We flew back from Tokyo on a Friday night, not arriving to Cheongju until 1am. This gave us 2 full days to recuperate, do laundry, rest our tired feet, etc. I think it was a smart choice for sure! Here’s my update on our week since returning to the Land of the Morning Calm.
Saturday, August 1, 2015
I thought, what better way to treat myself after walking over 100,000 steps and 50 miles than a nice pedicure?! I picked a random nail salon in Sannam-dong and I had to climb up onto an elevated platform to sit in the chair. There was a tub at my feet, covered with a plastic board. I thought, great, I’ll have a nice spa pedicure. But they never used the tub. My feet never felt water, in fact. They just sat on the plastic board for a simple polish removal, cuticle care, hot cloth, polish application, and a little bit of lotion (for 30,000 KRW). I was really looking forward to a good foot scrub, but perhaps I’d have to go to the jjimjilbang (Korean spa/sauna) for that.
What was most interesting and not unlike my first and only manicure here, was the fact that 2 ladies were working on my feet at the same time. Get them in, get them out, I guess! This was, of course, until another customer walked in and one of the ladies left to do her nails.
Sunday, August 2, 2015
We met up with some friends to go to a buffet restaurant for lunch. It’s called All That BBQ and it’s located in G-Well City, the ritzy part of Cheongju. It was GREAT. They had a huge variety of food, even Western-type food like Caesar salad and chicken cream pasta. Deeeelicious. Afterwards, we walked off the hefty feast. Kevin took the opportunity to try out one of the exercise machines that is scattered all over this city. They are mostly used by the ajummas and ajusshis.
Monday, August 3, 2015
It’s hot here. Walk-outside-into-an-oven-and-bake hot. We’re going through a bit of a heat wave and my classroom is the worst victim. With floor to ceiling windows, even the shade screens don’t fully help. I had to have my last class of the day in the cooking room, or else we all would have melted into oblivion. This class is my oldest/smartest class. They are between 3rd and 5th grade (2nd to 4th grade Western age) and are pretty good at English! I can have regular conversations with them and joke around – it’s a lot of fun. We all sat the circular table together and put our pencil cases into a hexagonal shape while we went around the table (myself excluded) reading our new vocabulary words!
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
There is always construction going on here. Stores come and go like English teachers. Sometimes stores are torn down just to be re-built. I think that’s what’s happening to this T-World store, as another T-World store down the block (there’s 2 on every corner), just went through the same thing. The construction here is quick…should be done in a week tops. Extreme Makeover: Korea Edition.
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Sometimes things aren’t always translated correctly, and it can lead to some funny signs. Around the corner from school, you’re able to indulge in some “orgarnic” coffee. Sounds great!
Thursday, August 6, 2015
Baseball is so popular in Korea and there’s actually a lot of MLB apparel for sale here. Some of it is licensed and some if it isn’t, of course. The kids come to school wearing Dodgers, Red Sox, Indians, Yankees, and Orioles stuff all the time. I don’t think they even know what they are really wearing. Here’s a photo and video of one of the 5 year old students (who is really 4) in his cool Orioles shirt.
Friday, August 7, 2015
After work, Kevin and I went to Shinae and decided to go to A Twosome Place. This is a popular dessert cafe chain around the country. We really hadn’t had a proper Korean dessert experience until this.
For 11,000 KRW, I bought the mango ice cheesecake dish on the left. Yep. All for me. Kevin got the cake on the right. (He’s not a huge dessert fan but ended up helping me out a bit with this – thankfully!).
It was really a lovely setting inside. They strung fairy lights along the windows, and they reflect to create a cool ambiance.
We also ran into this little shop that sells poop-shaped cookies. I’m not even joking.
Saturday, August 8, 2015
I ran out of my Costco oatmeal and decided to buy cereal and milk. I didn’t realize that cereal is so expensive here! Some of the boxes were about $7!! A few different kinds offered a “free something” with the cereal. I decided to get a Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds type cereal for about $5, but at least it came with an airtight container for food! So random and makes the price of the cereal more acceptable. I’ll have to find more cereals that provide “service” as well.