HBC, Haebangchon, my home in Seoul. It’s an area I happened upon by a chance request, happily so.
The area is influenced by art and small businesses. I’ve spent a little over a month here exploring the town and neighboring Itaewon. HBC is ideal for me as a neighborhood to live in. Quality beer and coffee is offered in every direction. Food options are lesser, but quality is available. Small businesses are wonderfully abundant in town. Many expats have called the area home and opened up shops. Together with native residents, bookstores, pizzerias, foreign cuisine, pubs, wing stands, bars, cafes, produce stands, and more have popped up on every street. There is actually a bar being built as we speak right next to my home. Bittersweet, perhaps.
HBC is a town built on the nature that existed before, a mountain hill, a terrain seen all over Seoul and South Korea in general. So the climb to the top, where I live is steep. My legs are looking great, I have to say. After missing the bus (that ends at 11:20) a couple times, I’ve been forced to walk about 40 minutes from Namyeong Station. It’s not a bad trek, and I actually do it on purpose when I’m not in a hurry and going downhill from home.
Being at the top offers wonderful views of Namsan Tower and the descending neighborhood. It’s a view that I fall in love with more everyday. Waking up to see the sky, on lucky days, is such a treat. I feel connected to the area like I do my hometown in Alabama.
Fair warning, bring an umbrella. I did have culture shock at the extent to which locals use umbrellas. It will be barely sprinkling and every person has themselves protected. I discovered later that it’s not out of inability to handle a little rain, it’s because the pollution of the city is absorbed through the water cycle and dropped back on the city. So locals, being smarter than myself, protect themselves from the unhealthy acid of the rain. I’m over here trooping through the rain as if I have all the guts in town. Joke’s on me.
Although, I still don’t understand the umbrellas in the sun habit. The need to remain extremely pale is quite a strange phenomenon here. I suppose each culture has it’s own flaws with idealistic beauty standards. Girls will have a face covered in makeup several shades lighter than their natural tone, obvious at the neck line. But Americans are bad about making their face orange. Girls, your natural color is beautiful, embrace it. ♡
When I first got to Seoul, I noticed the colors! Everywhere patterns combine with nature and manmade to create a blogger’s heaven for me. I love getting lost in HBC, I always find something interesting and beautiful to snap a photo of, never wanting to forget the beauty.
As far as the locals go, some say hello back like in the South, but most will not initiate the conversation. Of I make the effort, however, I am usually responded with happiness and a smile. Korean culture is a little different than Southern hospitality. I have toned down a little bit, but y’all my roots run deep, and I am who I am.
Have a great day!
♡ live the wonder, vagabond your vida.