Our first couch surfing experience was with Soyoung. She had agreed to host us weeks before we arrived in Seoul. She has a puppy, named Vic Vic. We stayed at her place for two nights and we tasted the most delicious strawberries we ever tasted in our life. The organic strawberries were huge, red and very sweet. They can be eaten unwashed The strawberries were grown by Soyoung’s grandmother in her village.
It was during our stay at Soyoung’s place that we realized Yixi loves dog very much. Yixi would follow Vic Vic and stroke her. Vic Vic was not happy if Yixi stroke her when she was eating her biscuits and she would make a grumpy sound. Seeing Yixi having so much fun with Vic Vic made us wonder if we should get a pet when we return home.
We had our lunch at Seochon Walk which is very near to Soyoung’s place. It was our first day in Korea and we were not used to the cold and felt very sleepy. After walking at Tongin Market, we chanced upon Tongin Children’s Library. Yiken pooed at the library toilet, and Sean dozed off sitting up. Too bad the library closed at 5 pm on a Saturday and we had to leave.
Yiken was used to taking naps when in Singapore. So at 6 pm, he could not walk anymore and needed to be carried. We decided to let Yiken take his nap at the long bench at Popeye’s restaurant. So, he slept there for two hours. For the next few days in Korea, we had to find a place for Yiken to take his 2 hours nap between 4 to 6 pm. So, our initial days in Korea was eating and finding long benches for Yiken to sleep. For Yixi, she could sleep on me in the carrier, so we need not worry about nap time for Yixi.
Next day, Soyoung and her boyfriend brought us for lunch at Tongin Market. At Tongin Market, we exchanged korean won for old coins and two food trays. Most of the stalls only accept the old coins. We can buy different types of local food from the stalls. After that, we went to the eating area to buy rice and soup and ate our sumptuous lunch.
We took a walk to President’s blue house and to National Folk Museum of Korea. Yiken and Yixi enjoyed running and taking pictures around the premises of the museum. We chanced upon a Poo Museum for children and spent some time there.
In the end, we did not have time to visit the Folk Museum except the toilet as Yiken needed his nap again. Sean carried Yiken across the road and we walked to Bukchon Hanok Village. We found a Korean traditional tea house and went in for tea and red bean desert, thinking that Yiken would nap for two hours. However, Yiken woke when we lay him down. We still spent time there, using wifi to find our accommodation for the next day. We were glad that Yiken pooed in the tea house’s toilet.
So that was our routine for the first one to two weeks in Korea, packing, unpacking, eating, finding place for Yiken to nap. It took us two weeks to a month to really get used to the cold and travelling. During the first two months of travelling, we were perpetually tired from carrying kids and luggage. Now we are less tired physically, probably because we are travelling much lighter than before and our bodies are more conditioned.
We are in Ulan Ude, Siberia now. The temperature was 13 degrees yesterday, today it is 18 degrees. In Siberia, we have to wear many layers before going out as the Siberian wind is chilly.