Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Things You Gotta Do: Seoul City Hall Ice Rink

Side Note: The majority of the pictures of this ice rink on Google Images are NOT what the actual ice rink looks like... no idea why... this was the closest one I found.
The weather in Seoul is... not fun in the winter. It's super cold with random day of excessive wind. Not the best. However, as I've explained to you twice before, there's still plenty to do in this city that will make you feel a lot less miserable about the cold.

The ladies and I decided that we'd spend a wonderful estrogen-filled night ice skating at the Seoul City Hall Ice Rink. This was a GREAT IDEA! I mean... I'm terrible at skating... just absolutely God awful. I never ice skated as a child and have never been able to shake the feeling that sliding while wearing razors on your feet was NOT something humans were designed to do. Regardless, I still had a blast "Ice Standing" (like that? It's the new hotness) and having the gals drag my panicky ass around the rink.
Pictured: so much fun as I laugh nervously
Ok, enough anecdote, on to the stuff you actually care about...

How to Get the Most Out of Your Visit:

Tip 1: Book ahead
The City Hall Ice Rink is one of the most popular winter destinations for Seoulites, expats, and toursists (Korean and non-Korean) alike. A lot of people have this placed on their "Things to Do in Seoul" bucket lists, so it gets pretty busy, especially on date nights (... stupid dumb happy couples and their irritating adorable happiness...). I suggest you head to the ice rink in the afternoon and reserve your time slot for the evening. Time slots are 1 hour long and price of admission ($1?!) includes skate rental. The blocks get booked up, so really it's best to plan ahead.

Tip 2: Get there early for your time slot
Even though they are perfectly aware of how many people they allow onto the ice within time slots the ice rink, in their infinite non-wisdom, does not have enough lockers for everyone. It's best to get there early so you can snag a locker to shove your shoes and bags into, as people tend to strap on their crazy pants when it comes to limited supplies of desired objects.

Tip 3: Come prepared
Ok, this is more of a mini-tip, but it's good to know nonetheless. Korean ice rinks typically require that you be wearing gloves or mittens, for safety precautions. They probably won't let you onto the ice if you're not dressed appropriately (no skirts, gals, no shorts, dudes, jackets and mittens are yes)

Kitton Mittons are also required (this also happens to be exactly how graceful I am when on ice)
This tip might not be true every day, but it sure as shit was true when we were there. You see... Koreans like to protest... a lot. And when they're protesting the Seoul government, guess where they like to protest? If you said anything other than "City Hall," well, that was silly of you. When we arrived we were about 10 minutes early for our 7:00 slot. There were two massive protests occurring simultaneously on both sides of the ice rink. They were blasting chants as well as music at obnoxiously high volumes. If you're wanting a nice experience and something not so... protestacular... I'm pretty sure that the cops clear out city hall protestors at about 7 in order to comply with sound ordinances.

Pictured: Totes not there for icy fun

Follow these simple tips and you're sure to have a really pleasant time pretending to be Kim YuNa or, like me, just trying to convince yourself that you're not about to die.

Progress Report:
It's day 7 of my challenge of "not fucking around." Though I did miss the gym this morning (due to... stuff... shut up) my apartment is consistently tidy and I'm feeling optimistic about my chances to end my ridiculous chronic laziness.

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