Sunday, August 12, 2012

Visited Itaewon for a haircut

***Update Feb. 15, 2015
Hey, I found a better salon. This is the first really good cut I've gotten since moving to Seoul. Visit LUCY HAIR in Hongdae. The price is comparable to salons in the United States. For a cut and partial highlight it was 140,000won. Lucy and her staff speak English and Lucy really knows Western hair. The highlights are really nice, but the cut is what will get me to go back to her-she really knows how to layer. Directions are basically take Line 2 (green) to Sinchon station. Walk out of exit 1 and turn right. There's a Natuur ice cream place but it's a terrible landmark right now because it's under construction until March 2015. Anyway, walk straight out of exit 1 and turn right on the street as soon as you see the Hyundae department store. Lucy Hair is on the 2nd floor about halfway down the block on the right side.

(**UPDATE AUGUST 19, 2013
ACCORDING TO Only Itaewon:
 "The Green Turtle just moved! They are now only a nail, massage and tanning place. The new Green Turtle is located under "What the Book." Their old (and loved) hairstylist Michel, has a new place across the street from McDonalds. It's up the hill (keep to the left at the fork) and pass the waxing and western boots shop. It's on the 2f. Michel's number is 010-4026-8409"

*UPDATE Jan. 1, 2013 
Green Turtle Spa is in the same location, but there is no longer a Quiznos on the 1st floor of the building-now it's an Olive Young Store. For directions from the Suji/Bundang area, see the bottom of the post) 

You probably heard on the news that I've been growing out my bangs. Well, just like all those ladies who finally get bangs and immediately decided to grow them out, I've grown mine out and decided to immediately cut them.
I had done some research before arriving about where to get hair done-especially blonde highlights-in Seoul. One name kept popping up: Green Turtle Spa. From conversations I had with co-workers who have lived here a while, there seems to be only 3 people in the city (of 10 million people) who can do Western hair. So I called Michelle at Green Turtle and made an appointment. I was a little scared, so I brought back up: Grace, Ruby and Mrs. Katie Hobbs.
Here's the very tricky part, Katie lives in Gangnam and we don't have cell phones until we get our Alien Registration Cards (essentially a green card). Since we live in different neighborhoods, we were going to have to meet half way there. Fortunately, I'm really smart so we decided to meet at the name-I-can't-remember-now station at EXIT 1 at 10:00.
Gruby and I headed out pretty early-we wouldn't be able to text saying we would be we just couldn't. be. late. We left our apartment around 8:30. We took the yellow line from Migeum to the next stop and switched to the new pink(ish) line. It's the nicest subway.

I love this feature-this sign tells you which stops you've been to (red) and which one's you're going to (green)

This screen shows commercials, but also tells the speed of the train. 90km/hour. Sounds fast, but who can do that kind of math?

On this fancy train they leave all the interior doors open, so if you felt up to it, you could probably do cartwheels all the way down the entire train....I don't think anyone would like that though. This train was SILENT

On this train you can look out the back window if you're in the last car (we were). There are awesome lights in the tunnel in the middle.

lights in the tunnel.

We got off the subway at the station we were to meet Katie.

Mall or subway station?
We got what I thought were muffins-I think they were cupcakes. Mine was DELICIOUS! It tasted like pound cake with cream cheese inside

Exit 1. Now we wait

I'm not the only one who decided to meet someone at EXIT 1! These people are meeting up to go hiking
Look! Behind that column! It's Kaite! My plan worked! I could live in 1999 without a cell phone again if I had to!
 We took 2 more trains and made it to Itaewon, or as I like to call it, "Little America". No one else calls it that, but there are a lot of Americans there, it's near the army base and there are American resturants there. We easily found the Green Turtle Spa, thanks to this blog. We arrived with an hour to spare, so we stopped and got a couple waffles.
These waffles are served at practically every cafe. I finally caved and we got some. They were fantastic

Then headed over for some bangs!
Finally a cool, rainy day

 We ditched our umbrellas outside...
 And slipped into something more comfortable...
Michelle's assistant washed my hair.
Here's Michelle (as in Pfieffer) trimming my hair
Turns out Katie didn't come as backup for me-she came using me as guinnea pig. Once she saw that my hair looked ok, she decided to get her hair cut too!
As Katie got her hair cut, I went to the back and got my eyebrows waxed (waxing is rare in Seoul)

Look at me now!
I have to say, thumbs up for Michelle. He was great-he even asked me if he could straighten my hair before he did it, which was very thoughtful considering I usually wear it curly. Oh, and guess what?! The cut only cost me 25,000 won (about $25). I'll definitely be back for highlights in a couple months.

So you see now that I'm not using google images for the blog anymore (well, I did that just that one time) which means we got a new camera! I looked up pictures of digital cameras on emart's website, then searched reviews of them on I settled on a Samsung camera that has a screen on the front of the camera as well as the back (for easy self portraits-even though Jim is a pro at that without a screen). But the camera has two features that I love. One, when you take pictures of kids, it shows a little cartoon video on the front that they think is very funny, therefore laugh, therefore smile in the picture.
But here's the best part. Remember when we visited the palace and saw all those people jumping in their pictures? This one has a jump feature built in! You select the feature and the screen on the front has a countdown and then an arrow that tells you when to jump. It takes two consecutive pictures so you capture the perfect jump!

Next time we'll turn on the flash (and pose in front of something awesome).

Now for some sketchy directions from my house in Suji to the Green Turtle Spa in Iteawon (as of Jan. 1, 2013):

Take the 5500 bus to Itaweon. 
The 5500 is a bus that picks up along the 23. 

The 5500 goes along the 1 and across the river. Be looking out the window for this-it's about a 20 minute ride from Suji, it's hard to miss. You'll get off at the first stop after the river. When the bus is crossing the river, press the button for it to stop and get off when it stops. Now you'll need to either walk or take a taxi. I've never taken a taxi from here, I just walk. If you take a taxi, tell the driver you want to go to Itaewon station or "Itaewon Yok". 

If you're going to walk: walk in the direction that the bus is going (the one that just dropped you off). There are a couple of pedestrian overpasses and you'll want to cross over to the other side of the street and continue walking up the hill (about 5 minutes). The sidewalk will veer to the left-keep following it. You'll want to turn to the left by the Blue Square (where Phantom is playing right now). You'll see a restaurant on the first floor called "KRAZE RESTRONTAE" or something Italian like that. Right in front of that restaurant is the Hangangjin subway Station. Take the subway from Hangangjin Station ONE STOP to Itaewon. Green Turtle Spa is on the same corner as Exit 3 at Itaewon. There is an Olive Young store on the first floor of the building and Green Turtle Spa is on the 3rd floor.

If you get lost you can always get in a taxi and ask for the nearest subway station. Then you can find Itaweon from there.

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