New Teachers & Dinner with friends (Part Ciaran)
First order of business. We now have a new teacher, and his name is Erik. He is a mighty tall New Yorker, who seems like a pretty good guy. I don't know him that well yet, but he seems alright. On that same note, my buddy, Chance, from Woodward just moved out here on Tuesday. He is teaching somewhere North of Seoul. It is nice to have a small community of 515ers in the Seoul area. I now have Andy, Chelsea & Chance. Awesome! We continued the tradition of have "Dinner with Friends" last tuesday, after Erik's first day of work. This time it was Ciaran's turn.
( his appetizers went pretty quick )
( Erik's first experience with squid )
( JC and Justin were willing to bet 1000won on something )
( that's right. we're fancy. )
( don't remember what this was about )
( just so you can understand Erik's height )
( main course )
( getting stoked about a home-cooked meal )
( the FT gang )
Seoul with Chance and the Gang
As stated, Chance is now in Korea. He is a guy that I met my sophomore year of high school through large group speech / Madi Kaiser and some other Stuck with Arthur fans. No matter the reasoning behind meeting him, I had a large number of encounters with this man, and he is a very good person that I am happy to be in close proximity to.
I spent Friday night in Yeongtong with Justin hanging out with Andy, Arum & and a whole bunch of their friends. Sadly, I did not take my camera with me that night, so I have no photos of the festivities. Andy was DJing, and there was a cocktail show. If you don't know what this is, you need to experience one. All of the bartenders were doing bottle tricks and lighting stuff on fire. It was pretty damn cool. I learned some exciting news that evening that I will share with you in the near future; it is currently a secret. Moving on, the next morning I talked with Chance, and we decided to meet up in Seoul at some point that afternoon. I headed in early to enjoy Coffeest one more time. They were extremely busy, so I accepted drinking my delicious coffee outside in the frigid cold. It wasn't as bad as it sounds; they were very kind and gave me a blanket to help keep my warm.
After coffee number two was coursing through my system, Chance called me to say that he was on his way. I directed him towards where I was at in Gwanghwamun. We took a subway out to Insa-dong, where I showed him around the gigantic music store that has almost anything you could ever want musically. He seemed fairly impressed, so I was pleased with the decision to take him out there. He really wants a set of electronic drums, or at least, a practice set.
After Insa-dong, we headed out to Namdaemun to meet up with Calvin, Justin, Matthew & Ji-sun. We had some coffee, before Ji-sun and Calvin left us. Then, we spent a short time exploring Namdaemun. This experience was especially fun, because Matt had purchased two ridiculous stocking hats; one was a pink bunny and the other was a white tiger. Matt and myself were sporting these extremely fashionable pieces of apparel, so we attracted some interesting attention. One lady went out of her way to tell me that I shouldn't be wearing that hat. At least I though she did; I still don't really understand Korean.
We then decided to head over to Myeong-dong to show chance what that was all about. We also went, because Matt wanted to eat Jjim-dak, and the only place I could think of that sold it was in Myeong-dong. We ate, we shopped, and then we finally headed home. Good night.
( Matt modeling his sweet hat )
( Chance giving the white tiger a whirl )
( the triforce, waiting for me )
( Matt browsing the goods in Namdaemun )
( fantastic English )
( the Year of the Rabbit is on the way! )
( a man giving out free hugs )
( Jjim-dak )
( Matt eyeing a stunning sequined America vest )
Seoul with Erik and Justin
The following day, Justin and I decided to take a trip to Seoul, so we invited Erik along. The night before Justin, Ciaran, Min-young (Ciaran's lady), and myself had been drinking in Sadang until 6am, so understandable, we got a little bit of a late start. Again, no camera = no photos. We set out for Seoul around noon, and managed to squeeze in quite a bit of excitement. We started the day by purchasing a T-money card for Erik. This little card is vital to life in Korea. It can be used to ride the bus, ride the subway, pay for taxis, use pay phones, AND make small purchases on the subway platforms. It is a very handy card. We started with a quick stop in Itaewon, where I purchased my last Christmas present and a Dave Eggers book.
After Itaewon, we headed out to Myeong-dong. I know that it sounds like I go there all the time, but it really is just for shopping and showing new Expats the popular areas of Seoul. We grabbed a pizza at a HOF, called Las Vegas. It was delicious: the best I've had. We enjoyed the pizza along with some pineapple soju, as a type of side. It was wonderful. Justin finally caved and bought a North Face puff jacket to help his gradual transformation into a Korea. He is getting close, but still, not quite there. When we finished with all of this, we walked out side and found that it was snowing. At this point, we decided it was vital to go up to Namsan Tower and see the city.
Even though I was expecting the observation deck of the tower to be outdoors and was disappointed, it was still a marvelous view. Seoul looks so much bigger, when it is seen from way up high. We drank a bottle of soju and mokguli while on top on Namsan, and after they were gone, we headed back down. On the way back to the subway station, it REALLY started to snow. Myeong-dong is a great place to be when it is snowing. It was gorgeous. We wandered for quite awhile, snapping photos and throwing snowballs. Eventually, we headed back home; happy.
( Justin & pizza )
( Erik & pizza )
( Namsan Tower )
( structure atop Namsan )
( Seoul )
( Seoul )
( Seoul )
( this is how far I am from home... kind of )
( Justn & snow )
( myself, dancing in the snow )
( SNOW PHOTO )
( snow )
( Spenser in Korean )
Dinner with Friends (Part me)
I also hosted my own "Dinner with Friends" on Tuesday. It wasn't exactly dinner, but it was still fun. I decided to cook Breakfast for Dinner, because it is what I do best. We had fruit, eggs, hashbrowns (compliments of Matt), bacon, and french toast. Photos of the dinner itself are lacking, because I was cooking the majority of that part, but I have a few of the festivities that followed. I think that the evening was a success, but also quite different from the previous ones.
( dinner )
( Matt enjoying my apples with peanut butter )
( dessert )
( let's learn some card games )
( really, it just turned into soju and beer until 4am )
This week is flying by, and I love it. Hopefully, I'll have some more updates for you soon.
Namdaemun Market: Exits 5 & 6 Hoehyeon station, line 4, either way you go, there's a whole lot of shopping and food vendors.
Myeong-dong: Exit 6 Myeong-dong station, line 4, you're right there, in the middle of everything when you exit.
Namsan Tower: Exit 3 Myeong-dong station, line 4, turn left out of the station and walk until the road forks, take the right fork, keep following that road up the hill until you reach the entrance to the cable cars. From here, you can also take the path that allows you to walk to the top.