Friday, November 26, 2010

Fabric, Fabric, Beads and Lanterns

This past Saturday we headed off to Seoul once again; however this time to explore Dongdaemun fabric market. The Dongdaemun Shopping Complex is amazing!  It is the largest of its kind in Asia made up of five buildings in total with over 5,000 shops.  You can find everything there from different fabrics, materials to make accessories, wedding products, and so much more. The fabric and clothing here are of the latest fashion trends in the world they say however I saw some far out things that make me wonder. 
I started out by trying to find some fabrics to make a few different quilts and blankets and couldn't even chose due to all the choices.  Anytime I would find something I liked I would start to think "but what if I find something better" and this is why I ended up with nothing because once the adventure was all said and done my mind was just a mushy gray blob filled with 1000's of images of different fabric.  Even if I had picked some things out I would of never been able to make my way back to a specific shop again to buy it, so next time I'm up there I am just grabbing it when I see it! 

After an hour and a half or so of just fabric we stumbled onto the beads, and jewelry making supplies.  This may of been my favorite part as Ryan and I stopped at a few booths to look at all the different beads, embellishments, chains, zippers, and so much more.  We bought a few things I liked and found a grenade piece for Ryan's keys now I just have to figure out what to put them on and how to make them into wearable jewelry.  Jewelry making interest me however it is not something I have had experience before so I look forward to seeing how it works out and would love tips and advice from anyone who has any to offer.  I cannot wait to go back and see what else I can find; lucky me I live just a short train ride away.

After spending quite a few hours at the fabric market we headed out to see what else we could find around the "Great East Gate" and after walking for a little bit found out we were just down the way of the Cheonggyecheon  River.  We walked along what seemed "Hardware Lane" because it was hardware store after hardware store.  They had small shops that were full of springs, they had shops full of lights, full of fake plants, full of pluming tools, and every thing else you could ever need.  We got lucky at a few lighting shops and found the same LED Christmas lights they were trying to sell us in Namdamun for a 1/3 of the price allowing me to get three times as many lights.  Sadly now I am asking myself where in the world will I put all these lights? 

As we made our way down to the main part of the river we started to notice that they still had the lanterns up from the Lantern Festival and that the Shinhan Bank (the first bank of Korea) had a huge event going on where they had over 30 teams out on the street making Kimchi for charity.

Once back at the start of the river we decided to head up to Bengagins for lunch and a few beers.  Ryan and I joked that at home Bengagins is no big deal but here it is nicer and almost like getting into a private club. They have a waiting room that is separate from the main dinning area and have it decorated really nicely and you can't get past without talking to the host. We got to sit by the window and do some people watching as we enjoyed a good relaxing lunch before heading down to get a closer look at the lanterns. 

Once done we lunch we made our way down to the street and down to the lower level of the stream.  It was busy but nothing like the weekend before and like it would soon be once the sun set and they turned on the lights.  The lanterns were all so interact, detailed and shockingly all made out of paper.   The weather was nice, the walk was beautiful and the company of Ryan was amazing.  Once again I found myself thinking "how did I get so lucky?" as we held hands and strolled down the Cheonggyecheon stream taking in sights in South Korea. 

When we reached an area under a bridge they had some lanterns that people had made and put prayers on  hanging in a huge area.  They also had a man playing jazz music setting on the steps down by the water with people gathered around listening.  I am not a huge fan of jazz but the atmosphere was perfect with the soft lights of the lanterns, the cool fall breeze, and the quite babble of the river.  It is still hard for me to think that in a city so big and so busy there are still quite places to take in culture and enjoy the simple things in life.

 We made our way down further to see the rest of the lanterns before heading back and making our way over to Namdamun to look at toy helicopters for Ryan.  He picked one out and been practicing flying it and is getting pretty good.  We then headed back to town where I was happy to find our Starbucks finally open (sadly it is in the train station yet it does not open till after 10 and this leaves me confused because hello you sell coffee) so I could get a peppermint mocha (one of the only coffees I drink) and head home to the apartment. 

The Lantern festival that took this November was a special meant as a symbol of the hopes and wishes of Seoul’s people.  The wish of all South Koren's is to one day have a united Korea again.  Everything that is happening right now in Korea is really hurting the South Koran's because if they were to go to war they would be fighting against their families.  South Korean people are very peaceful however are also very prideful; however that is all for another blog.

Here are some of the lantern pictures for you to enjoy.  Sadly I feel I don't take enough pictures because I feel like all the odd or special things I see are just normal and feel they wouldn't interest anyone.  So I am hoping to get back to being picture crazy in hopes of catching more of the everyday life in Korea.

Random other pictures from the day:

This whole store was fake flowers, even the tree out front was fake.

Preformance of a traditional Korea Wedding

What the bride would ride in.

Ryan's new keychain

Shooting a commercial

More Christmas stuff popping up in Namdamun

The crazyness of Namdamun

1 comment:

Chas said...

You guys always stumble on some cool places! I couldn't tell you how to start making jewelry. I have never done it either. I guess take your time ? ha ha. I would probably make a mess. The lanterns are really neat! I love the Christmas trees, and the Panda and the Kangaroo the best! I guess the animals in general. Do you guys have Christmas markets there ?
Oh yeah, the place were I got my blog background was
the cutest blog on the block website. It was easy to add it on here too!