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Last weekend, my dad and I went into Seoul. I had planned to get almost everything done on Saturday and when we could have Sunday to finish anything we missed and then just go around Seoul casually. We managed to get a lot done, especially on Saturday. Breakfast at Butterfingers, the Coex Aquarium, Itaewon and Tartine (Mmmm), Jongno and Insadong, Gyeongbok Palace and a trip to Namsan Tower’s observatory.

Since I’ve now been to two of the Palaces, I have to say, Gyeongbok was more impressive. BUT Changdeok  Palace’s garden are definitely worth a trip. It’s just that Gyeongbok’s grounds are pretty massive. And when you’re walking around inside you can’t here the surrounding area at all (which is true about Changdeok as well). That’s something I’ve noticed about the different palaces and temples around Seoul. When you’re on their grounds, it’s very peaceful. You can’t hear the surrounding area. I don’t know if that’s just because the grounds are large and walled in or if that was intentionally designed, but it’s funny to only hear birds and footstep and then you look up to see skyscrapers not car off.

Moving on, this past Thursday was Thanksgiving. Because that didn’t change our schedules at all, I had completely forgotten about until I remembered that the Yeongtong and Dongtan Faculty Managers were hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. They bought a bunch of American amenities, like mac ‘n cheese and turkey, on a base. And someone brought banana pudding pies. Mmmmm.

Marty had a good Thanksgiving too. I brought him along since the FMs have dogs. Another co-worker from Dongtan brought his dog as well. So Marty got lots of attention from people and he got to socialize with other dogs.

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I’ve noticed that many blogs written by a foreigner living in Korea have an entry dedicated to the ‘Korea is…’ game. Basically that’s where they list, not unsurprisingly, what Korea is, or what it represents to them. Now I won’t be playing this game until my adventures in Korea are coming to an end, but I will mention one point that will be joining ‘Korea is no toilet paper in the bathrooms so get used to it’ (that’s right, anyone who’s reading this blog to find out what Korea’s like before coming over here – ABSOLUTELY NO TOILET PAPER IN THE STALLS, unless you’re at a train/subway station or at a foreign restaurant. So plan accordingly.)

Korea is food.

There is a strong food culture here. And going along with that food culture is an abundance of cute little coffee shops (including one right outside my apartment that I can smell when waking up in the morning and keep not visiting like a good neighbor would) and bakeries. The last two weekends, I’ve discovered some wonderful bakeries that I’d like to share with the world.

Bakery #1: Dilly Dally

This has a location at Gangnam (Stn. exit 3 – near The Body Shop) and another one that I recently discovered in Sinchon (Stn. exit 2). I had passed by the Gangnam location many times and never popped in until a friend bought a snack from there. Then I checked it out myself. It has your standard cutesy Korean decorations with some not-so-standard bakery items. Like ‘sweet and sour mousse’, which I just had to try.

Verdict: DELICIOUS. I’d highly recommend popping in there for a snack if you’re in the area.

Contact Info for the Gangnam location:

Tel:  02.598.7571

Hours: Mon-Sat 7:00a.m.-11:00p.m./Sun 8:00a.m.-11:00p.m.

Contact Info for the Sinchon location:

Tel: 02.335.0114

Hours: Sun.- Thurs 7:30a.m.-11:30p.m./ Fri.-Sat. 8:30a.m.-12:30a.m.

Not to sour, not too sweet, all mouth-watering.

Bakery #2: Tartine

Now, there’s stiff competition for the hearts and stomachs of customers in Itaewon, Seoul’s haven for foreigners. On a side note, a Taco Bell recently opened up there and it always has a line. With delicious food around every corner, you’d think that Tartine, whose location down a dark and suspicious little alley is hidden enough that I can’t give good directions on how to get there (for directions, see their website), might not make it. YOU WOULD BE WRONG.

