Dongdaemun and Knitting Lessons~

It all started as an off-hand comment about knowing how to knit when I was meeting 현진 and 혜진 in 인사동 (Insadong) during the break.  They were both so shocked!  I offered to teach them both how to if they were interested in learning.  Thus, plans were made to take me to 동대문종합시장 (Dongdaemun Market).

We met up at 동대문 역 (Dongdaemun Station – Line 1 or 4) after my classes were done on Thursday.
[Funny story!  I had a terrible sleep the night before so I was wearing one of my pairs of glasses to hide the dark circles under my eyes.  Because of this though, Hye-jin didn’t recognize me waiting by the steps for them ^^ ]
We ended up going to a small restaurant for lunch.  We ate the kind of food you could easily get at a pojangmacha (food tent).  This included:

떡볶이 (ddeokbokki)

and 튀김 (twigim) with 오뎅국물 (odengukmul – odeng soup).

They also suggested I try 주먹밥 (jumeokbab  – Korean rice balls).  주먹 translates to ‘fist’, so essentially these are fist-sized rice (밥).  When they were explaining it to me they both held up a fist and now I can’t stop doing it too every time I mention 주먹밥 to someone ^^.   They told me that it is like Korean onigiri (Japanese rice balls), only you eat it with a spoon or chopsticks here.  I got a 불고기 (marinated beef) one, while Hye-jin got 참치 (tuna), and Hyeon-jin got Spam.  She was shocked when I told her how most of the members in my family would probably turn their noses up at Spam.  Apparently rich people eat Spam here.  Best part of the meal?  I think between the three of us, it came out to roughly 4,000-5,000원 each (the rice balls were the most expensive part).

My favourite picture from the day. I didn’t realize it until I got home, but the guy’s expression is awesome. I like to imagine that he’s making silent cat-calls at Hye-jin ^^

After we finished eating, it was off to the market!

My mum would go nuts here!  Uncut bolts of fabric, containers of buttons and snaps, rolls of lace, essentially anything that would get a sewer/crafty person a twitter.

 There was also plenty for the knitters and crocheters out there as well!  On the right floor there was at least ten booths with knitting material!

One one of the levels it was filled with hanboks.  I think they are so pretty!  Filled with such vibrant colours.

I love Korean markets, but with my limited Korean, I’m always afraid to ask for the price (there is very rarely a price marked down).  So I really like it when I can go with Korean language speakers.  Both Hyeon-jin and Hye-jin both four rolls of yarn for 10,000원 (~$10 CND); olive green for Hye-jin and scarlet red for Hyeon-jin.  I was just looking for individual balls instead of set packages since I didn’t want to start any big projects here.  We found some brightly coloured acrylic yarn for 1,000원 each (~$1).  I got one ball of gold and another of sapphire blue.  Also, circular knitting needles are soooooo cheap here!!!  They charged only 1, 000원 per needle at both places!  I’ve paid any where up to $10 Canadian for knitting needles back home.  I may have to stock up while I’m here ^^

We walked along Cheonggyecheong on our way to find a coffee shop to start the lessons.  Cheonggyecheon is a 8.4km stream that cuts through the city.  Over the recent years they renovated the area, making it a recreational area.  It cuts down from the street view, separating it from the main street.  It has really nice walkway on both sides.

It’s been so cold lately that the water had frozen!  I think it would be nicer to come back in the spring when it isn’t so frigid.

We ended up picking a coffee shop right out side of the subway station Jongno-5 ga called Roti-mum.  It is a Singapore based Coffee and Bun place…kind of makes me wish we would have tried some of the buns.  They had squid ink and pumpkin flavoured ones (separate flavours…not combined).  It was a two story shop, with the ground floor quite cramped, but with a nice spacious upstairs lounge area.  I really liked the exposed brick walls.

To start with, both Hyeon-jin and Hye-jin will be making scarves and I’m going to work on a pair of two-coloured fingerless gloves.  In the hour and a bit we spent there, I got them on their way doing stockinette stitch (where you knit one row and purl the next).  I’m really curious to see how they’re getting along the next time we meet.

Till next time!

P.S.  I’m afraid next week my posts may be a little delayed (like this one ㅜ.ㅜ).  I have three of my four midterms this week (two on Wednesday and one on Thursday).  And in the grand tradition that is my student character, I’m going to be getting pretty stressed out over it.  Wish me luck!

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4 thoughts on “Dongdaemun and Knitting Lessons~

  1. Good luck with your midterm exam! I got a hanbok for my daughter on that level – I was quite surprised it isn’t as expensive as I thought it would be!

    p.s. truly enjoyed your blogs. kamsahamnida!

    • 정말 감사합니다! I love hearing from people who have read my posts 🙂 I hope you keep enjoying it!

      Would you mind me asking how much you paid for your hanbok? I’m considering buying one as a souvenir to take back to Canada. They are so lovely!

      • Hi, Sam, I paid around 60,000 KRW. That’s kid size (but it fits me too ~ I’m short!). hehe. I was expecting to pay double so was quite pleased. It might possibly cost more for an adult one.

        Love your articles! A friend alerted me on facebook of your blog in Nov? – we were searching for something in connection with this handsome (“beast man”) actor Oh Ji Ho and she came across your blog. Btw, OJH has just been appointed as Honorary Goodwill Ambassador at the Embassy of Canada, Seoul, South Korea. Anyways, look forward to reading more from you.

        I agree with Mary Caudle: in our book you’ve already surpassed! Best wishes!

  2. Great Blogs Sami….we love them (and you)!
    Best of luck in your exams coming up….but in our book you’ve already passed (and surpassed)!

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