Saturday, February 27, 2016

Stop & Chat - February 25 -27

I'm rather disappointed in my Thursday (the 25th). I was supposed to go to a Korean cooking class. That was my entire planned day. I did ride my bike on our trainer and play some video games, but the big thing I was waiting on was the cooking class.

The informational email I got stated that the class would start at 1800, or 6 PM. As I was getting ready to leave at around 5:30, I checked my email to find a 2nd email. This 2nd email said that there was a mix up in the times and the class was actually from 3:30-5:30. AUUUGH! I was so upset! There went my Thursday! I spent the rest of the night playing video games.

I did message T to let her know what had happened and we ended up making plans for the next day. A subway adventure to Insadong! On our biking adventure I told T that I'm working on adventuring and moving out of my comfort zones and she said she would help me do that. True to her word, T got me to agree to go on an hour long bus+subway ride, walk around a completely unfamiliar area, and try some new experiences!

My morning did start off a little rough. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but my depression led me down a very, very dark path 9 years ago. As a result my body is very, very sensitive to when I take pills and I have to be careful about the size and how I swallow said pill. On this particular morning I did not swallow my daily vitamin pill correctly and lost my breakfast as a result. It also put a bit of a damper on my mood, leading me to have to explain to T about my bad morning with my 'sensitive gag reflex' as I called it. I didn't quite explain to her the reasoning behind my sensitivity, but I don't think it was necessary. For some reason it's necessary to explain here on my blog, though. I don't know. We're all friends here, right? :P

I didn't take any pictures of the subway or bus ride, as messing with that kind of stuff while in a moving vehicle would've made my motion sickness worse - which, by the way, is completely unrelated to the issue in the above paragraph. I've had motion sickness for longer than I can remember.

We got off at the right station, but exited the subway system from the wrong set of stairs. T and I still took that time to walk around and see what the area had to offer.

Lots of windy hills and buildings and some historical places.

I just love this architecture. 

T pointed this out and said it was picture worthy, and I agreed. I hope those cups were clean, though! :P

This district is very tourist-ey, according to T, and has a lot of historical places to explore as well as "The Palace" which she recommends that M and I see in the Spring or Summer, once the plant life has had a chance to grow and bloom.

We didn't see any place worth stopping at and shopping, but we did start looking for a place to eat. T wanted to take me to a barbecue joint, where you're able to cook your own food. After walking around for a bit we went back to the subway station to find the other exit to Insadong that T was more familiar with.

The design on the railings in the subway station.

The King's Dessert, or 16,000 strings. T and I got to watch this being made. I didn't pick any up, but T picked up a package. 

The whole reason we went to Insadong! The arts & crafts store. This particular store is in the 2nd story of a building and the door to the stairway is very inconspicuous. I would never have noticed it.


Single colored, thicker paper.

Artsy craftsy items! I don't know if these pieces on top were actually for sale. They could've been for decoration.

One of the intersections. T and I walked around, checking out lots of places and just chitchatting.

Our food! We couldn't find any barbecue type restaurants so we settled for pizza - at Mr. Pizza! T was very upset that she couldn't take me to a Korean barbecue, though. :)

The salad bar. They have some really good crab salad here. If I weren't so queasy from my morning I would have gone back for seconds.

T doesn't know what exactly this is, but it's on a lot of postcards and is a big tourist attraction. We contemplated walking around the building and wall behind it, but we were on a bit of a time crunch. T had to pick up her car from the mechanic later that day and we still wanted to explore another area, Dongdaemun. Dongdaemun is two or three subway stops closer to home so we took the subway.

Some of our exploration in Dongdaemun was cut off due to a fire. It smelled pretty bad and even at this distance we were having difficulties breathing.

A sock vendor! I wish that I'd picked some up - a pair was only 1,000W! I'll have to take M here and pick some stuff up next time.

Since this was another big tourist district we were able to find lots of tour guides who were able to provide us maps and give us some advice on certain markets' hours and general advice, information, and directions. I'm glad T is so knowledgeable about the area. She passed on a lot of knowledge and confidence to me. I'm positive that I could take M here with no issues and lead us on an adventure.

Some sort of sea creature. Does anyone happen to know what these are?