Tartine specializes in pies. I was introduced to the place by a fellow HI who was going to Itaewon pretty much just to buy their pies for him and his girlfriend. And at first I was all like ‘Really? Go all the way to Itaewon, which isn’t in that convient of a location, just for pie?’ Then, two weekends ago, I was in Itaewon again and I decided to buy some pies (along with tacos from Taco Bell for lunch on Monday). Then, I went back this weekend for more pies. I will be going back this Wednesday when I get off early from work (provided I don’t have to sub), because apparently they bake different pies on different days. And I will be going back next weekend too. Why? Because the pies are just. That. Good.

Verdict: DELICIOUS. The pies are small enough that you can get one, finish it and not feel like a fatty for doing so. Because even though everyone seems to be loosing weight over here, I still here of ladies trying to watch their figure. Also, they give you a discount card and you get a stamp per pie – not per trip, PER PIE. So I’ve already gotten a free rolled oats cookie from it. It was yummy.

A collage of pies will eventually go here, at the end of the week once I’ve bought more. As of right now, I’ve gotten their Chocolate mousse – delicious – Chef Garret’s Wild Berries pie – DELICIOUS and my favorite – Strawberry rhubarb and Korean peach pie. The last two I’m saving for desert Monday and Tuesday. Gotta ration ’em until Wednesday.

As an English teacher in Korea, I’ve hit a milestone (maybe?).  First of all, I’ve been here for 10 months now (Woo! Two digits) and second of all, I just celebrated Chuseok (추석).  Chuseok is kind of like American Thanksgiving, celebrating the harvest (in the old days), visiting your family and such. I didn’t really do any of that, since there was no harvest to speak of in Yeongtong Suwon and my family is in another country.

But I got three days off from work (WOOOOOO!), from Tuesday to Thursday, and I was going to make use of it some how! Unfortunately, three days in the middle of the week meant I couldn’t easily go to another country (although some teachers still did), and a trip to Jeju that a bunch of us were looking forward to never manifested because the ball was dropped big time. No one actually bothered to book a flight or hotel.

So instead, I spent the holiday/vacation in Seoul and Suwon, celebrating with my Korean family.

Tuesday saw a crazy rainstorm sweep through the area and it just so happened that was the day Quinn and I went into Seoul to visit a cat cafe in Hongdae. Unfortunately, we got stuck in Gangnam, which was practically flooded from the 12-ish inches of rain that was coming down! However, once we eventually got to the cat cafe, we were pleasantly surprised.

It costs ₩ 8,000 to get in, so it’s not something I’d do regularly, but the atmosphere is nice and, unlike at the dog cafe where the animals have ADD, the cats are pretty content to sit there and let you pet them. And sometimes, they pet back.

(Pictures to come)

Wednesday, which happened to be Chuseok, was a much more casual day and a much deserved day to sleep in very late. But after sleeping in very late, I went to a DVD room with Quinn and Linda, one of the new April teachers. What is a DVD room you might ask? Well it’s a room where  you can go and watch DVDs! It’s a bit expensive – ₩15,000 for the three of us. But the atmosphere is nice. You get a big screen, comfortable couches and surround sound, at least at this one, so it’s nicer than watching a movie on one’s laptop.

Thursday saw an adventure into Seoul and fun times on the bus system. I’ve slowly been trying to learn the buses in Seoul since they’re way more convenient and usually faster and nicer than the subway system. As of right now, bus 420 is my good friend since it travels between Gangnam, Itaewon and Dongdaemun, three common haunts of yours truly.

Anyway, on Thursday, Quinn and I introduced Linda to the bus system. From Gangnam we had wanted to go to Itaewon and check out the Namsan Botanical Gardens, which is near Itaewon. Now, we did go to Itaewon but unfortunately he ended up exploring in every direction EXCEPT the one direction where the gardens were. And apparently everyone in Itaewon (or at least everyone we asked) had never heard of the Namsan Botanical Gardens before. What a shame, it was such a nice day for garden-watching. But it wasn’t a complete fail. I finally got to sample the Taco Bell cuisine that opened there a few months ago.

