Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy, tired, and full

Yesterday was a very tiring Sunday. Good thing I didn't have any homework due today. Otherwise...I wouldn't have been able to sleep at all.

I met Aunt #1 (강미 이모) in the morning to go to church. Afterwards, she took me around the area near Hongik University (홍대 "hongdae"). I don't know why I haven't been there before. It's so close to Yonsei and it's so fun and awesome. I'm definitely going back at night, when it's apparently much better. A lot of the shops and cafés were closed either because it was early (we were there at noon...) or because it was a Sunday. Regardless, there were still lots of cool places open.

We popped into a place that had a lot of people for brunch. The place was really cute and was "London themed." The food was superb. And they let me take the iced tea to go!

 The wall of where we had brunch. It was a bus route map of London.

After, we wandered around as she pointed out all the cool places to go and all the places to stay away from. Any restaurant that said something like "Delicious [insert food name here]" was a place to stay away from, haha.

We did a little shopping along the way but it was mostly eye shopping. Everything is more expensive so the way to do it is figure out what's cool in Hongdae and then find it somewhere else for cheaper.

All the cafés are so cute here! We stopped in one to get patbingsoo. It was like old-style, if that makes any sense, and they served it in a gold bowl like they used for kings to in the old days. The bowl would turn a darker color if there was poison present. No taste testers needed.

 We sat on the ground inside and there was a little place outside too (for smokers).

 They had blankets for girls to put on their laps so people wouldn't see up their skirts when they sat on the ground. Good thinking.

 It was really hot outside so this was wonderful.

강미 이모 took me around only really one area of Hongdae but it was super tiring. She explained that it's sort of split up. One side has the really cute, renovated cafés (they used to be houses but now they're all shops or cafés) and the other side has the clubs and bars. When you look at a food map, it's really obvious as all the cafés show up on one side and the bars on the other, haha.

 This is apparently a club for "ahjummas" and "ahjussis." (People in their 40s, about)

We then wandered into an art gallery of sorts. The gift shop on the first floor was super cool. They had gifts designed by artists and they were just so innovative.

 Outside the gallery.

 Process of making 3D dolls.

 These things, you'd press a button, and they'd move.

I was super tired and fell asleep on the car ride home. Oh man. So I went back to the dorms where I was going to sleep but realized I had to figure out where I was supposed to meet Aunt #2 (이경이 이모) for the musical! Thanks Google Maps... -__- I was figuring out how long it'd take to get to 충무아트홀 (Chungmu Art Hall) and Google Maps was telling me things like 48min by bus or 50min by subway. Maybe I put the starting place in incorrectly, but I was using the address of the maybe Google Maps was confused. I left an hour and 20min early. Once I got to the subway station, I check the map and saw that my subway stop was about 6 stops away. 50min?? How would that be possible?

I arrived at the station about 40min early. Thanks Google Maps. Anyways, it gave me plenty of time to grab a snack and I walked as slowly as I could (without looking ridiculous) to the right exit of the station.

 Outside the art hall.

 Poster for the musical I was about to watch.

 Pictures of the cast (or at least the most famous ones that play the roles).

 Not exactly sure what these were...

 Here's the stage. The seating was decent. The guy in front of me was kinda tall and the floor wasn't slanted enough, so if anything was happening on stage right I had to constantly move around to see what was going on.

I really wish my Korean was better. While I got the gist (jist?) of what was going on, it would have been nice to have better Korean comprehension skills. I would have been more attentive, too. And they had Japanese "subtitles!" What?? I wish there were English ones... But it was still amazing. The singers were absolutely wonderful! I want to see another musical now, haha.

After the musical, 이경이 이모 drove towards Itaewon to find a place to eat. It was fairly late so we would probably have to wander into a 술집 (almost a bar...but more like a restaurant that serves alcohol). We found a Japanese place and ordered too much food. She also ordered sake, chilled. The food was amazing and really filling. I still have some leftovers that I'll probably eat for lunch today.

I came home happy, tired, and full. I wish all my days would be like this.

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