Sunday, January 8, 2017

Stop & Chat: January 1-7 - I Lied & Dongdaemun Round Two

I spend way too much time on the internet. My life is an eternal whirlwind of memes, violent swearing, inappropriate sexual innuendos, and all sorts of mass media references. I made a decision a long time ago to tone down certain aspects of my personality when writing my posts, but there are times when I can't help but let bits and pieces shine through. Forgive me for my transgressions.

So why must I admit to my lies today?

I said I would continue Blogmas until our presents arrived. They arrived much sooner than we expected - on December 28th. Since then, I've cleaned up all of the holiday decor and lost all of the "Christmas is here" feeling. I don't mind; Christmas has long since passed. It did, however, make it weird to write out a post with the title of Blogmas. As a result - no continuation of Blogmas. I'm sorry, guys!

Back to the exciting stuff. Our Christmas stuff arrived! WAHOO! I got some video games I wanted and sticker making supplies.

One of the big things we got was a GoPro. What better way to record some of our adventures than with a GoPro? It also doubles as a security cam if something goes wrong.

Monday the 2nd, M and I went on a 24 mile bike ride to break in the GoPro. The ride itself was incredible. It was in the 40s, slightly windy, and foggy/muggy. I did much better than I thought I would. About an hour and a half before the ride, I decided to eat some chips and clam chowder. I fully expected to struggle before I ate some less-than-bike-ride-friendly food. Instead I was able to keep a fairly steady pace and keep up with M.

When we got done, I warmed up in some blankets on the couch while M cooked food. While I was laying down, he threw some towels in the dryer to heat them up before wrapping me up in a warm cocoon.

Tuesday we ran errands in Yongsan all day and bought groceries. I also started cleaning the house a little.

Wednesday I decided that torture is really fun and woke up at 5 AM. LOL

Actually, I was expecting a guest to come over. This is someone I had never met before, but C had recommended to her that I watch her cat while she's out of country for several weeks. We established that it would be good for her to come over and meet me (you have to make sure you're confident in your cat-sitting choice!), find out where I live, and pre-screen the house for any issues she might think there are. That meant I had to completely clean the house. She planned to arrive shortly after 10AM. In the 5 hours before that, I turned the house into a model house. At one point sent my mom pictures of the living room asking if it was clean enough. Her response was "Do you even live there?!" Cue maniacal laughter. Of course not, silly woman! I cannot let people know that we live here. Not a dirty dish or misplaced item may be allowed to mar the appearance of the house!

She arrived and we chitchatted for a bit about the cat's needs and temperament, as well as a vague outline for their cat sitting needs for the next several weeks. I assume she felt confident in me watching her furbaby, because she went ahead and dropped her off with us on Friday. :)

The rest of my Wednesday was spent.. well... I slept. I was exhausted but happy with how productive I had been and rewarded myself by switching between napping and happily lounging on the couch with a fluffy blanket (a present from the ever lovely Julie), some coffee, and a book.

Thursday I helped C move a couch. One of our friends is PCSing (insert cries of despair) and she had no intentions of bringing her couch with her, so C offered to take it off her hands. That was a fun adventure since the couch wouldn't fit in the elevator and the stairs are incredibly narrow.

C dropped me off back at home right before 8 and I spent the night in with M.

Friday the 6th M ended up going into work and I spent most of the day alone. I did some maintenance cleaning to prepare for the cat we're watching and worked on the blog. That's actually the day I started this post. LOL

M got home around 3PM and shortly after that Pebbles, the cat I'm watching, was brought over. I chitchatted with her owner for a bit before she departed, then I made some chicken alfredo while Pebbles got acquainted with the house.

C came shortly after 5 and we started getting ready for our adventure - a trip to Dongdaemun with A, L (the PCSing friend), and J! We met up with the others (minus L) shortly after 6 and took a bus to Yongsan, where L is staying with her family now. From there we took another bus straight to Dongdaemun.

For those of you who don't know, the Dongdaemun night market is a late-night event where several yellow tents like above are set up and various vendors peddle their goods. Things from electronics to food to fashion are available. When fully set up, the tents are back to back and span for miles.

This particular picture is during the setup process, so it's not as crowded.

Our first stop was to get some food. C made friends with the younger woman running this tent, and through our broken understanding of each other's language we established that we would return one more time after we were done shopping. We pinky promised on it, so you know it was legit!

For this snack run, C bought a chicken stir fry of some sort and L and I shared some gimbap, which is a Korean version of sushi. You can see the long seaweed rolls right  behind the menu above.

Dongdaemun is a major shopping disctrict, so we spent some time walking around the district while we waited for the tents to open up.

Of course we had to visit the design plaza LED rose garden!

There were quite a few new pieces up from the last time I came here in the summer, so it was nice running around and seeing these pieces.

We hung out for a bit in front of the Lotte building because there was a street vendor who sold crepes that C was in love with. I didn't buy any, as I was wary of stuffing myself too much when there were still bus rides ahead of us and my motion sickness had been acting up.

 By this time, the tents were all open and we started our mad shopping spree. MUAHAHAHA.

Okay, not really, but we definitely checked out every tent there was. L wanted a nice bag/purse, sunglasses, and possibly a jacket.

One of the things the night market is known for (or so I'm told) is their designer knock offs. Want a bag that looks the look but lacks the price tag? Look no further. $300 glasses for $30? That's a steal - at least to some people's minds. I'm a major cheapskate so I didn't even think of spending $30 on glasses that looked very plastic. Even authentic glasses earn a side eye from me. This is all likely because I have trouble finding glasses that look good on my face, so keep my saltiness in mind.

Once everyone was satisfied with what they found, we headed back to our Pinky-Promise food tent and sat in for some food. We shared a seafood pancake, bulgogi, and chicken japchae (a meal using glass noodles and veggies). We also partook in some soju festivities, because why not? 3/5 of the women in our group were mothers, so they were enjoying a big break from their children for the first time in a while. I felt so knowledgeable when the vendors  came up with two bowls of fish cake soup, saying "서비스" (seo-be-suh), or "service." That phrase is used a lot in stores and restaurants to mean "freebie." Instead of saying "oh no, we didn't order this, you must have the wrong table!" and forcing them to try and explain in English that it was a free treat, I knew what was happening. Woo hoo!

The younger woman running the tent explained to us that this was their first day running this tent and they were super excited to meet us on their first day. We even took lots of selfies and talked about where we're from.

We finished our food and headed for the bus. From there, we took the bus back home. It was around 1 AM by the time I got back. Boy, was I exhausted!

Saturday the 7th started off as a pretty calm day. M slept in late and I played some video games. As the day went on, we decided to go on another bike ride! We'd wanted to go Friday, but M's work kept him later than expected and it would have interfered with my plans.

This bike ride wasn't as long. We were out for a little over an hour and a half and went 20 miles. When we got back, M made some chicken, biscuits, and salad, and I laid on the couch and cried about how sore I was. LOL! Not really, but as I cooled down my body was a lot more tired than on Monday. Perhaps it's because we went at a faster pace this time?

I was so tired I decided to go to bed around 8. I was up for a little around midnight, chitchatting with people on Facebook, but I only vaguely remember it as I was still dead tired. I woke up today at 9:30! Holy moly! I think I was really, really tired.

I hope this post wasn't too long and rambly. Most of it was typed after my very long night of rest so while I feel rested, I'm also very groggy. It's a good kind of groggy, though. :)

How are your New Year's resolutions going? Do you like having resolutions, or do you think it's silly? Tell me all about it! :)

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