Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday Tourism: Part 2 - Insadong and Bird Tea

After lunch we went to nearby Insadong, a shopping area popular with tourists for it's Korea cultural wares and souvenirs. My fiancee picked up some shirts we saw on my last trip as gifts for her brothers. They read, "The DNA of Victory - strong," and we found them awesome and hilarious.

While in Insadong, we went to the "Old Tea Shop", this bird tea house, my fiancee wanted to visit, which I was shocked by, because she doesn't like birds. I was pretty nervous too of birds flying around, but we went in. I've found a few other blog posts and photos of it online. Here's one, and here's a link to a video. We actually sat in the same seats as the people you see in the video. The place was nice. It was filled with Antique furniture and stuff. The birds stuck mostly to the one wall and the area near the window. There were only a few near us at first, but as the other table along the side wall left (there weren't many people there when we went), we had a bit of a migration towards us.

The tea was excellent. I ordered a cold pear tea, as I didn't want anything hot to compound with the heat outside. It was sweet and very tasty. My fiancee ordered plum tea, which was even better. It was really really good, I'd say that you have to get it if you ever go. Daniel got a cinnamon tea, which he liked, but was caught off guard by the large cinnamon stick chunk in it which he described as a "T-rex turd". Branko ordered just water, and got a fake mocking from the server for that. :) Adam got a hot "double harmony" tea, which was not at all tasty, and reminded us of the rather vile herbal medicine given to you by Koreans when sick. Though, the taste grew on him and he began to imagine himself as getting much healthier just drinking it. After we left he also had a burst of energy and was a little giddy, so we all think that that one must be laced with some sort of narcotic. :) Recommended for all you health fanatics or druggies.

T-Rex turd anyone?

As I said, the birds seemed to migrate towards us. My fiancee only started to get freaked out when one of them flew very close to her, actually brushing her hair. She was closest to the window, and thus nearest the birds. One in particular scared us the most, a white bird with black marks under his eyes that made him look like he had tattoos of teardrops. Scary! Daniel joked that he got them while in prison after killing another bird. My fiancee was convinced that he was the ring leader and was organizing the others against us. He did seem pretty creepy to me.

The evil one. Look at that tear!

Adam, amused by our worry, took his sweet-ass time finishing his tea! Then we all left. Good experience overall, despite the bird mafia killer.

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