After that, we met Derrika, Kevin and Allison in Myeongdong. Derrika is going home on vacation this Friday and she wanted to buy souvenirs for her family before she left. We didn’t by an souvenirs but we did a have a good time in Myeongdong, our little make-shift CDI family. And at the end of the day, we headed back to Itaewon to eat a delicious Chuseok feast at La Tavola, which FYI has the best lasagna (and only real, authentic lasagna ) I’ve been able to find in Korea.

All in all, a very casual and relaxing Chuseok.

(I’m almost caught up on the events I wanted to blog about for the past few months. Woo-hoo!)

The second weekend of August, Quinn’s parents visited Korea, so on August 7, I helped him show them around the  Jogno area of Seoul. Which meant a visit to Changdeok Palace and the Forbidden Garden (the King’s garden that no one, not even the highest officials and certainly not some foreign English teacher, was allowed to walk in).

Enjoy the pictures:

We ended up having to pay for and take a Korean tour in order to see the garden, but it was worth it. A peaceful two-hour walk through woodsy gardens was a nice break after a month of hectic classes.

With intensives over, it’s time for this blog to get back up to speed.

August 5 was Derrika’s birthday (which meant a delicious chocolate cake from Paris Baguette at work – side note: Paris Baguette = DELICIOUS). Because Thursdays during Summer 2010 meant full loads of classes for most teachers, she couldn’t really do anything to celebrate. But on Saturday, a bunch of us celebrated in style on a nice boat ride down the Han River in Seoul.

*cue SNL’s I’m on a boat*

It was a nice leisurely party, only minorly hindered by the fact that the Han is really dirty. We saw several dead animals in the water (note, I said animals, NOT fish).

And as the sunset, it was a great opportunity for picture taking:

An attempt at creative picture taking

Because I haven’t posted in forever, thanks to my efforts to be a good intensive teacher while maintaining my social life taking up all my time, I’m going to now play catch up. The week following MudFest was an interesting one. From August 24th to July 31st, the April teachers had their vacation, which for me meant going the longest period of time here (9 days) yet without any interaction with Quinn (in case you haven’t noticed, he’s in basically all my posts). But it was for the better because I was super-busy that week.

However, the weekend was all mine. Here in Korea, it seems I’m slowly crossing things off the list of stuff I should do before I die – a list I didn’t realize I had. Most notably, I bungee jumped for the first time. There are other things, but bungee jumping kind of blows the others (mostly food related anyway) out of the water. Well, th 25th was an opportunity to me to cross off another thing.

I went with one of my co-workers, Kevin, and his girlfriend, to Jamsil station. Which, despite having been there before, I didn’t realize was also a mall and where LotteWorld is. Lotte is, according to Wikipedia, an East Asian conglomerate. And in Jamsil station, they happen to have an amusement park of sorts. I didn’t go into the amusement park (yet) but it looked interesting. More on that once I actually go there.

In addition to the amusement park, there’s also an ice rink, many food options, and perhaps most randomly, a shooting range. That was our destination this day. Kevin and his girlfriend had been before. Me. Never shot a gun before.

I chose a Smith & Wesson revolver (I can’t remember anything more specific than that), figuring it would be a simple and classic choice to start off with. I did pretty well. All my bullets ended up on the target and I scored a 68. Although I have to say I am definitely not a gun person. At least, not a shooting-guns-in-a-enclosed-space-so-they’re-extra-loud-and-I-ended-up-jumping-at-every-shot person. Maybe I’d do better shooting out in the open.

Saturday was the big day! Miss Saigon!

On Saturday, Quinn, Vy and I hoofed it over to Dongdaemun in Seoul to see a performance of Miss Saigon – in Korean! A language of which we have only the most basic knowledge! And between the three of us, our knowledge of the plot was okay, although there was room for improvement.

The only thing I really knew about the musical was what Quinn told me right before we went to see it, and that knowledge came from the performance he saw when he was a kid so… yeah…It would have been easy to just Wikipedia Miss Saigon and read the story but I thought it might be nice to try and figure out the story with my basic understanding of the plot. And that strategy (which is similar to the one Vy was employing) worked pretty well. Kudos to the performers for making it easy for us.

