At the suggestion of a blog reader, we added a trip to Lotte World Korean Folk Museum to our trip Saturday. It was just a few stops beyond the COEX Aquarium, so we went there first. I have been one time to Lotte World back in 2001, and I forgot just how huge the place is. We first ate some lunch at the Lotteria, sort of a Korean version of McDonald's. Then we went to the museum. It was very interesting, and we all had a good time.
YS#4 Working the Millstone
YS#3 Carrying A-Frame Pack
After spending a couple hours at the museum, we headed along to the COEX complex to see the Aquarium. Here I made my first mistake on the subway in Korea, by getting on the wrong train at the station. Fortunately, the next stop was only a few minutes away, and we didn't lose much time. I did this in Japan one time, and it was an express train. It took me about 45 minutes to get back on track. Before tackling the aquarium, the Mrs. Stumbler and the girls wanted to have an ice cream break. We found a Baskin Robbins, and everyone enjoyed a cone while sitting and resting their feet.
Then off to the Aquarium. I was surprised how far we had to go - I believe the Aquarium must be the farthest attraction from the train station in the entire COEX complex. Mrs. Stumbler commented on the crowds, something I didn't notice at first. It was really packed with people, at times hard to even walk. We finally arrived at the aquarium, and started out tour. One small disappointment was the signs - almost all of them had English names of the fish, but the detailed information was only in Korean. Otherwise the Aquarium was great, and we had a fun time.
Stumbling Girls at the Coral Reef Display
Mmmmm... That's Good Fish Water
I enjoyed speaking Korean to a few kids. My Korean is so poor, that even talking to a 3 year old is a challenge. At the water vending machine, I was buying a bottle when a young Korean girl, about 7 years old, came up to me and said "Hello". Here is our conversation as I recall it:
Stumbler: Annyeong Haseyo
Girl: You can speak English, right?
Stumbler: Yes, and your English is very good.
Girl: That is because I am from California.
Stumbler: You can speak Korean, too?
Girl: Yes, of course.
Stumbler: I'm trying to learn Korean, but it is difficult
because I am an old man
Girl: I know.
Being sufficiently humbled by a 7 year old, I said goodbye and entered the Amazon Jungle portion of the Aquarium. After spending about 2 hours at the COEX Aquarium, we hiked back to the train station, and headed home. We went back to the apartment, dropped off YS#3 who was too tired for dinner, and headed out to the restaurant for dinner with JI, SY2, JK and IA. As usual, I really enjoyed the kimchi samgyeopsal. Mrs. Stumbler liked many of the foods. We had a good time, with good food and conversation. A great end to our long day.
One the way home, we stopped briefly at one of my favorite bars to introduce my family to my bartender friends. We were served some "chocolate rocks" and "seaweed cookies" for dessert. After a short visit, we said goodbye to everyone and headed home. We opened to door to the apartment and were greeted with loud rock and roll music and YS#3 laying on the sofa. She had found "Back to the Future" movie in my DVD collection, and was entertaining herself in full Dolby 5.1 surround sound. We all slept soundly from our long and tiring day.
Today promises to be an easy day. Mrs. Stumbler will have a cooking lesson from SY to make my favorite Korean dish, sundubu jjigae. It will probably involve a short trip to the store, too. Other than that, I plan to rest all day long and be a bum.