I left Jung District with Seoul Metro Line 4 towars Hongik University Station which was ten kilometers away. I had to put a plastic bag at Kimchee Guesthouse Sinchon. Doing exploration by carrying black plastic would only make my face look more tacky.
In thirty minutes I arrived.
Without having time to sat down for a moment, I just left the inn. That time I was going to the biggest palace in Korea.
Now I was taken by Seoul Metro Line 2. I was standing again because the carriage was full of passengers, requiring my right hand to hold the hand strap above so as not to fall because the train often braked at every station which train stopped at.
It was just, the situation got weird. A girl was whispering with a friend next to her and occasionally looking at me. I didn’t look at her but at least I could glance at her faintly. “Oh, someone is watching me,” I thought.
I occasionally glanced at that girl who continued to softly laugh. That laugh made me introspect. “Is there something wrong with me?” I tried to pay attention to myself, but still didn’t immediately find the oddity.
Until finally, I felt in shame when I found the source of my problem. It turned out that there was a large thread stitch at the base of the right hand. “Oh, why didn’t I check this used jacket when I bought it at Pasar Baru (the name of market in Jakarta)”, I slowly lowered my right hand, then checked the base of my left hand. Knowing the stitches were in good condition, I took turn holding the hand strap with my left hand. I slowly turned to that two girls and shyly nodded. It turned out that the two girls responded in the same way.
“Damn, during ten days of traveling, I just found out that in the bottom of my used winter jacket’s right hand there was a large seam to cover the rip,” I grumbled while shaking my head.
This incident made me feel embarrassed until I got off at Euljiro 3(sam)-ga Station to change to Seoul Metro Line 3. Now I was back following the pace of Seoul Metro to Gyeongbokgung Station in the north of city. This time I sat down until I arrived at the station.
To reaching Gyeongbok Palace, it was only a three hundred meter walk from Gyeongbokgung Station. Entering the gate yard of Gyeongbok Palace, many tourists were wearing hanbok clothes. The clothes were indeed effective in creating an aura of nobility for anyone who weared them.
Meanwhile, in every corner of courtyard was closely guarded by local police. It was clear that Gyeongbok Palace was closed that afternoon, no tourists were allowed in. I didn’t know what the moment would be held that afternoon?. Practically I could only enjoy my visitation by entering National Palace Museum of Korea which was located in the same courtyard as Gyeongbok Palace.
Visiting it was free, I was required to understand the story and ins and outs of Gyeongbok Palace from various relics in display at the museum. The 113-year-old museum looked clean and well-maintained. Although I didn’t fully understand it, at least I could enjoy historical objects such as some traditional clothes, ancient records, stamps and some paintings from Joseon Dynasty.
With the completion of xploration in the historical repository of South Korea, nicknamed the Deoksugung Museum, my adventure that afternoon left only one more destination….Gangnam District