Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sunday in Itaewon

Sunday we slept in and ate pancakes.  In early afternoon, we met some girls and took off for Itaewon, the foreigner district of Seoul. The one with the plethora of ethnic restaurants.  We set out with Indian food in mind - curry, naan, and mango lassis. Yes, PLEASE.  An hour of subway travel landed us on the edge of Itaewon, where unlike the rest of South Korea, you are bombarded with the English language.  Restaurants, boutiques, and coffee shops have catchy little English names.  Bits of conversation caught from passersby are comprehensible.  Every block or so, there are maps of the district exclusively in English.  Rumor has it, there's even a bookstore with books in English.  This rumor was enough to convince Kyle to join in on a girls' day out.

Three or four blocks from the subway station we came across a rather tempting restaurant entrance.  Luckily it was an Indian restaurant, so we made our way down the dungeon stairway.

Whitney, Rebecca, Denver, Eden, and Caitlin in front of Agra

Heading down the medieval stairwell

Having no idea what we had committed to, we rounded the corner, marched past rows of wine racks, and requested a table for eight.  The Indian waitress led us to a separate little room that was gorgeously decorated.  A chandelier draped with tassels hung from the ceiling.  Classic pieces of artwork covered the walls, and intricately carved chairs and a love seat surrounded the table.

Our exclusive room

Rebecca and Whitney poring over the menu
Most of us ordered Today's Surprise Lunch, which included no surprises; you chose all the components.  The first course was a green salad with fresh vegetables and a yogurt dressing.

Crisp and delicious!

Kyle ordered the palak paneer, spinach curry with tofu-like cheese cubes, and I ordered my favorite chicken tikka masala with a mango lassi to wash it down.

Palak paneer with basmati rice and naan

Chicken tikka masala with a mango lassi
I wanted to but refrained from licking my plate. 

A cup of weak coffee topped off the meal, and with our bellies full, we climbed past the stone walls into the shining sun.  We headed for the rumored bookstore, What The Book?, and encountered several photo opportunities.

Mt. Namsan with the North Seoul Tower, the only point from which you can see all of Seoul

Coffee and soup

Giddy up in Korea
No excuses for homesickness in Itaewon

Downtown Seoul in the distance

No caption necessary

Just for you, Cath!

After asking the workers at Quiznos, we re-routed and arrived at What The Book? I think I saw a tear roll down Kyle's cheek.  We spent a good hour roaming around but left empty-handed.  Next paycheck.

We stopped last at a coffe and waffle shop, enjoyed our beverages then made the long trek home to Bupyeong.  I loved Itaewon so much, I want to make Sunday visits a tradition!

On the ride home, all smiles before our politcal debating started..

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