Day Five: Totally Tourists
She’s about to say it again: “Another great day in Seoul, South Korea!” …starting with breakfast at our favorite little nook, Wood and Brick and those wonderful green tea scones!
Our days are so full here…. what a debt we owe to those who worked so hard to ensure our experience in Korea was a positive one! Today we did not go to the Hangaram Museum at all. Instead, we visited the Korean National Embroidery Museum. As a tiny, private museum, visits to this space are by invitation only.
It was surprising to see very little embroidery work there! Instead, my quilting friends would have been more excited at the precious display of Bojagi. Bojagi, which means wrapping cloth, is an ancient Korean tradition of practical craft. As a young woman would marry, her life treasures would be wrapped in her pumjoba to be transported to her new home. Often the cloth would be made of scraps of clothing from her childhood. As she matured, married, and had children of her own, scraps of their clothing would be used to make the random patterns of the Bojagi. As they would travel, or someone treasured were given gifts, the transported items would be wrapped in the Bojagi. Alternatively, purchased objects even were wrapped in Bojagi. In other words, the Bojagi was not a highly regarded cloth. Rather, it was quite a practical and disregarded item. Over the years, however, the Bojagi became recognized for their beauty, individuality, and the stores they told of the lives that they represented. In fact, our 91 year old host became so enamored with the wrappings so much, he found himself buying objects just so that he could have the Bojagi!
After leaving the embroidery museum, we had the experience of a lifetime at the wholesale market for textile artisans. Never I my life have I ever seen so many threads, fabrics, fabric samples, buttons, jewelry making supplies, yarns in one place! So much, it was absolutely overwhelming!
Everywhere more! More!
And still more! Look at the doorway made of stacked thread!
Five buildings of five floors each just filled to the brim! It is the wholesale market, so this is where clothing and jewelry makers and manufacturers come to purchase their raw materials. My understanding is that the general public can also purchase, but all transactions are made in cash….great restraint tool for tourists! LOL
And look how this seasoned floor worker moves wares! Look at the chair legs on the back!
Danielle, my coiling friend and teacher, helped me procure the proper needles and threads to begin my coiling career. 🙂 We were able to purchase HUGE cones of thread for roughly $30, compared to $12 for a tiny spool at retail prices in the United States. Danielle was ready to buy an additional suitcase!
How could this trip get any better?!? Perhaps a trip to the Design Center where we were able to see the Louis Vuitton exhibit! What an experience!
I was so amazed at the exhibit and how well staged it was! Throughout the exhibit, placards told the story of the three generations of box makers who changed the world. I personally never realized how customized and tailored the LV cases were. The exhibit shared early customized boxes…..
…and special boxes for cruises….
….For motor touring…… (check out those goggles and that very special COFFEE SERVICE for the coffeeaholic on the go!
There were boxes and attire for train travel….. (the room was made to feel like a Pullman car!)
….and classy aviation needs handsomely met. What a display!
Custom cases and dresses were made for such special people as Lauren Bacall….
…and Liz Taylor, to name a few.
And checkout that ceiling in the room of this exhibit! Isn’t it an incredible sight to see?!?
A Louis Vuitton artisan was even working at the exhibit to show the detail and care that went into each bag. What a truly awesome show!
Outside the Design Center were a few more surprises… an LED rose garden! We were there during the day, so we did not see the illumination, but even so, it was still something to behold!
AND we were treated to a surprise pop up concert of a young lady playing a haegeum, a traditional Korean string instrument, much like a violin.
It is amazing what one can see the middle of this city! Check out this park bench:
…a pagoda housing an historic bell!
Just when you think it can’t get any better, we finished the day at the Top Cloud, a restaurant atop the Jungno Tower where the night lights were breathtaking!
We only had drinks — we decided before going that poor, starving artists could not afford to actually EAT there! LOL –but we found our $20 margaritas and beers cheap fare for such a view!
Yup! Just not having a bit of fun! LOL
Thirty three floors high….. and this view from the ladies bathroom, no less!
And aren’t these just the best selfies ever?!?
Thanks for traveling with me! Perhaps tomorrow I’ll share with you about transportation in Seoul!
Till then, savor life’s moments… DOUBLED!