It was a Sunday too early. Left Ulaan Bataar midnight and broke our journey for a 2 night stopover in Seoul on our homeward flight. Fine. Only problem is that hell driver from Mongolia ticked on all our “alarms” that we hardly slept on our flight. When we landed in Seoul at 4 am, we were all wasted. A cup of good brew at Incheon’s Cafe Pascucci failed to stir our soul.





Found in Incheon Airport just as soon as you exit, where you can decide to either take the Airport Express train, bus or arrange a limo transfer to your hotel in the city some one hour drive away.


Who can resist this? Across it is the Charlie Brown Cafe, another cute-sy coffee shop. Only in Korea!



Not even the cute-sy coffee shops in Incheon Airport — Hello Kitty, Charlie Brown Cafe — could perk us up. We were completely zonked out! By 5:30 am, we hired a limo cab to take us to our hotel in Myeongdong one hour drive away. Left our bags in Nine Tree Hotel and walked towards the Myeongdong Cathedral (Church of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception) — the very first Roman Catholic Church in Korea. Also the very first Gothic structure in Korea. Took us 15-20 minutes to find it. Could have taken less if we weren’t dragging our feet. Sunday Mass at 7am. That done, we were about to set out for a breakfast place when we noticed a food bazaar beside the cathedral. We took one look at the pancakes, rice cakes, bibimbap, grilled squid, etc and decided we’d best kill time here before checking in at our hotel. Some hours to waste, and we weren’t up to doing anything else that would so much require lifting our ass off those plastic chairs.


Myeongdong Cathedral is the first ever Roman Catholic Church in the whole of Korea. It is also the very first Gothic structure in that country.


Just right outside the Cathedral is this piece of art. I love the facial expression and how the features are very Oriental!



This is where we met our new Korean friends. No conversations in English. Just hand gestures and more. They talked to us in Korean like we were old friends. We laughed when they laughed. We shared our bag of pistachio nuts and they offered us Korean wine and some foods which we understood are best eaten with the wine.




Is this what they call soju? Basta. It’s Korean wine and the locals love it.


Whatever it’s called, we got it for free. Compliments of our new Korean friends!



We stayed more than 3 hours. Every so often, we’d get up to buy some bibimbap, pancakes, rice cakes, etc. while more new friends joined our table. We continued to laugh together. One of them looked at my bibimbap, picked up my bowl, walked to the stall, and returned with my bowl with more added. We continued to eat together. How can you not love these people? We didn’t have to speak the same language to understand and like each other.






One of the stalls selling wine and some meat and seafood slices.



By the time we checked in at our hotel, we were ready to collapse. That midnight flight was a curse and we promise not to do it again. But we’ve gained new friends. We may have lost our soul and a good part of the day, but we certainly understood that friendship does not require nor demand much. My friend E explains that we are being “rewarded” for being uncomplaining even when confronted with delayed flights, rain showers, hell drivers and fellow travelers in our group who had a penchant for making others wait. Well….. We don’t sweat the small stuff. No Matata. GWIYOMI 🙂




They talked to us like we understood Korean. We laughed when they laughed. We ate whatever their fingers pointed at. We drank as they poured!


Lovely people. Lovely Koreans!