Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Stop & Chat: Last Week of April

Wednesday the 26th was the first in a several-day whirlwind of activity.

C called me late in the morning to ask if I wanted to go on a quick trip to Insadong with her. I quickly threw on some clothes, grabbed my backpack, and walked to our meeting point.

Every time I've gone to Insadong before, I've taken the subway. This time C and I took a bus that we had just found out about. This particular bus runs from a street nearby straight to Insadong in an hour and 15 minutes. What's better, it's between ₩1160 and ₩1260 won, or right around $1 one way. $2 in travel costs for a straight shot to and from our destination? Yes please!

My trip with C was pretty short. All in all we spent about 20 minutes in Insadong, which we knew would happen when we left home. C was on a time crunch and needed to be back home by 2:30. All we did was go to Doorihanji and pick up some supplies. Or rather, she picked up supplies and I eyeballed all of the goodies. I knew I would be back in Insadong soon, so I wanted some time to plan out what I wanted to buy before my next visit.

Thursday I went on a bike ride. To finish off my bike ride, I met with several women on post for a workout session. Of course as my luck would have it that was a cardio day. We finished at around 2pm and I hopped on my bike to head home. The ride home via bike is really short, but our house is on a hill that easily kicks my butt. I managed to make it all the way up without stopping this time around. Woot! The rest of my day was spent laying around and being a big baby about how tired I was. LOL!

Friday was another trip to Insadong. This time I went with M and one of his new friends who just recently came to Korea. This friend has expressed interest in going out and exploring more than the normal bar scenes a lot of single soldiers spend their time in. It's not bad that these soldiers do this; it's just not what M and I want to spend all of our free time doing, and it makes it hard for him to connect with some of his work buddies.

Since I was the only person who had taken the bus, I led this adventure. I navigated us to the bus stop and got us on the right bus before running into what I thought would be an issue. I could not remember the name of the stop, and the KakaoBus app is only in 한글, or Hangul. I spent a few minutes looking at the map before realizing that I had it. It started with me looking at a street near where I thought C and I had gotten off. "명동".... "Myeongdong..." Oh! I know Myeongdong! That's just south of Insadong. I navigated a little more before finding "인사동", or Insadong, and I found the stop C and I had used. Woot!

We arrived in Insadong and began our walk.

M's friend, W, had yet to see The King's Dessert, so we promptly took him to a stall and asked them to show him. I bought three boxes (pumpkin, chocolate, and nut) and got an additional box free. Yummy.

Sorry, I can't read English. That sign means nothing to me. <_<   >_>

We walked all through Insadong for W and I picked up some souvenirs to send home. On our way back to the bus stop I went into Doorihanji and bought the supplies I need for a project I'm working on.

We also walked a little around Myeongdong but did not stay long. It was getting late (it was 4 PM... we're so old) so we didn't walk around long before heading back to the bus stop.

The rest of these pictures are from Insadong, but the text does not accompany said pictures in any way.

When we got home, M continued on another adventure with some friends in Yongsan. I chose not to go, as I was pretty worn out and wanted to unwind at home for a bit.

M brought said friends, W and T, home so they could put together a computer they were building for W. M made some homemade pizza complete with homemade tomato sauce, chips and dip were bought, and booze was consumed. I was the first to turn in for the night.

Saturday was the Spring Festival on post. It was just like last year's Spring Festival; this event was open to the public and a lot of local Korean vendors had tents on post. M and I spent a few hours on post socializing and checking out each tent. We bought a few things to send back home.

We left in the early afternoon because one of M's friends needed a favor. Said friend needed a ride to the local E-Mart to shop for nice dress shoes for a wedding that evening. While they were in the E-Mart, they realized that they wouldn't make the wedding in time if they tried to take the bus and M ended up driving him to the location.

M got home and we decided to sit out on our large porch and watch the sun go down with a drink. While we sat out there and talked, we listened to the concert portion of the Spring Festival on post. We stayed out there for about 3 hours and talked about a lot of things like our plans for the future and our stay in Korea. It was a nice way to enjoy the concert while being in the comfort and solitude of our own porch.

Yesterday, April 30th, was a cleaning day. While M worked I got to deep cleaning the house, something it's desperately needed as the dog hair has accumulated in all the little corners of the house. I'm not done cleaning but the house is in a much better place than it was before. As part of that my mind is in a much better place. Funny how a cleanish house helps clear the mind.

I don't know how I can top last week's whirlwind of activity. I'll... uh... clean the house more? LOL. I'll get back to you on that.

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