The musical was excellent, although now that I’ve heard the music for the first time in Korean, the English version of the songs just don’t sound right. We bought tickets for the cheap seats but they ended up being great. Being dead center for “The Morning of the Dragon” is definitely a must. I’ve been trying to find another performance of the song on YouTube but nothing that I find is even close to how awesome this one was. Huge flags, a sea of red, on-point martial arts-based choreography. Very awesome. Also awesome – the crazy over the top, video enhanced rendition of “American Dream”. Honestly, I wish there was a video somewhere of their performances. I did manage to find this video of “I Still Believe” (sung by Kim Bo-Kyung and Kim Sun-Young who played Kim and Ellen, respectively, in the performance we saw) which also happens to have the last seconds of “The Morning of the Dragon” in it. So at least you can see their costumes.

And the evening following the performance was just as excellent in a surprisingly low key way. We went to Hongdae, in hopes of meeting with some friends that never showed up. But all was not lost! We ended up in the park outside Hongik University and goofed around on the swings, which was a shockingly excellent way to spend our time. Unfortunately, I also ended up kicking Quinn in the face, something that (I have a feeling) might come back to haunt me. And then we chilled out with some fellow foreigns and some friendly Koreans who taught us words we can’t remember, until the sun rose again.

We stayed in Seoul until the next morning to go to Big Rock Brewery, which serves an American-style breakfast buffet in Gangnam (introduced to us, coincidently, by the people we were supposed to meet in Hongdae). It’s very similar to Butterfingers, which I mentioned in a previous post, but it’s a little cheaper. And it doesn’t open until 11am so we were basically camped outside in the rain until it opened. That’s how much we love Big Rock.

And now I have next weekend to look forward to: MudFest 2010!

Yesterday, Vy, Quinn and I headed to Co-ex for a ‘tea festival’. It turned out to be more of a tea convention but it was still interesting. Lots of tea pots to look at, plenty of green and black teas to sample and a fashion show. That we were in. We’ve been getting into some unusual adventures on Saturdays recently. (See May 21, 23 and May 30 entries)

The three of us were admiring some interesting ceramics when these two women came up to us around 2pm and asked if we wanted to be in a fashion show in about an hour. Sure, we said, having no idea what we’d be getting ourselves into. It turns out the fashion show was really at 5pm BUT after some wandering around Coex Mall, they got us into the outfits we’d be modeling early. Then it was on to walking lessons. Vy and I were slouching and looking at our feet! Quinn had to much swagger in his walk! But by the end we were pros (… sort of…). There’s a very particular way you have to walk for Korean fashion (we learned), slow and with little movement.

The fashion show, complete with Bob Marley music, was pretty fun. I think our one issue was we though we’d be wearing traditional hanboks and things like that whereas the actual clothes were a lot more… earthy. BEHOLD!

My first outfit

Vy's first outfit (accompanied by a lovely expression)

Quinn's first outfit

Vy's and My second outfit

Group photo with Quinn's second outfit

And as if that weren’t enough, afterwards everyone went to dinner and they invited us along – and paid for everyone. Pretty cool. Certainly worth the ₩3,000 admission to the convention.

Okay, so I tried typing this post just with stories that referenced the title, but I found I had to backtrack a lot. Bare with me while I instead start from the beginning. Some day last week I was walking to work and I heard people yelling out “Whitey! Whitey!” (In case you don’t know, my skin is about as white as it gets – and that is why I’ve been piling the sunblock on before my weekend outings recently) I look over and there’s a group of other white (foreigner) people sitting nearby waving… Okay…I have to say… I waved back but I was a tiny bit offended.

I actually haven’t felt terribly out of place here in Korea. Sometimes I get looks, but mostly its from kids and it doesn’t bother me. But then again Saturday, there was another foreign incident. This one was funnier though. To fully understand the situation, let me tell the story of this day.

This weekend, Alyssa, one of the training peeps, is visiting Seoul. She’s been in Busan for 5 months so Quinn and I decided to meet with her, Karen (from Bucheon), Richard (from Pyeontaek), Sarah and Andrew (from Mok-dong) in the Hongdae area. Alyssa really wanted to go to the Bau House in Hongdae and then go to Gangnam for Doctor Fish. We ended up just staying in Hongdae, which is fine because it seems like I’m always in Gangnam.

