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.







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 (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.



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.)

First baseball game ever

I never went to a baseball game in America, even though I lived less than 30 minutes away from Dodger Stadium. KIND OF. It’s never 30 minutes on game day. I’ve passed by on the freeway on Opening Day, and it gets backed up to the moon and back.

This particular game was SK Wyverns vs Nexen Heroes, at Munhak Baseball Stadium (home to SK Wyverns, and my local team).

I went with a friend and met his two other friends there, for the first time. Buying food and alcohol at the stadium costs about the same or slightly more expensive than elsewhere (1000-3000 won more, at most). We bought fried chicken and spicy chicken for 15,000 won each. A six-pack of beer cost 6000 won, and we bought two packs. Two large bottles of soju, for mekju (beer/mekju + soju  = mekju) for who knows what price. Drank nearly nonstop during the game.

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Each player has their own song. Everyone either knows the song, or follows the lyrics. In the picture of the stadium, you see that red line running along the middle? That’s where the lyrics are.

So you/I get drunk and start singing along. Whenever it’s your team’s turn to play, you and the other fans start singing and dancing. There are cheerleaders, and everytime you blink, they seem to multiply, and not because you’re drunk. There’s two, then four, then six. During halftime, a bunch of kids come up and do an incredibly energetic and synchronized dance routine. And there’s a guy in charge of everything, yelling and blowing on a whistle to get the crowd amped up.

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The cheerleaders start catapulting shirts into the crowd.

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And then I showed up on the Jumbotron!!!! No photo or video evidence of this, unfortunately!

And after the game, FIREWORKS!

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I’m sold on Korean baseball. SK Wyverns are my team forever!!!