Tuesday was a workout day with T and L! I met up with them at the realtor's office at 9 am, where we would walk to a small outdoor park with children's playground, badminton court, and various exercise equipment. Who knew, public health is a priority here! :)
T has a degree in Physical Education and used to be a fitness instructor. I feel like she flourished when she took charge of the workout and guided L through a lot of the workouts. While I would say the workout was overall pretty easy, I still put in enough effort to exhaust my body. We did sprints, jogging, legs, planks, yoga... various things, really, for about an hour before T said we were done. Afterwards we got some coffee, which is where I got the picture for the beginning of this post.
We walked to a nice, small shop that was open but empty. Tuesday was Korean Independence Movement Day, so quite a few places were closed or had limited hours. Kids were home from school, a lot of workplaces had the day off, and all classes on post were cancelled, including the arts & crafts class I wanted to go to.
I got 'café americano' which is apparently just black coffee. I don't typically like black coffee, but this seemed to taste just fine to me. The little strawberry poundcake concoctions were brought by T, because she thought it was L's birthday. L is 'significantly' (her words, not mine) older than us and put a fake birthday on her Facebook page, so I can't blame T for wanting to celebrate her birthday. One thing we learned from L (this is the Korean woman who is technically my realtor but at this point I would just call her a friend) that birthdays in Korea are based off of the Lunar calendar. Cool! Over our coffee date we decided to all ransack T's kitchen so T and I could teach L some good ol' American food. We also set up a time for next week to go to Dongdaemun and pick up some soapmaking supplies! YAAAAAAY!!! L is very excited to learn how to make soap, and while I'm not sure T is that enthusiastic about it I think she's still interested.
We talked in the coffee shop for about an hour before parting ways and heading to our respective homes. I took that energy I had from the workout and made some significant progress on the office, reorganizing the furniture and beginning the process of finding a home for every little tidbit that has accumulated on the floor. I also made some chicken alfredo, what a surprise :P
Wednesday T and I had to cancel our bike ride again, partly due to weather. The bigger reason was T had a Filipino potluck she was going to and our bike ride would make it impossible for her to be showered and cleaned and be able to provide her food dish at said potluck. Michael and I were going to go on a bike ride instead, but when I went to wake him up in the morning we both found ourselves more willing to cuddle in bed and sleep than bundle up and bike in the cold. Once we had a little more sleep we got ready for our day. We went into Yongsan for several things. One, to get my SOFA stamp process started (I'm technically still on a regular visa, which only allows me to stay until the 26th of this month), and also to check on some stuff Michael needs to do. We also converted some USD to Won at Itaewon, since the money converters there tend to have the best conversion rates and it was time for us to pay rent. Then we went back home, paid rent, and checked mail on post. I got two more packages - my Vintage Chic Scents order and my Olde Primitive Treasures order. Woot! Now I'm just waiting on my SMT, RG, and LSC orders.
We ate some food and watched some movies together until it was time for me to go on post for bowling. I'm still a sub, but the same team that needed me to sub last week asked me to sub in this week and I decided to go. Michael walked me to the bowling alley, but he left me to hang out with one of his friends in the barracks. Bowling itself was okay. The teams were moved around so I ended up with my group away from most of the people I had already developed friendships with. It turned out good, though, as the new group we were bowling against were friendly and talkative. Part of this move also meant that N and I weren't in the same area, saving me from whatever shenanigans N might have tried. I bowled okay, good, then bad. 70-something first game, 100 my second game (and the best I have ever bowled in my life), and 45 my third game. At the beginning of the third game I think I messed up my wrist, which presented issues for me the rest of the game and resulting in 11 gutter balls. Oh well. LOL
Thursday was an interesting day for me. It had lots of ups and downs. I worked out with L and T again, this time working on our legs and core a lot more. T couldn't stay for coffee because she had some stuff she needed to take care of, but L and I still went to a coffee place.
A Twosome Place is to Seoul like McDonald's is to certain areas in America. There's one on every street, around every corner, within site of each other.
Since we were there for breakfast, we got some sort of special that was a coffee & muffin/sandwich deal. My sandwich was delicious. It had lots of cheese and some ham in it, but the cheese wasn't too overpowering. My coffee was the same as last time - café americano, but it was too hot for me to drink the entire time L and I were talking. I had to take mine home to finish off - after adding some cream and sugar :)
L and I took this time to get to know each other more. I think this is the first time we've had any real one on one time and I was happy to find that we mesh together really well. Sometimes it can be hard to talk because L doesn't understand a phrase I used or she has trouble translating something into English in a manner that I can understand, but we work through each issue with good humor and more often than not successfully convey our ideas. One thing that I thought was interesting was a question that she had: "How can you open up your mind to Michael?" After some probing I understood that it was meant to ask how Michael and I get along, or how do we work together as a couple.