The final stop in our journey - Paris Baguette! I picked up some sweets for M and T picked up some... I don't remember. LOL. Once we paid we decided it was time to take the subway home. We hit a little hiccup once we arrived to Suseo station, as neither of us knew which exit to take to find the bus that would drop us off near base. A kind older gentleman helped guide us in the right direction in his 'poor English' as he called it. Between our fragmented knowledge of each other's language and locations we communicated well enough. It was funny to T and I how we were standing with lost looks for less than 30 seconds before we were approached by a concerned Korean. Even as the gentleman was helping us an older woman started talking to me in Korean and gesturing at what ended up being the exit.

I got home a little before 5 to find M asleep on the couch. He had tried to make plans with a friend to go biking, but said friend was told he had to do some paperwork instead at the last minute. I felt really bad because I was out all day thinking he was out with his own friends having fun. Turns out he got home after checking mail and fell asleep until I got home - from 11:30am-5:30pm. We joke about how he was so distraught about not having me there that he fell into a coma, but I think his rough past few weeks and lack of sleep simply caught up to him once he had some down time.

Speaking of mail, I had a big mail day. I got 3 packages - Solstice Scents, CFTKR, and SGA! M opened my packages for me while I was gone, partly so he could finally get something he could open, partly because he was curious about what specific things I'd gotten. I can just imagine him sitting there, looking at the boxes... ignoring them... then thinking "well somebody has to open these and make sure they're okay..." then tearing into the boxes and setting everything out on the table. He didn't touch the sample bag Carol left in my package because it specifically had my name on it and he thought I would like looking in it myself. Tonight I'm going to finally check that I got all the right items and amounts. I've been busy, guys!

The rest of my Friday/26th was spent cuddling with M on the couch and refilling his 'cuddle meter' as we call it. We joke that when we're particularly grumpy we're just low on cuddles and need to recharge :)

Today was another busy day. I went with M and other M (his coworker/friend that I've talked about before) to Yongsan to get several things done. We went to the thrift store to pick up some things for M's work (they have a kitchen) and got me a phone. Originally we were going to use my old Galaxy Note 4 and switch out the SIM cards, since Verizon provides unlocked phones and we didn't have to go through any hoops to get my phone to work. However, we discovered it was about $40/month cheaper for us to buy me a brand new phone. Since we're going to be here for at least two years we can take advantage of some of the special pricing offers the Korean cellphone provider gives. We went with a Galaxy Grand Max. If I'm really picky about watching a video or accessing a particular app on a 'nicer' screen I'll pull out my old phone, but the Grand Max is perfect - and cheap!

We also picked up some pet supplies. We had planned to go to an animal shelter north of Yongsan to volunteer and donate some supplies. We've mostly decided that a pet probably isn't in the best interest for us at this time, but we still really miss that interaction and M suggested volunteering as an alternative. Unfortunately by the time we got finished with all of the stuff we needed to do on post we missed the window to make it to the shelter before it closed. We were a little bummed about that and decided to go to I'PARK Mall. That's the name of the mall outside of Yongsan that I always talk about. I finally paid attention to the name!

While at the mall I picked up three more warmers - two of which will be for Julie <3 I kind of feel bad because I cleaned out that Daiso of its taller, larger tealight warmers. They had two white and one blue, and I got all of them, buahahahha!

We also took this opportunity to finally see Deadpool. The movie was no longer showing in 4D-3D so we settled for IMAX. The movie was pretty good. We enjoyed it. Lots of laughter and quite a few O__O faces from me.

After that we headed home and I took the time to write this post! I don't know what tomorrow holds for us. Probably some grocery shopping and general down time because my weeks are really starting to pick up. T and I have made plans to bike at least three times a week. That's on top of bowling, arts and crafts, Korean language class, and anything else I end up invited to. Somebody hold me while I go into 'low power mode' to be able to handle all of this! :)

Okay, that's enough babbling for me. I hope everything is going okay in your area of the world!


  1. What a great day! Other than missing the cooking class :-/

    I love that you got to walk around and explore. The buildings do look really cute. And that coffee sign! Those Totoro socks are stinking cute. Thank you for the warmers! Please let me know how much I owe you <3

    Those creatures look a bit like sponges or some invertebrate like that. Interesting.

    1. I'm determined to pick up some cute socks for myself the next time we see a vendor with them! You owe me nothing for the warmers! Just patience as I don't know when I will be able to send you your care package <3 Michael is going on a strict training/restriction schedule for the next couple weeks, as is everyone else working on this peninsula, so we're essentially on house arrest.

      Those creatures reminded me of those deep sea skirted invertebrates that Blue Planet:Seas of Life talked about in their Deep Sea episode. I know I said I wanted to try new things, but something about these particular things did not say anything close to "eat me."