Korea Stephanie La Temple Exchange

Animals and Couples

This past Sunday was my new friend’s last full day in Korea before returning home to Singapore. She really wanted to go to the zoo. We decided to meet up at Seoul Grand Park, which is located right off of a subway station (so convenient!). After leaving the subway station, there were numerous street vendors selling toys and food like the twirly potato sticks, roasted rice cakes, donuts, bugs, squid, and more. We didn’t really understand the ticketing due to our limited Korean, so we ended up buying the package deal for the park, which included trolley, lift ticket, and other stuff.

The park is true to its name… it really is grand—and gigantic! The zoo contains the typical animals: zebras, giraffes, and elephants, but they also had a dolphin show. Sadly, we missed the last show. The zoo also included a small area for performances, and I got to see a talented acappella group perform Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” the Lion King songs, and some nice Korean songs.

What I noticed that was pretty different from the zoos in the United States is that people bring their blankets and would line up on the sidewalks and grass for a nice picnic with the family. The food and snacks were fairly priced for a zoo and park–not extremely overpriced but not cheap either. After exploring the park, it was funny to find that they had North American raccoons in the zoo since they are not exactly exotic to me. After 5 hours of exploring our way across the zoo, we finally reached the other side, where the lift was located to return us to the entrance. Sadly, the line was really really long. It felt like all of Seoul was at the zoo. We ended up walking all the way back to the entrance to find an equally long line for the trolley that would take us back to the subway station. I guess we wasted our package ticket, and it was a bad choice to go to the zoo on a Sunday since it was infested with little kids and couples. I thought the zoo was nice, but it would have been better if the weather was not so hot and if I did not have to fight my ways through couples and little kids to see the animals. I mean, it’s only fair since I paid to see the animals too.

Speaking of couples, Seoul is really big on couples. Everywhere you go, you see so many of them! Most of the tourist zones I visited were populated with couples, such as Namsan Tower and all the parks. Actually, these happy people are just everywhere. And they really love to show PDA with kisses, hugs, and hand holding. They also wear couple shirts, couple shoes, couple hats, couple everything! Not only do they do matching colors, they usually do the exact same clothing too! It must be hard to be single in Korea. I think single people have a lot of pressure to find a boyfriend or girlfriend. Korea already has so many holidays to celebrate couples. Thanks Korea… way to rub it in.

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