Once we had finished our food L drove me home and dropped me off. I proceeded to spend my day being Michael's slave, as I called it. It's not really so drastic. Yesterday was his last day off before a difficult time ahead. He has 16+ days straight of work to look forward to, one of which is a CQ shift, which is 24 hours straight. The peninsula is also under some restrictions which essentially put Michael under house arrest when not working. Being the wonderfully understanding wife that I am, I vowed to do whatever he wants to make his last day off as pleasant as possible. Yes, I know what you're thinking. Get your mind out of the gutter. We've already made all of those jokes. LOL
Being the kind of man Michael is, he chose for us to go to the Hypermarket to pick up some groceries to round out what he had bought on post this past weekend.
I've mentioned several times that food is generally cheaper in Korea. This is not one of those times. These sauces are all more expensive than on post/back in the states. I think it's because this isn't typical stuff Koreans pick up and it's imported. Pasta, dressing, and sauces all seem to be expensive off post.
There was a sale on some candy... Michael and I did not partake. It's fun to me to be able to see familiar items that are just a little different than I'm used to. I recognize skittles instantly but besides the candy name everything else is in Korean.
Michael dared me to poke one of those crabs in the bottom tank. I said no, but I would gladly take a picture! It's hard to get a grasp of the scale of these guys. Each of those bottom tanks were about 2.5 feet wide, if that helps.
We went to the bakery and bought some stuff. I found something that wasn't sweet! It was a sausage.... something. Crap I can't remember what it was called. LOL. But I very much enjoyed it and will pick up some more the next time we see it.
We finished up our shopping and went home, where we ate some food and sat together watching YouTube. Michael made some plans to go on a bike ride with M, but said I didn't have to go if I didn't want to. If I'd gone M wouldn't have had a bike to go on. So they went on their bike ride. I was also dealing with the beginnings of what became the worst headache I've had in recent memory. It was at the back of both of my ears, where my glasses normally rest. I couldn't wear my glasses or the pain would become excruciating, but even without my glasses the pain was just enough to prevent me from doing anything. I've normally been able to sleep off headaches that I'm not willing to medicate away or unable to otherwise handle. This one kept me from falling asleep. It wasn't long before I was a bundle of painful despair.
During that time I started getting some weird messages from N. While I was bowling Michael apparently had a chance to chitchat with N's husband. He mentioned some of the issues I had been having with N (making plans then cancelling to make plans with somebody else) as well as the fact that N seemed hellbent on visiting her home in the states. N's husband went home and talked with N about it, apparently telling her to start inviting me out more and including me more as well as something that apparently made her feel the need to tell me 5 or 6 times that she 'never said she was going to ______' and that they didn't have enough money for it. While working out the details with Michael on what exactly he said to N's husband, Michael made it seem like N had told me that she was going home, no matter what. What I had actually told Michael was N just brought it up in conversation a lot and really wanted to go home. It's part of the recycled material N brings into every conversation she has... with anyone. I don't care so much about the misunderstanding as I do the fact that Michael led N's husband to believe that I still wanted to hang out. Now I'm back at step 1 with N, trying to tell her as gently as I can that I am not interested in hanging out and I am sorry if her husband made her think otherwise.
While dealing with that, Michael and M got home suspiciously early. M was riding my bike and... well, none of us know, or he's not willing to admit what happened. I don't think M is trying to hide anything at this point, but at the time I was very upset. This had actually been one of my biggest concerns whenever Michael brought up taking our bikes out and letting a friend use my bike. I didn't want my bike to become the broken, battered bike that all of his inexperienced biking friends would use and break. The first time anyone that's not me or Michael takes the bike out, it comes home with the back tire's rim dinged and a very flat tire. M and Michael took the bike to the same bike shop in Yongsan that we bought the bike from, and the owner of the shop fixed the rim as best as he could and replaced our tube at no cost. While that was happening I contacted T and told her about the situation, and we decided that we should go ahead and cancel Friday morning's biking plans. Even though my bike came home safe and sound and I would've been able to bike this morning, T wanted to clean her house before L and I arrived, and I can understand that.
While driving home from the bike shop, Michael called and asked if I wanted to go to a local food place, Inka's Chicken. I said no because of my headache. Michael reminded me that I promised I would do whatever he wanted that day, and informed me that M was going to be picking up the tab. I agreed to go, but was fairly quiet the whole time because of my headache. I still enjoyed the food! I got more Mandu and got to try some Korean-American fries and cheese sticks.
Once we got back home, the rest of the evening Michael and I talked on the couch until we were sleepy enough to go to bed.
This morning I got to sleep in. I didn't have any alarm set. I was comfy! I still woke up before 7. Ah, oh well. I'm going to spend lunch with T and L, showing L how to make some American food. I wanted to get this post up last night but my headache made sitting at a computer unbearable. It was all I could do just to comment on posts and respond to comments. I don't know what triggered that particular headache but I do not want to relive that any time soon.
How are things going in your region of the world? Any unfortunate misunderstandings you're currently dealing with?