Quinn and I arrived in Hongdae and it was raining… And Quinn didn’t have an umbrella so we huddled under my very tiny one. Something was happening in Hongdae, which is home to Hongik University. I know Kyung-hee University in Yeongtong was having a celebration for graduating students so maybe the festivities in Hongdae were similar but… they didn’t look like graduation stuff. Quinn and I were wondering through tents selling arts and crafts stuff when we stumbled on a protest pavilion. As we were leaving, we found two discarded roses from a graduation gift (maybe they were graduation festivities) and we took them.

Then we met Andrew and Sarah at the Bau Haus (Cap’n Jack was back!). Their chocolate milkshakes = crazy delicious. We actually hung out there for a really long time and afterwards we kind of wandered around Hongdae before ducking into a quaint coffee shop. It was still raining and we didn’t want to do to much wandering. Hongdae comes up most in conversations, it seems, for their clubs but the area also has some really nice, eclectic areas. It’s a college neighborhood so it’s no surprise.

After that, we got dinner at Dos Tacos (a Mexican place is the one thing that Yeongtong REALLY needs, in my opinion). Sarah and Andrew left to go to this language exchange that happens  at a bar in the area. Quinn and I decided not to go since we’re both still beginners at Korean and would basically just sit there in silence… But maybe soon! Next term, we’re going to really start studying Korean, for serious!

We kind of had to kill time after that since Karen and Alyssa finally arrived but they needed to eat dinner. We wandered around the bar area of Hongdae looking for this Alice in Wonderland themed bar but that was a no-go. Then we found a piercing place called Crow. And we walked in. And by the way, IT WAS STILL RAINING, six hours later.

Before, I get into the Crow part of this story, let me stop and finish explaining the title. So Quinn and I are wandering around the streets of Hongdae in the rain, huddled under my umbrella. I vaguely notice as two other foreigners (they were obviously foreigners because they were both blonde) pass. Then Quinn starts kind of chuckling and poking me. I hadn’t heard what the other foreigners said as they passed so I asked ‘What?’. He told me that they said ‘Look, a wae-guk with a Korean guy. You’re the wae-guk.’  And despite being in Korea for six months now, I asked ‘What’s a wae-guk?” Wae-guk, or 왜국 in hangul, means foreigner. I laughed but still wanted to turn around and yell ‘He’s a wae-guk, too!’. By the way, I probably haven’t mentioned, Quinn is of Korean ancestry.

And then about two minutes later my mind paused… wait a minute… we’re walking alone in a clubbing area of Seoul, walking really close because we have to share an umbrella and I was tired of leaning out and getting my arm wet, Quinn’s holding the umbrella over me, I’ve got roses in my hands and because, despite the rain, it was still warm out I’m wearing a tank-top (being a wae-guk, I can get away with that in conservative Korea). Which is when I realized they meant  ‘a wae-guk with a Korean guy’, not ‘a wae-guk and a Korean guy’, if the bold letters can help convey the different connotations.

Korea is a really couples-oriented place, a fact that comes up a lot in conversation between us jaded Western wae-guks. You always see couples walking around in matching outfits- hence the item on the Seoul Century list. In fact, earlier that day, Sarah, Andrew, Quinn and I had to pass up several coffee houses because they were too couple-y and, despite being two guys and two girls, we are not organized into couples. Quinn actually mentioned that when he hangs out with other Western girls, like Sarah, he always gets weird looks from people, mostly older people. They don’t really like the idea of (what they think is) a nice Korean boy dating a Western girl.

And back to Crow, the piercing studio. Quinn has been going on about wanting to get some kind of ear piercing for a few weeks but he’s a little, shall we say, indecisive at times. He was looking at the studs to put in the arch of his ear but he was still not committing to it, even though he obviously wanted it. So I told him that if he gets the earring than I would get something that I’ve been talking about getting – Unfortunately I can’t get it(or maybe them!) until next weekend at the earliest and I’m not saying what it (or they!)  is (or are!) until then! It’ll just have to be a surprise.

