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Of Crushed Pigs and Crossing Bridges

This Seoul-Vancouver flight was the first trip where it was just me and my Dad – I can’t recall why it was just me following him up on this flight? Probably because it was one of his decent long ones, and the rest of my family couldn’t make it. So it was just me and my dad, who was busy flying the plane while I watched a lot of inflight entertainment. Is it cool hearing your dad talking on the intercom? Hell yeah!

Seoul was a stopover, we hardly spent any time there. A day or so going up, and a day or so coming back. It was winter and pretty damn cold out, especially on the return leg! K-fashion wasn’t the in thing yet (my best item bought? a pair of socks with eyes on them for my sister), and I wasn’t much of a shopper then either, so most of it was just wandering around with my Dad taking me around the city. Perhaps because it was winter, I remember it being mostly cold and grey and a tad dreary.

Seoul Namsan N Seoul Tower View

A fine morning – we had a great view from the hotel though!

I remember Namdaemun and Dongdaemun, famous street markets (dong stands for east, nam for south). My lasting memory is of us walking by a random old man demonstrating how to use this amazing scrub. He was blathering on excitedly in Korean, and while we had no idea what on earth he was saying, my dad was convinced enough by this magic pot scrub demonstration that he stopped to buy some back for my mum, finger sign bargaining and all.

Seoul Night Market

Shopping for all sorts of knickknacks

My dad, thriftiest man in the world, is a sucker for a good bargain and sales pitch.

It turned out to be a pretty good buy though, my Mum said it worked well, but I don’t think my Dad was able to find that same enthusiastic salesman the next time he had a Seoul stopover…

This was what cracked us up most in Seoul though:

Seoul Train Set Crushed Pig

Look at the crushed piggy!

It was near Christmas, the hotel had a gigantic model train set with 7 whole tracks in the lobby. Upon closer inspection, we came across this slightly macabre display right in the middle…

Vancouver was also pretty cold, and it rained… a lot. The irritatingly light misty rain that’s not quite light enough to be ignored and not heavy enough to warrant an umbrella. Naturally though, the weather was absolutely perfect on the day we left:

The highlight of the Vancouver leg was heading to Capilano Suspension Bridge:

Vancouver Capilano Suspension Bridge Me

It’s so empty because it was close to closing time! Also, shitty weather

Vancouver Capilano Suspension Bridge Dad

My Dad on one of the canopy bridges

It was the 2 of us and another flight officer who visited the place. I remember us staying there till near closing time. We wanted to go and check out the nearby salmon or fish farm or something too, but only had half an hour left. We legged it down to the fish place but were too late; it was closed! It was a pretty long road down and we slowly plodded our way back up again. We considered hitching a ride back up, but the only guy who slowed down to stop had a broken window and glass on his seat, which my dad considered a little shady and decided we were better off plodding our way up the slope. I remember being a little concerned, but overall just glad my Dad was around that day!

I would return to Vancouver and Capilano Suspension Bridge in 2016, this time wearing my Dad’s hat:

Vancouver Capilano Bridge Me

12 years later!

Seoul would end up being the first place I went solo – Check out those stories here