I woke up to a heavy torrent of snow and wind on Thursday. Snow from all directions except from below! I walked to work with an umbrella but ended up coated in snow anyway. It was amazing, I loved it!
Also, the fresh snow means that I can walk without worrying about cracking my skull open on the pavement.
It’s also a little warmer, compared to snowless days. This has been the heaviest amount of snow I’ve seen, during my time in South Korea.
This week, I was asked why I was keeping condoms on my desk. I almost yelled, “It’s tea!” I’m just trying to have a vaguely flavored hot beverage on hand, in this concrete building!
The weekend’s almost over, and no war yet. All the talk of South Korea/North Korea playing their game of brinkmanship is making everyone anxious, but not panicking. This happens every year. That said, this summer’s edition is unusually intense.
I took Whiskey to the vet because he kept scooting his (clean) butt on the carpet and couch cover. I got some meds for him, and I hope it’s treating an actual condition. I would hate it if the butt-scooting is just a bad habit of his. The vet said that the anal glands were clear, and there’s no worms … so the medication was to get rid of a “protozoa infection” (according to Google Translate). I haven’t seen any butt-scooting since Thursday, so I’m hoping it worked. But maybe I just haven’t seen him.
The guilty party.
I made some Irish soda bread on Saturday, mixing three flours: Korean “strong”/high-protein flour (강력 밀가루), King Arthur Flour whole wheat, and King Arthur Flour rye flour. Not bad. Better than my previous attempt with Korean whole-wheat flour, which came out yellow (?), probably because there wasn’t any wheat germ in it? I don’t know.
Cheese is a luxury here, but I splash out every now and then on a block of Cathedral strong cheddar from Homeplus. Korean-style bacon (not the BBQ “bacon” aka samgyeopsal) is thinner and doesn’t seem to cook as easily, which is suspicious. I eat it anyway.
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-flavored “ade” (ade as in lemon–ade, 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!
Coloring books for grown-ups, at Kyobo Bookstore, Gwanghwamun. Such a nice place to spend a couple of hours.
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.
We were so hungry! This was one of the starter salads, with mozzarella balls and balsamic dressing. So good.
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.
Taking a bow at the end. When the curtain came down, the kids crouched down and waved until the end.
One of the last concerts for the season. Tickets in the cheap seats were only 5000 won!! And they were good seats!
Ushers! They actually look at your ticket and take you to your seat, instead of just gesturing and saying “Ya, um, so, it’s somewhere over there.”
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.
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!
Ah, nice signage.
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!
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?)