Tuesday, 25 October 2016
Who Are The People In Your (Dongdaemun) Neighborhood?
A couple of years ago, I discovered the fun of walking through the busy sidewalks next to Dongdaemun Station, where I bought some breakfast goodies after my early morning tennis.
(We have our own version of
Shibuya Crossing! Ha-ha-ha!)
I made it a weekend routine even though my legs were not happy to walk a few hundred meters more after having run around the tennis courts for two hours on early Saturday mornings. My legs were unhappy but my tummy was ecstatic!
(I was overwhelmed with all the fruits
the first time I went to the market!)
I found the neighborhood so interesting with its mom-and-pop stores selling fruits and different kinds of breads and goodies. I have always preferred these small stores than the big supermarkets and franchises.
I didn't know then that I would someday be moving a few bus stops from this area!
Well, I have finally moved into the Dongdaemun neighborhood!
And just what I used to do during my years living in Hannam-dong in the Yongsan District, I walked around my Dongdaemun neighborhood to explore its uniqueness.
From the huge fruit and vegetable market that sells the cheapest fruits in season, to the yummiest potato and meat soup restaurant, and not to mention a quieter version of the Cheonggye Stream just right next to my apartment, I couldn't believe that, not only I made the right decision to move to the Dongdaemun District, there's this apartment building that has a view my other Korean friends envy!
(A swan frolicking at the stream
next to my apartment)
Although this neighborhood doesn't match the number of cafés within 200 meters of my old Hannam-dong apartment (it has 3 compared to 12 in Hannam-dong), I was able to find one that allows me to stay beyond 12 midnight! But it's about two-and-a-half blocks away!
But I'm not complaining since there's one on the next building that sells iced cafe mocha for only W3,500! But sadly, it closes at 10PM.
But aside from cafés, what I love about this neighborhood is that it's a real neighborhood!
(Students painting the
A lot of mom-and-pop stores, vendors selling the freshest fruits, veggies and freshest fish (although I don't cook!), the sellers at the biggest flea market, the staff at a three-storey public library, the staff keeping clean the Jeongneung stream that's alive with storks, ducks and fish, and features a cycling and running path are just a few of the people in my new neighborhood.
I should include ajussis running the subway station that's just ten steps from my apartment building, the baristas in the neighborhood cafés, and the ajummas of the 24-hour kimbap restaurant downstairs!
And perhaps, I should include the staff of the Lotte Cinema that's just 15 minutes away by foot! I can watch late movies and just walk home!
(Sitting at a neighborhood cafe)
I may still have to discover other interesting shops and corners, but I think I have met most of the people that matter in my neighborhood.