Above: Lovely Hardware Store. Below: The Street of Alchemy.
After landing at 4:00 am, arrived bleary-eyed at the hotel to find that they had no record of the reservation, nor confirmation, or credit card receipt, nor any record of my name or the institute's. There were no rooms available, and so went to the hotel next door (no rooms there either), but there was free wireless in the lobby. The desk clerk kindly assisted in finding a hotel, which by good chance, is in the vast and amazing hardware/materials district of Seoul, my favorite neighborhood! Last year I had purchased some cable connectors at an excellent hardware store, and from there explored a side street of steel fabricators and blacksmiths. Somehow I had a sense there is an older history there. The hotel where I ended up is across the street from where the "street of alchemists" begins at Euljiro 4-ga.