Diary 15 – A café & the Jeongseon Arirang Festival (정선 아리랑제) 🇰🇷🌽🍁

Friday 27th September

Cafés – they bring comfort, fuel our caffeine addictions & serve as a host environment for chatting with friends. Autumn in particular sees more customers than ever, as passers-by seek for warm with a pumpkin spiced latte or in Korea a hot café latte remains a favourite. Thesedays I continue to visit various cafés in Incheon, mainly for taking photos for my skincare reviews, yet also for relaxing with my friend. We always look for the best seating arrangements, probably just as much as anyone else does, habitually searching for plump tub chairs/sofa as long as it’s not close to the usually bothering loud music speakers.

Many times we had walked past ‘Café Tumbler’ without stopping by, as it looked crowded and too brightly lit, however on this particular afternoon it was oddly near-empty; only serving a few customers who came after we did. I ordered by usual choice of a iced vanilla latte, and somehow ended up with a different variation of iced vanilla latte (due to the language barrier); although this mistake turned out to be rather delicious. The beverage can be best described as an iced Americano with foam that had the vanilla syrup rippled throughout, so when stirred together it is more similar to a typical iced vanilla latte. ‘Café Tumbler’ also serves handmade pizzas, which I thought was quite unique for café here. Blankets are also accessible if you plan to chill there for a good amount of time.

Sunday 6th October

One a year The Jeongseon Arirang Festival is held in Jeongseon-gun – located in the Gangwon-do province of South Korea. The Festival is comparable to a Harvest Festival near the beginning of Autumn. It took more than 3 hours to arrive there from Seoul.

The purpose of the festival is to continue traditions; such as performing traditional Korean folk songs. ‘Jeongseon Arirang’ is actually one of many poems written by seven scholars during the starting period of the Joseon Dynasty. The poems which then become folk songs pledged allegiance to the past king; of course they would have been punished of even killed for being unsupportive of the newly reigned king, so theh went into hiding & from then on wrote their poems in Chinese to express their opinions.

Handmade cosmetics
Flower display

Nowadays the Festival traditions are mainly maintained by the elder generations, whereas younger citizens & tourists come their for the market; which sells a vast variety of foods, handmade crafts as well as showcasing colourful displays of harvested vegetables.

Hassleback spicy hotdog with honey mustard
Sugared jelly sweets

Even if the festival didn’t fully reach my expectations, it was a nice change to see a different province of Korea, away from the common urban area & city sceneries of Incheon & Seoul.

Freshly prepared Watermelon juice
Various types of butter cookies & sweet rice cake snacks
Skewered fried rice cake w/vienna-style sausages (left), hurricane hotdog (right).
Snack ‘pick-n-mix’
Hurricane potatoes – A popular street food during the cold seasons