Recap of my 4 day trip to Paju (파주시)

Hello! It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a blog post or even thought about the blog. If you read the last post you know that I’m currently on summer holidays. Last Sunday I arrived back from travelling around Seoul and Paju.
Since moving to Korea this was probably the first ‘touristy’ trip I’d taken, it was also the furthest I’d been from my dorms since arriving. The next few blog posts are going to be about my trip and all the fun things I got up to while away. I didn’t realise how much I needed this break, my time was spent enjoying food that I cant get in Busan, going to themed cafes, following Kpop bands and watching street busking. This trip was split into two parts, the first four days I was in a city about an hour away from Seoul called Paju and there I reunited with my primary school friend Wendy. The last time I saw Wendy was in 2017 when I went to visit her in New Zealand. I was excited to see her as I hadn’t seen her in a long time but also I hadn’t seen anyone that I knew since arriving in Korea. Here is a recap of what I did with Wendy.

Thursday 6th August
This morning I caught a domestic flight from Gimhae Airport to Gimpo Airport, the flight was roughly 55 minutes and extremely bumpy. I decided to fly to Gimpo as the flights were much cheaper than the train and there was less chance of me getting lost on the way (I’m very bad at directions). When I arrived at Gimpo Airport Wendy was waiting at the entrance, we said hello, chatted for a bit and then made our way to the Lotte Department Store. After walking around for a while we decided to get some breakfast at a café. There we caught up on everything that’s happened in the last three years. I updated her on what’s happened to the other TLC students and how some of us are still inseparable although in different countries. We also walked around admiring the different shops, Wendy and I like stationary so we spent a lot of time in pen shops. We then took a bus to Paju and then spent the rest of the afternoon in another café watching movies on her tablet. Korean summers are extremely hot and wet so staying indoors is the perfect way to escape the heat if you don’t live near the beach.

Friday 7th August
We started the day by getting brunch at one of my favourite toast cafes called egg drop- I’ll explain this cafe another day but it’s a café that makes amazing toast/ sandwiches unlike anywhere else. After breakfast, Wendy wanted to show me a traditional Korean stationery shop where many happy childhood memories are made. This stationery shop was a small corner shop near a school which had lots of different types of stationery as well as candy. It was a shop which most students would go to after school to spend their pocket money. After buying a few things we went to a bigger more modern stationery shop which had an even bigger range of stationery and art supplies. If I was younger and didn’t have to use my own money to buy things I would’ve gone crazy.
Instead, I took note of some pens that I would buy later for my bullet journal. By the time we had finished, it was almost dinner time so we waited at a shopping centre nearby for Wendy’s mum. We planned to have dinner together. When she arrived we ordered pasta, pizza and chips; at this moment I realized that I would be consuming a lot of western food that I didn’t have a chance to eat in Busan. After dinner, we did some shopping and then Wendy and I decided that we wanted to go back and watch movies. So that’s what we did.

Saturday 8th August
Today was a pretty slow day, we were still tired from the day before. Wendy said that today she would be making me breakfast. Ever since I was little, ‘Bulgogi’ has been my favourite Korean meal. ‘Bulgogi’ is a marinated beef stir fry with veggies served with rice; it’s my favourite because it isn’t that spicy. Wendy remembered this and decided to make bulgogi for brunch. I hadn’t had this in a long time as beef is quite expensive in Korea so I enjoyed it. Afterwards, we went to a nearby shopping centre and we had ‘injoelmi bingsu’ which is a traditional rice cake/ shaved ice dessert. When buying snow with my other friends we tend to go for the standard chocolate or strawberry snow so it was great to try a more traditional flavour. Wendy and I then spent the rest of the afternoon at a Karaoke room singing a mixture of English and Korean songs. It was my last night with Wendy and I enjoyed going to the karaoke room as we had been talking about going there for the last three months. We then ordered some chicken and went back to the apartment to watch more movies together. Watching movies may sound boring but it’s what we’ve been doing for the last 10 years, we watched movies in Fiji, we watched movies in New Zealand and now we were watching movies in Korea.

Sunday 9th August
Today was my last day with Wendy, I got up pretty early to pack up all my things. We then went to a café, had brunch and chatted for a while. I had been quite lucky with the weather as it was expected to rain my whole trip. However, I had managed to avoid it until today, after coffee wendy and I ran from the café to the station in the pouring rain. The rain was inconvenient but I’m glad it only rained on my last day with Wendy. At the station, we said our goodbyes and I caught the subway to Hongik University/ Hongdae which is where I would be spending the next week with my dorm friends. If you’re interested to find out what we got up to, stay tuned for next weeks post!!

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