A Seoul Valentine

Nicholas Quirke was starting to feel stuck in Seoul, even though he was moving hotels 14 February 2020. There was much more to see in the city, but he had done most of the things that interested him. He was supposed to be in China and working things out on making a life for a year there. In Beijing he had already formed a strong bond with Peng, there had been job opportunities and even places to live in the Hutongs, which made him feel like he was simply killing time till the Coronavirus settled down and he could get back to the plan. He hadn’t known what to do when he fled the virus and had only bookEd 7 nights. He had planned to work out a proper Itinerary but had allowed himself to be distracted and here he was a week on having a holiday rather than Making plans and putting down roots. Here though was a change of scene, He had loved the Buchon Hanok Village so much, he wanted to try some traditional style living and booked himself into a Guest House. Before checking out he had a short chat with his mother, finished packing, organised a Sim, talk with Peng and responded to some emails. He was delighted with the location, but on arrival, the reality of traditional living hit him. It was going to be an experience living at floor level. There were no chairs, his bed rolled up on the floor, though that was a heated floor. He enjoyed eating cross legged in the restaurant, he was going to have to manage living like that too. It would be good for the sciatica, he’d thought. Once established in his new abode he set off to lunch at the Vegan restaurant he he’d been to before and enjoyed another good lunch. He had also promised himself tea in a proper Teahouse and he found the charming ‘Moonbird thinks only of the Moon’. As he sat down, the sommelier appeared with a menu and a book of `Korean Poetry’ for him to read. it was clearly a favoured spot for older artistic locals. He fell in love with its ambience and even when a group of old men came in and were staring and chuckling about him, his Maoist look, clearly the source of their mirth, his feelings for the place was not diminished. Almost 2 hours were spent enjoying the delicious ginger tea, which made him realise the Unidentifiable ingredient in the tea he, Slava and Kseniya enjoyed in Ulan-Bator was in fact, ginger. He messaged them right away. He had promised Peng that he would get him some coffee from a Fashionable local cofffee shop and went to find it and a takeaway meal for the evening. Once again he got himself lost, city mapper telling him he had arrived at Felt, but was actually standing outside Adrians Cafe. He eventually asked a young man who directed him inside what looked like an office block but was in fact a high class mall. The penny dropped, he was starting to get the hang of the life here. He managed too to finally locate an Indian Vegan restaurant, it too. Was in the middle of a mall, and oh what a surprise, it was closed for refurbishment. Nicholas located another two restaurants he could get a Takeaway from and after some difficulty managed to get a warm mushroom salad. He made his way back to the Guest House and when he finally sat down to eat supper he was joined via Face Time by Peng and they enjoyed an evening of chat and laughter As he went to bed, he discovered the downside of living in the traditional style was the amenities were not as effective as in a smarter hotel and he struggled to get the WiFi working consistently. With that frustration in mind he went to bed.


  1. For the first time the beginning of your blog sounded quite low. You have been doing really well going with the flow Nick. Looking at the news coverage I think you are going to have to ride that wave for quite a while longer. You probably need to make some firm human connections where you are. Is there an online local English speaking community that you could try? Xxxx

    1. Thanks Grace.. It probably because I had Started to make those connections in Beijing. As it is, I am moving on as much as I like Seoul I dont think there is the same sort of work here. Xxx

  2. I laughed at the part where you said your clothing style was being discussed by several local elderly people. Here’s an advice: lose the Mao suit! lololol. Tbh, it’s pity you had to change your plan and “fled” to Korea for a bit, but that’s also the fun and exciting part of an adventure. After all, you met those nice people at the DMZ because of this trip! Ride on and looking forward to experiencing more adventure with you on here.

  3. Hope you can return to China soon Nick. Loving your videos! Was the floor bed good for your sciatica? I would LOVE to live without furniture!! Hugs across the miles xxx

  4. Great to see you trying out the traditional living, I’m sure it’s more comfortable than it looks! xxx

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