When we got to the exit escalator, we discovered it had started raining. (Side note - this AM I looked at the weather and since it said "RAIN" all day, I wore rain boots to work. Walking over 1 mile in rubber rain boots is not fun, and it was SUNNY! So, heading to get Tab, I wore my crochet Toms. They have holes in them!) We grabbed a taxi right outside the station and told him "Dongdaemun Market!" He understood after only repeating 3 times (success!) and we were on our way! Tab had a big backpack that was super-touristy, but who cares. It was about a 20 minute taxi ride, and cost less than $8. Wow! And, thank goodness, this area of Seoul was not raining.
Dongdaemun is a huge area with something like 10 buildings containing all kinds of shopping both retail and wholesale. Outside the high-rise super-shopping complexes were street vendors. The first building we tried was kind of bad, so we left and went across the street to a much more neon-sign lit up fabulous looking building. On the way, we passed by some of the street vendors. We saw all kinds of fried foods on sticks (which, unfortunately, were not Oreos, brownies, or snickers... more like grasshoppers, seaweed, and squid), we saw knock off couture everything, we saw dancing singing stuffed animals. It was insanity.
I stopped to look at a few of the knock off tables, and a Vivienne Westwood clutch caught my eye. I asked how much and she said $14 and held up 4 fingers. I'm thinking, "WOW! Maybe I can get her down to $10 hehehe" so I said "Will you take $10?" She looked like she was thinking, laughed, and said "Okay, discount. I give for $35." -- Wait, what?! Ohhhh... she meant "$40" not "$14". Ha! Well, I decided to scout my options.
We headed into the big building, and it looked like a department store with all the different "brands" in little sections along the asile. These weren't actually "brands" like in a department store, but shops. There were some decent things, at good prices, but something at each place kept me from buying anything.
We wandered around some more, and saw a lot of interesting things. People sleeping in tents outside the buildings, specifically the wholesale market. I saw a bag in the wholesale market that was perfect for what I was looking for (something cross-body that could hold my iPad and papers for work), but alas, "no for shopping!" shouted the lady when I asked the price. Um, excuse me? What are the fifty thousand other people in here doing, then? "Wholesale!!" She shouts at me. Ohhh... damn.
I wish I'd found some clothes, but that atmosphere is not ideal for me to pick out clothes. I need low-key boutique type situation. Maybe tomorrow I will have more success with clothes!
Tab and I got a taxi back to my place around 1:30am and she is crashing here for the night. Tomorrow we have big plans, and my feet are absolutely killing me! I should get to sleep since its 3:30am now... Loving my first night in the new apartment. Can't wait to make it "mine!"