And he got the earring. It was a small, black cone-shaped stud (and it occurs to me I should have filmed it or at least taken a picture, but I didn’t…). Which in turn convinced Alyssa to get another earring but… there was an issue. She’s had her ears pierced all up and down before and this time she wanted to get something a little more extravagant. Unfortunately, her ear wouldn’t stop bleeding. Quinn and Karen both freaked out from the blood and honestly I was starting to get a little queezy from it. It was a lot of blood. The women do the piercings had her propped up with pillows and were fanning her and running her to the bathroom. But in the end, she was okay.

At that point, it was getting pretty late. As much as we would have liked to wait for Alyssa to finish getting the piercing, we had to leave and head back to Suwon. That’s the one bad thing about living outside of Seoul. Unless you want to spend the night, your night must end early…

Belated but not forgotten: Saturday and Seoul Century!

On Saturday, CDI celebrated the Lotus Lantern Festival and our general comradery with an epic scavenger hunt through Seoul. We met up at 11am, split into teams of 4 and then the race was on! I was teamed up with Mohammed, Ruth and Bethany (with Derrika and Quinn set to join the group later since Mohammed and Ruth had to leave early). We had a plan. We couldn’t be beat. Our determination would see us through to the end and we would come out victorious!

Before I get into the details of our scavenger hunt, let me show you the rules and list of things we needed to find. Be warned: some of the items we needed were a little, shall we say, adult.

Seoul Century 2010

Rules:

  • Your team may complete these 100 random things in any order, for some anywhere and in any way you interpret the instructions
  • Photos must accompany each item. 1 member must be pictured in each photo.
  • The end point is Insadong at 7pm along the parade lines.
  • You may find locations in any way possible.

The 100 Random Things:

Key:

