We missed our train.
Do you ever get that sinking feeling in your gut, when you know you did something slightly amiss, and you end up being backed up into a corner where there’s no going back? When you have anxiety, you lay in bed at night, torn, as you think about Murphy’s Law and The Secret. You think about all the things that can go wrong, and try to maintain some sense of control and try to plan out your life. It’s the reason why I bought two external hard drives and a cloud storage subscription for backups while I have a local directory just for photos and important documents. Name an aspect of my life and I probably have an Excel file or an app for it. But then all this thinking might end up attracting the negative scenarios to come to life. And so, the cycle of anxiety (and insomnia) goes on forever. So you can just imagine how drained I’ve been lately when my workload in both my job and personal life have started ramping up at around the same time. But I digress.
We missed our train. If I’m going to be honest, having my sister take care of our itinerary and navigation was a bit bothersome with my need to control everything, and at the same time, freeing, as I got to enjoy the trip without having to take care of everything. The only thing we forgot to take into account is that my sister isn’t really the best at navigation. We ended up getting lost heading to the train station from the apartment, ending up on the other side of Hongdae, and having to take the small green bus to the station. We woke up so early to prepare for our 8 AM departure from Yongsan Station, only to miss it by 10 minutes. While I was visibly annoyed (and horribly grumpy), I immediately went online to book train tickets for the next train and only found one trip that wasn’t yet fully booked that leaves by noon.
Since we had hours to kill, I decided to lead us to Myeongdong, where I knew there were tons to see (aka window shopping haha) and snacks to eat. And this is when I find out that the area, as much as it’s fun late at night, but it’s practically dead early in the morning. At 9 AM, it seems that you could count in both hands which stores were already open. My sister still had a blast though, whenever she finds a brand with BTS as endorsers.
I’ve wanted to eat in Myeongdong Kyoja ever since I was planning my trip with C, but weirdly, only ever found it when we were already full. This time around, as I knew vaguely where it was located in the area, I led my siblings there and we finally got to try their famous dumplings (mandu) and noodle soup. We saw couples sharing a bowl and an order of their 10-pc dumplings. We haven’t had breakfast yet so we thought we could finish everything by ourselves. Clearly, we underestimated how heavy those knife-cute, handmade noodles were.
We finally got around to boarding the train to Gapyeong Station and it seems that noon is not the peak time to head there as the train was nearly empty. It was probably the emptiest train I’ve boarded in Seoul (the most jam-packed was when I went during the autumn season). While on previous trips, we utilized taxis to go around the area, this time around we went the more cost-efficient way by boarding the Gapyeong Tour Bus. The bus arrives and departs bus stations nearly on time (depending on the volume of passengers), so I would suggest snapping a photo of the tour bus schedule while you’re waiting in the bus stand. You can’t use your T-Money for the bus too, so prepare 6,000 won which you will hand over to the driver directly in exchange for the ticket you can use for the rest of the day.
I’ve finally seen Nami Island in three different seasons, and honestly, I’m getting a bit tired of it already. Haha! So far, the most picturesque state is when the island is covered with yellow and orange leaves. The most romantic is with it covered in a thick blanket of snow. I don’t think anyone can blame me when we got there while the season was transitioning from winter to spring, and I found it simply lackluster. Sigh. But my sister wanted to go (as it is a shooting location of so many dramas and reality shows), so we went with it.
What I liked about this was that the weather was great for biking as it wasn’t too cold nor too hot (at 7 degrees lol) for physical activities, and the island wasn’t as packed, unlike autumn days. Me and my sibs all owned bikes during our childhood and biking around the entire island was such a throwback moment to happier (and simpler) times.
Travel tip for Nami Island: Be on the lookout for quirky toilets. For some reason, the further from the port the toilet is, the quirkier it gets. There’s even a toilet somewhere that looked like a lopsided house that fell from the sky.
We had a great itinerary for this day but since we arrived in Gapyeong late from missing our train, we had to rush getting to our next stop. We had to make a choice between Petite France and Garden of Morning Calm, and I lost the vote. Off to Petite France, we go! Can I just say that Petite France is so much more magical during the winter? While the place is still as postcard-worthy, I found that it was so much more magical when I walked through it while trying to avoid slipping in ice. 😀
I think by now you’d know that most of the time, my sister is on the lookout for shooting locations. There was an area with the outfits drama leads wore while they were shooting here, and other shooting memorabilia. Giddy is a word I’d use on how my sister felt upon stumbling in this room, but somehow, the word doesn’t seem to be enough. Haha!
We got back to Gapyeong Station in time for the departure of our train back to Yongsan Station. Everything was going well until my sister suddenly started to feel sick. She paled and was nauseous that the moment we got off the train at Yongsan Station, we headed to the toilet so she could empty her stomach.
Our second day was awfully eventful, from missing the train, having to catch the tourist bus and a sick travel buddy. Instead of doing a repeat of the previous day, we headed back as soon as we could to the apartment so my sister can rest. My brother and I went out to buy some Korean Fried Chicken takeaway (a must try) so we can have dinner at the apartment. Fortunately, my sister was feeling fine when she woke up the following day. Too well, if I must say. But that’s for the next post! 🙂