If you run a shop in Myeongdong, the earlier you open, the more shoppers you'll see entering your shop. And if you are a shopper, the earlier you get to Myeong-dong, the more early-bird discounts and freebies you may get!
The earliest time of the day I was in Myeong-dong was when I attended the Sunday's 9AM Mass at the Myeongdong Cathedral. This was many years ago when Ana and Steve brought me for the first time to that place of worship for Catholics. It was a Sunday morning, before 9AM, when we met up at the Myeongdong Station's Exit 6, and found that the whole place was empty, except for a staff cleaning up the entrance of a shop along the main alley. So, thanks to Ana and Steve, I recorded my earliest visit to Myeong-dong in all of my years in Seoul.
I arrived in Myeong-dong a few minutes after 8AM, not to shop, but to meet up with Joy as she was giving me a bagful of fresh mangoes before their 9AM Sunday Mass! Thanks, Joy!
And while I was waiting for her and Miggy to be dropped off by their driver, Mr. Yi, at the Cathedral, I roamed around the shopping district.
During the day (and night!), when the shops are all open, the shopping alleys of Myeongdong are crowded with thousands of shoppers and tourists looking for a good buy, be it cosmetics, skin care products, clothes, shoes, or...pajamas!
And while shops may outnumber the restaurants in the area, the lines at these dining places are long during lunch time on week days, and are even longer on weekends.
But this morning, walking the almost empty alleys, where I would bump into anyone had I waited a few hours longer, I still felt sleepy. Ha-ha-ha! The shops still closed, the morning temperatures cool and I just passed by a shop selling pajamas! But I wonder if they have pajamas for men.
Although getting a cup of coffee would be good, my main objective was to meet up with Joy for the fresh mangoes, and not to sit on a cafe and people-watch. After all, there are no people to watch! Ha-ha-ha! Although, wouldn't it be fun to have a zombie-walk along these alleys when it's almost empty? Hmm. A zombie-watch!
As I moved around, I could see just a couple of cosmetics shops open, eager to attract early shoppers. And the cafe, donut shop, and restaurant open had their tables full of tourists having breakfast. Early bird, indeed!
So, as I made my way back to the steps of Myeongdong Cathedral, I thought these alleys, in a couple of hours, will also turn in to a place of worship: a worship for Korean cosmetics, souvenirs and cuisine.
And after I got my fresh mangoes, Joy and Miggy made their way up the steps of the Cathedral and I to the nearest bus stop. And in the meantime, along the empty alleys of Myeongdong, everyone else was enjoying being an early bird!
(My fresh mangoes from Joy!)