn down; I now realize than both feet were bleeding from abrasions with my shoes. I think I'm going to find some new shoes tomorrow designed for walking, as the ones I wore are more for style.

I'm now able to say I'm having a great time here. If only I could have success with baseball souvenirs! Tomorrow I'm either going to a couple major museums and North Seoul Tower - if the weather clears up - or I'll head to Seoul Station and visit a few museums in that area.

Until then!

1 comment:

  1. I've been doing more digging for KBO sets and found there were stickers issued in 1983 with Haitai Choco Home Run Balls (apparently those have been around for quite awhile since there was also another set of cards with those in the last 10 years) as well as an album and sticker set released in 1995. I've also found evidence of a set issued by the Lotte Gum Company, but the image results were cached by Google and the originating blog no longer has the post online. Still digging, but not having much luck.

    It is frustrating in the exact same way as trying to find baseball cards or stickers in Mexico. Both countries have fairly long histories of professional baseball (over 30 years for Korea, over 80 years for Mexico), and both have decades of numerous trading card and sticker sets for OTHER sports and topics, but nothing consistent for baseball.

    Glad to see you're having more fun in Korea than you had in Taiwan.