Saturday, 10 March 2012

To Downtown And Back

I haven't seen my good friend, Jeeho, in a long time. We always had this plan to meet up for dinner and drinks, but it never happened. These days, he always works late. I work even later. Ha-ha-ha!

So, we decided on not planning on dinner anymore. How about lunch?!

And yesterday, on my lunch break, I headed downtown. And after 15 minutes in a cab, I was at his doorstep! The lobby of the Seoul Finance Center!
And while waiting for him as he tried to separate himself from his financial derivatives, I stood there in front of a centerpiece artwork at the lobby: a lot of violas clustered together and looking like a string orchestra but without musicians!
It was titled Power of Music and must have cost a lot money to commission. It would have cost more had they been Stradivarius. But then, nobody just displays any Stradivarius on a lobby. You display and play it at Carnegie Hall!
Although our Thai lunch wasn't as expensive as those violas, it was a fun catching up with a friend in between sips of the spicy tom yam soup. A quick chat and a quick lunch it was.
And before we parted, we headed to the nearest Starbucks. My good friend wanted me to enjoy an iced cafe mocha as I made my way back to my office. The Thai lunch and Starbucks were his treat, by the way. 
And as I took my ride back to the office with my coffee, I realized that meeting friends over lunch was easier than having to plan dinner when everyone seems to be busy at night working and making money. Ha-ha-ha!
Thanks, Jee for the lunch and coffee!   Until next time, when those violas won't be just on display. Perhaps, someone would be playing them?  Lunch and coffee on me next time!


  1. The Seoul Financial Center is located in Yeoido, isn't it? I didn't know Yeoido is considered as a downtown. I wonder how many downtowns are in Seoul. I would name those - several districts in Gangnam, Myungdong, Sejong-ro, Sinchon, Hongdae district, Jong-ro, Chunggaechun district and Yeoido.

    And Seoul's every satellite city such as Bundang and Ilsan has its own sizable downtown. I will give you one interesting story. In Santiago, the 5.5 million population capital of Chile, I met a guy from Ilsan Kyungggido Korea, he claimed confidently that even one satellite city Ilsan is outshining the capital Santiago in terms of city infra structures and city luxuries and comforts. As we know, Chile is praised as the most advanced economic model country in the entire continent of Latin America from Mexico to Chile.

    Yet Chile unfortunately has been stuck in the middle income trap(GDP $7,000~$15,000) just as Brazil, Mexico, Argentina. Chilean economy was booming before the world-wide financial crisis, for the most part thanks to copper exports, from which Chile earns more than 30 billion annually (copper is in charge of about 60% of Chilean exports). After all, Copper contributes a lot to Chilean economy the same as oil and natural gas contribute a lot to Saudi and Russian economies. In short, Chilean economy is heavily dependent upon copper.

    It is definitely true that Chile has managed the stellar economic performance in Latin America. Compared with East Asian countries, however, Chile becomes lackluster by far.

    Anyhow, I am glad to hear that you could enjoy the Thai dish with your close friend in Yoeido. I am going to try the Thai dish in Seoul next time. As for me, I was happy to find the Vietnamese Pho restaurant in Hongdae district during my past visit to Seoul. Pho was exactly the same as I ate in the US. In the US, I prefer the Vietnamese dish to the Thai dish. The Thai dish flavor is somewhat bland for my taste bud. I expect the Thai dish in Seoul gets to be rather spicy to cater to the local people who love spicy food.

    By the way, what is your opinion about the Thai dish in Yoeido?

    1. Oh, the Seoul Finance Center is in the City Hall area, not Yeouido. It's next to the Korea Press Building.

      Interesting story about Santiago, Chile. Thanks.

      And the Thai lunch? I didn't elaborate on it because, well, it wasn't that memorable. I told my friend I'd bring him to that Thai restaurant in Itaewon to return the favor. They have Thai chefs there and really yummy tom yam soup!

    2. HaHa, I was thinking of the newly-built IFC in Yeouido, although you were talking about SFC in Sejongro. Actually I didn't have any idea of SFC. Now, thanks to you, I got to know there are IFC and SFC sepatrately in Seoul. Thanks.

    3. SFC building picture

  2. Hi Al it is woongjae

    How about having lunch at GS tower? Lunch as military style with wearing the uniform haha