A Swear-free blog...for mummy:)
The weekend was a good one, and thank goodness for that. Friday night was a release of pent up, frustrated energy after one of the most draining weeks in recent memory…and that’s saying something. The doors of Pavox, already a familiar sight after only a few weeks here, swung wide open and welcoming. The bartenders there know the teachers from our campus by sight, there were already a few familiar faces there and those first few sips of ice, vodka, and lemon were perfection.
The early signs of alcoholism are overrated if you ask me.
Sidebar….they don’t have gin here. Or at least none of the places I’ve frequented in the past little while have carried any. The absence of my favorite drink throws me into further depression which can only be remedied by drowning my sorrows in my second, third, fourth and yes, fifth kind of alcohol. It’s a vicious cycle you see.
Stumbling home around 4am is something I haven’t done since university. Here I am, after traveling halfway around the world to learn, grow and mature as an artist, and an individual, and after a scant 2 weeks…..I’m regressing. It’s official. I rock.
Something was different in the air though, I noticed it as soon as I left the smoky confines of the bar. At first I couldn’t place it, seeing through a haze of vodka tonics will do that to a person, I suppose. But as I moved further from the core of Youngtong it came to me. What was different in the air was the air itself; it was clean, clear, cool and beautifully wet. I drank it in, feeling like I had been drowning and could now once again breathe. I stopped briefly at the 24-hour convenience store by our place for a bottle of water and some sort of non-descript bag of crispy potatoes and continued on my way. My heart slowed down as I sat on the stoop outside our door. I ate, drank, and breathed.
I know, I know. But it felt great.
When you fall asleep at 5am, and are woken up at 9am by your boyfriend who has dubbed Saturday as “Get your ass out of bed and come do fun stuff in Seoul with me” day, everything is just a little harder to jump start, y’know? Regardless, we went on our merry way, and after a harrowing, 40 minute bus ride, we arrived at an undisclosed location in downtown Seoul and set about the task of finding out exactly where the hell we were. Success was to be ours that day, for many reasons, not the least of which was successfully, once again, navigating Seoul’s subway system and arriving safe and sound at City Hall where we watched the changing of the guard ceremony,
were greeted and chatted up by a couple of lovely ladies☺,
experienced a preview of the Korean “Chicago” (I’m dying to see it, I’m not going to lie), and relaxed with a couple cups of coffee.
Which brings me to my next point.
Coffee in Korea.
I have realized that I become irritated quite irrationally when am I confronted with a situation in which I cannot prepare my coffee as I see fit. Being able to put in some creamer and a few packets of sweetener is, apparently, very important to me. 2 weeks in and I have already learned something new about myself. I was expressing my frustration to my boyfriend(“What the hell is wrong with these people? What the hell kind of place is this??!!), and was rudely interrupted by him telling me I sounded like an ignorant fool. Apparently, me expressing myself and having a bitchfest are one in the same when it comes to me talking about coffee.
See? Two new things I’ve learned. Thanks sweetie pie.
By this point in the conversation however, I lost interest in what the tall one was saying because we had arrived in a district called Meyong-dong, so far one of my favorite places in Seoul. You do not know the meaning of the phrase “packed like a can of sardines” until you have experienced this place. Street after street, row after row, never ending shops, stores, caravans, merchandise, food stalls, and people…..the people. ☺ It was amazing. Putting aside the fact that I was able to recognize many, if not most, of the storefronts from their western counterparts, wandering the streets aimlessly with no real sense of direction was bliss. It was total and utter anonymity, with glitter coming at me from every direction; camera flashes from fellow foreigners, sparkling store front windows displaying God knows what, and the thousands of stalls selling bling….Koreans LOVE bling☺.
The excursion was made complete by the fact that there was a Starbucks nearby where, to my delight and Dave’s rolling eyes, I was able to get a medium roast, and made a big show about pouring my own cream and sugar into the cup. I’m all about big shows and pouring my own cream and sugar. So sue me.
The evening was capped off nicely by dinner and a movie with our friends Ian and Bonnie. They took us to a Vietnamese restaurant, where I was served my first meal in Korea that did not include kimchi. We went to check out the newest offering from Quentin Tarentiino, “DeathProof”, which I would recommend. Booze, lap dances, and girls kicking ass…..what more could you ask for, really? Best part? Dinner and the movie for Dave and I BOTH, was $25. Dave ordered the “Love Combo” at the movie concession stand, and made a big show of pointing to him and I while ordering. Apparently, he likes big shows and “Love Combo’s”, which of us is worse? Discuss.
Sunday was a whole lot of sleeping, eating, reading, and prep for this week.
This has turned into another monster of a blog. Sorry ‘bout that.
I’ve also just eaten the better part of a pizza.
Sigh. Must go to sleep now, looks like the gym is calling my name tomorrow morning after all.