Loving the Weekends

Saturday, April 18, 2015

I love the weekends here in Korea! There is always so much fun to be had. Kevin got up early and left around 8am to go to the bus station. He attended Korea’s 1st Annual Craft Beer Festival in Gapyeong, a city outside Seoul. It’s now Sunday evening as I write this and he is still not home. I look forward to his return to hear all about it! If he actually starts blogging, as promised, I’m sure this will be a weekend to highlight!

I, on the other hand, had a more leisurely morning. I got up not long after he left, and treated myself to computer time and breakfast in bed. After that, I cleaned the apartment and took my first ever completely hot shower!! The water pressure trick does work! To clarify, I must not turn the faucet on all the way for the water to remain hot the whole time. Turning it up halfway is good. Fortunately, I don’t really notice a change in the water pressure! It’s fantastic and I’m now a much happier girl.

I took a walk down to Daiso, my favorite “dollar”-type store. I bought some things for the apartment, like a reed diffuser, and some fake flowers! I made my faux floral arrangement and put it up in the corner above the microwave (which is above the fridge). I think it adds a nice touch to our living room. I’m determined to make this house feel more like a home!

faux flowers

Shortly after I completed my tidying and decorating, I pulled on the string to pull the shades up a little and get some more light into the room. Unfortunately, the shade decided it wasn’t stable enough and promptly fell from one side. It is now being supported with only one latch. I’m avoiding sitting on the left side of the sofa in fear the shade will drop on my head. Hopefully this is something school will help us resolve this week.

shades

After the shade debacle, I was forced to just leave it because it was time to attend the Spring Music Festival on the rooftop of one of the local bars in Chungdae (the university area). At the Festival, a bunch of the British expats took turns DJing for 8 hours; they all had a couple different set times. There was also a chef grilling up some ribs, pulled pork and curry chicken. I wanted the curry chicken but I waited too long and they sold out before I had a chance to order. On the bright side, the Cass [beer] was only 2,000 KRW! Cheapest I’ve had yet.

Here’s the view from the rooftop:

MJ's roof view 1 MJ's Roof View 2

The atmosphere on the roof was great. There were many expats I didn’t recognize and I met some awesome new people! After a few hours, a group of us left to go drink some makgeolli and eat some kimchi pancake. The makgeolli pretty much went down like water. Very dangerous, indeed. Four bowls of makgeolli and 2 kimchi pancakes later, we returned to the rooftop excited to see even more people had arrived! After about 9 hours in total, I decided to give my starving tummy a little more food and call it a night. (For the record, kimchi pancake is not a sufficient dinner.)

I’m not sure when the cashier’s in Korea deem it appropriate or applicable to offer “service” (things they give you for free), but I got some free sesame ramen from GS25! I got some free grape candy on Friday from Honey Box so I felt like I was on a roll with the whole “service” thing.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Woke up mid-morning happy to find the shade is still being supported on one side and didn’t fall and damage anything in the middle of the night. I watched some cool figure skating on TV while I enjoyed pomegranate green tea out of my new super-cute Daiso mug! Seriously, Daiso sells the cutest mugs and this was only 1,000 KRW! That’s less than a dollar!

monkey mug

Since I was up relatively early and feeling okay, I tried to take myself shopping on the main road. Unfortunately, many of the stores are closed on Sundays. I did go into one store and tried on some skinny jeans. The first pair was my normal size but the legs were too tight. I tried the next size up and the legs fit fine but the waist was huge. I had a similar experience a few weeks ago trying on a shirt at Home Plus. I have a strange fear clothes shopping in Korea is going to be a little more difficult than I expected. I wouldn’t consider my limbs to be very wide but in comparison to the standard body shape here, perhaps they are. I’m just itching for something new in my wardrobe. I think I’m going to have to go to Shinae (downtown) to take advantage of the plethora of shops there. I hear they even have a store that fits bigger normal-sized men.

Despite the rainy weather and my quick shopping frustrations, I decided to try out the colorful ice-cream/dessert cafe I pass by almost daily. I ordered a green tea latte and a pretzel, which turned out to be a cream cheese pretzel. I would have known that had I taken the time to read the hangul, as cream cheese and pretzel are loan words. Even though I was worried, it still tasted delicious. I am still on the lookout for a proper soft pretzel, though.

Anyway, I decided to have this treat with this giant teddy bear. Why wouldn’t I sit with a giant teddy bear? Why wouldn’t Korea have giant teddy bears with whom you can sit? This can be categorized under “Cute Korea.”

teddy bear tea time

Since I ended my clothes shopping efforts early, I checked out Aritaum, a cosmetic store. I really need some face moisturizer but the prices here are ridiculous for little jars that are barely bigger than my travel size moisturizer I’ve been using since I got here. The woman was really nice and gave me some free samples at least, haha.

I also finally ventured into the lovely candle shop. The man working there was great. He had limited English speaking skills but did a great job communicating, ie: “Money is 6 8 0 0 0.” Yep, people, that’s a ~$68 candle. He also said, [read with Korean accent] “your hair is beautiful.” I left with a gorgeous candle holder, a lavender vanilla scented votive, and renewed confidence!

As aforementioned, I am still awaiting Kevin’s return from the beer festival. Both he and the friend he went with sent me photos of Kevin carrying a little white puppy in a pink carrier case with no further description. Quite concerning. 🙂

kevin and doggy

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