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Dental scaling

I went for a general dental appointment today. Ow. It’s right up there as my most efficient but painful dental appointment. Walked in without an appointment, filled out my name/ARC number/address/phone number, and signed.  Sat for about 5 minutes, and then got called in, someone went at me with dental equipment, and I paid.

It would have cost 60,000 won out of pocket. But with my Korean national health insurance, it ended up costing me 24,000 won. Which is pricier than the 15,000 I was told to expect. Hm. Next time, I’ll try out a different dentist. I don’t even know when I can go for my next subsidized cleaning.

iCing Grapefruit

icing-grapefruit

iCing grapefruit-flavored “ade” (ade as in lemonade, but it’s grapefruit!), the cheapest non-beer thrill at 7-11. It’s 4.5%, and only 1,300 won! (That’s 1.09 usd)

The next step up is a tin of Somersby Apple Cider at 3,300 won. That’s supposed to be a rare treat. Sometimes, it’s on sale at 10,000 won for 4 cans. I never buy 4 cans because I’m not an alcoholic, duh!

Christmas in Itaewon

Christmas dinner in Itaewon! On the way there (especially in the subway), I saw so many people carrying cake boxes. It seems like it’s a thing here to get a cake for Christmas. I think that’s lovely. I felt as if I should buy a cake, too … but that would only end up with me eating the entire cake. So, no.

My friend and I arrived in Itaewon at around 5 pm, and walked around looking for a place. I don’t remember the name of the place, but the plates say Bliss. Google says Bar Bliss WAS a gay bar in Itaewon, and has been closed for years. I don’t know where I was. It was somewhere in the main restaurant area.

 

christmas 2014 salad

We were so hungry! This was one of the starter salads, with mozzarella balls and balsamic dressing.  So good.

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Universal Ballet’s The Nutcracker, in Seoul

Oh, man. The Nutcracker was beautiful. Gorgeous sets, cute kids behaving perfectly and on cue (HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!?), and I finally managed to connect Tchaikovsky’s music to the ballet! Growing up, I listened to The Nutcracker soooo many times. I had such a good time.

 

nutcracker center

 

nutcracker ticket

 

nutcracker 1

 

nutcracker privatebox

 

nutcracker end

Taking a bow at the end. When the curtain came down, the kids crouched down and waved until the end.

Pojangmacha at Yongsan Station

yongsan station

Ah, Yongsan Station.  In my first month in Korea, this place was why I was (falsely) convinced that the Seoul subway system was insanely complicated. (It’s not!) Seoul Line 1 could NOT get me past Yongsan Station, for some reason. Later, it turns out that I was on the rapid/express train. The all-stop train does all the stops. The rapid train only stops at a few stations, OBVIOUSLY.

 

yongsan pojangmacha

These red-and-white striped tents are right outside Yongsan Station.  These tents are called pojangmacha – they typically serve street food and soju/beer, but Yongsan Station also has a pojangmacha bar!

 

pojangmacha sign

Ah, nice signage.

 

yongsan pojangmacha decor

Here’s the pojangmacha I ended up eating at. The green box at the top contains a pen and blank pieces of paper, for you to write your message!

 

yongsan grill

Set A, for 15,000 won.  And with three beers, that brought the total to 27,000 won.

From left to right

1. The hollowed-out thing is garlic. Fully roasted and mild.

2. Large white thing is mushroom.

3. Small mushrooms wrapped in bacon

4. Little yellow things are ginkgo seeds, I think?

5. Squarish white = rice cakes

6. Grilled chicken

7. Grilled chicken and green peppers (cheong gochu?)

Studio Ghibli in Yongsan

I love Studio Ghibli. You have no idea. Or maybe you do. I have yet to make it over to the museum in Japan, but I’ll get there eventually.

In the meantime, Studio Ghibli has an exhibition at I’Park Mall in Yongsan, Seoul (2014ghibliexhibition.com [dead link]). It’s 15,000 won for an adult ticket, and it is totally, totally worth it. It’s a thing of beauty.

Only a limited amount of people are allowed inside the exhibit at one time. It’s awesome, not crowded at all. I went on a Sunday, and it seemed like a slow day anyway. No line, no wait.

 

 

birdseye_07319

 

train

train2

Spirited Away is one of my favorites.

 

 

And some other photos from that day.

Autumn weekend

autumn leaves

It’s been a nice autumn weekend. Not too cold, not too hot. Perfect for an outdoor date, but I wouldn’t know anything about that!!

 

autumn patbingsu

Staff members were supposed to go on a hike up the local mountain. But my group decided we weren’t feeling sporty, and decided to take a detour. We only took a little walk around the park at the base of the mountain … but only after we had patbingsu!

Patbingsu at a chain called Sulbing (tagline: “a Korean dessert place”). In the far left of the photo is a bowl of pumpkin soup, and some little rice cakes. And then the centerpiece is, of course, patbingsu. It has pieces of cheesecake, AND powdered cheesecake! The little shotglass has condensed milk in it, for the patbingsu. And the three cylinders are cheese-filled rice cakes, topped with cheese and (I think) scallions.

 

kalbi

Kalbi (bbq beef) staff dinner. So good. Really tender meat. The other barbecues I’ve had have been tough, in comparison. I guess I’ve been going to cheap places hahahaha.

Also, the garlic+sesame oil in the little bowl is great. Have to be careful, though. Eating it immediately = boiling hot garlic paste sticking to your teeth.

 

interstellar

Went and saw Interstellar. Great movie, shit characters. According to them, love is a valid reason for space mission decisions, on the same level as math/physics calculations? Hell no! In the zombie apocalypse, they would be the first to go. (But maybe I’m just really cold-hearted and calculating.)