Bold = We definitely did it

Italics = We kind of didn’t but with technicalities

Strike-out  = We didn’t do it

  1. Visit 5 different Family Marts
  2. Eat a food item you’ve never tried before
  3. Play in a playground
  4. Take a picture with an old man/lady (respectfully)
  5. Find a Korean BBQ in Itaewon
  6. Go to “Nowon” Station – take a picture of people or money
  7. Visit the World Cup park
  8. Race an athlete along the Han River
  9. Find a post office
  10. Tell the time at the giant clock at National Assembly
  11. Buy something from a subway vendor (in-transit)
  12. Photobomb someone or something
  13. Sing on the subway
  14. Get a cup of water out of the Han
  15. Have a soju tasting session (bonus point if someone can identify the different brands)
  16. Jump shot in a park
  17. Buy a pack of condoms and use them (Haha, this one was completed pretty innocently – Derrika used a straw to blow it up.)
  18. Find a Konglish clothing item
  19. Take a picture of a Korean soldier
  20. Find a police station
  21. Collect a concert poster
  22. Dance to music in public (outside a shop)
  23. Take a picture of the 63 building
  24. Find an animal in Seoul
  25. Watch 3 different food demos in Insadong
  26. Visit a palace and get a group shot
  27. Visit a large supermarket
  28. Take a photo of someone taking a photo
  29. Add a lock to Namsan Tower
  30. Adjust your appearance in a public mirror/shiny surface
  31. Stand in the middle of the street (the busier the better)
  32. Find another ChungDahm Institute (inc. April) (we were soooo close to getting this one!)
  33. Find graffiti
  34. Collect 5 different hooker cards
  35. Sit on someone’s motorbike
  36. Find a Korean flag
  37. Have an Olympic moment in Olympic Park
  38. Visit a sexy bar
  39. Shout out loudly with crazy words
  40. Run through a fountain
  41. Get 3 free hugs
  42. Go to an optometrist. Try on glasses
  43. Find 7 different coffee shops
  44. Take a picture at Gwanghwamun
  45. Challenge someone in an arcade game
  46. Find people playing sport
  47. Find a Han River water display
  48. Order a Big Mac at Burger King
  49. Visit 2 Dos Tacos
  50. Hand stand at a monument
  51. Take a creative photo of Namsan tower
  52. Find an inappropriate sign
  53. Take a picture of 3 random sculptures
  54. Find a Mosque
  55. Go to the highest floor in an elevator of a building
  56. Find winter sports gear for sale
  57. Find an aquarium
  58. Drop your pants in public
  59. Take a picture in a tank/military plane
  60. Find Christmas decorations on display
  61. Hit balls at a batting cage
  62. Take a picture of the other team
  63. Practice taekwondo at a Pagoda
  64. Find an exotic car
  65. Techno dance in Techno Mart
  66. Find 5 different banks
  67. Leave your mark in Seoul
  68. Find a mascot
  69. Find a gold Buddha
  70. Take a picture of something phallic in your hand
  71. Eat insects
  72. Take a picture of a man at Ehwa Women’s University
  73. Find a foreign embassy (I’m not sure if this was done or not… but if it was, it wasn’t done correctly)
  74. Visit the Kimchi museum
  75. Find 5 coloured cars (no black, white or silver shades)
  76. Develop sticker photos with your whole group
  77. Take a picture of 3 unconventional skyscrapers
  78. Win a prize from a street game machine
  79. Take a picture with a street performer (bonus for playing with)
  80. Collect free sample(s) in Myeongdong
  81. Find couples wearing couple clothing
  82. Take a picture with each denomination of Korean currency
  83. Buy flowers and give to a stranger
  84. Wear something matching – all members
  85. Take a picture on the Gangnam pillars
  86. Find someone with a mullet
  87. Collect a wetnap from a restaurant. Unopened
  88. Screen golf
  89. Take a picture of a famous person
  90. Eat street food
  91. Find the Korean Stock Exchange (We thought we had this, but we may have gotten the wrong building)
  92. Take a picture holding a pet on sale
  93. Find children at Children’s Grand Park
  94. Go into a typical Korean apartment building
  95. Walk across the Han River
  96. Get on a new bus
  97. Find a theatre
  98. Find the most expensive item on sale you can
  99. Try on traditional Korean clothing
  100. Join a parade

We have 66 indisputably finished items and an additional 12 items with varying degrees of issue. For example, at one point our group had to split off since two group members we going to see a soccer game, so there are pictures we have where we’re not a whole group. Then there are the two items where I’m not sure where we stand. Finally, there are 20 items that we just didn’t do.

Now on to the adventure! But later… I know it’s taken me forever to post this but… I had a long day today (which I’ll eventually post about). I’m tired. I’ll edit this later.

Mohammed, Ruth, Bethany and I set off for Gangnam (on a new bus!). That wiped out a lot of the items on the list, or at least part of them (We didn’t know there were two Dos Tacos there- RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER!) and we took an express subway train to Yeoido.

I hadn’t been to Yeoido before but its a nice area. It’s where a lot of South Korea’s financial stuff (like the Korean Stock Exchange, that we may not have actually got a picture of…). It’s also along the Han River. Even though the Han is really dirty, it was nice to actually visit a body of water with the weather as nice as it was.

After Yeoido, we went to Ehwa University, met up with Quinn and Derrika, and let our mark in Seoul – we wrote our names on the brick path. Note to self: It’s by a bench outside a convenience store. After this, Ruth and Mohammed left to go to a World Cup game and the rest of us had to find our way to Insadong to turn in what we found/

Yeah… that didn’t work. Derrika ended up leaving before we made it because she wasn’t feeling well and Quinn, Bethany and I decided to take a taxi back so we could make it to the final Lantern Festival Parade in time. Except… there was a lot of traffic BECAUSE of the parade and the road they had shut down. So we ended up getting out and taking the subway… to the WRONG stop. Jongno-3-ga. We were supposed to go to Jonggak.

But whatever. We watched the parade from Jongno-3-ga. Which bring me to one of the best parts of the day: the parade! Most of it was Koreans marching with lanterns, which was cool but it paled in comparison to the AWESOME fire-breathing floats they had. Behold the (coming-soon-hopefully!) video!

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