Sunday, January 27, 2013


Japan (which I haven't yet mentioned on this blog...) robbed me of all my money so last week I had a stay-in-Seoul vacation. It was nice with some much needed sleep. A lot of it. I slept in past noon on two days. Crazy.

As I was short on funds I couldn't do too many crazy fun things. I had some sane fun instead.

Friday was sloppy joe's at the home. Very American. Very delicious.

My grandmother had a very simple recipe: one pound of beef, one can of chicken gumbo soup, a tablespoon or two of ketchup and a bit of mustard. Simple, easy, sloppy.
I also saw Mr. Bacon a couple of times. That was pretty great. Who wouldn't love this face? He was, um, enjoying kissing people Saturday night at our house party. That was quite the nice house party... I particularly enjoyed two-stepping at The Grand Ole Opry.

Sunday was fun. It started with a grand breakfast and then a long walk over Namsan and around Sukmyeong University. I was with Hyeonsu and we strolled around in Hyochang Park. We kind of just stumbled upon the park, which hosts The Grave for the Three Martyrs. Check out wikipedia again for info on the park.
Monday was a lazy day. I saw Cloud Atlas (good film), ate pork cutlet (gross), and lazed around (kind of fun). Yay Monday!
Tuesday was a bit more active, but still relatively static for me. After finishing up an application for a scholarship (good luck, Mark!), I met up with Katrina in HBC for some Moroccan sandwiches. That's right. Moroccan sandwich store is open again! Yum yum yum!
On Wednesday, C and I took a walk across the city for exercise (and to save 1100 won???). We were walking by Dongmyo, so we decided to take a peek.

Old + New = Seoul
Dongmyo is a shrine built in 1601 in memory of a 3rd century Chinese military commander. It's nothing terribly exciting, but I love the way it snuck up on our walk. You can read more about the shrine on wikipedia.

Thursday was another day of walking, this time to Dongdaemun. C and I tried a new route and stumbled upon an independence monument on the northern side of Namsan (near Dongguk University Station on line 3). Korea declared independence from Japan on March 1st, 1919 during the aptly named March 1st Movement. The monument wasn't the ugliest thing I've ever seen... (litotes)

A little past the monument is a statue of Yu Gwan Sun. Gwan Sun was a freedom fighter and martyr who fought for Korean independence under Japanese annexation and one of the most famous female historical figures in Korea.

After C and I found some new Uzbek restaurants (what what?) we continued on our way to Dongdaemun. And what did we find but Bang-san-jong-hap Market. Located across the street from the much more famous Gwangjang Market, Bang-san-jong-hap has a huge area devoted to all things baking. Ingredients, measuring cups, bowls, paper cups, etc. Really quite extensive.

The air in Seoul has been a bit dirty lately. But it gives us nice sunsets!

 C headed home and I met up with Julie and Sanggun for jeon (fried everythings) and shopping. I didn't see much that I liked, but did pick up a bow tie. Bow ties may be my new thing.

On Friday, some of us braved the cold to see the Seodaemun Prison History Museum. I have wanted to go to this museum since 2009, but always put it off. I'm glad I finally went. It was a pretty well organized museum with a decent amount of English. The brick buildings were beautiful and it is a shame they have seen such abuses of human rights. Yu Gwan Sun, who I mentioned earlier in this post, was imprisoned in Seodaemun before her execution.

The one criticism I have is that the museum focused pretty much entirely on the Japanese occupation. I would have been curious to learn about the history of the museum during South Korea's dictatorships (when democratic activists and communists were locked up instead of freedom fighters). Other than that flaw, I think the museum is a must visit for any Seoul resident.

In the evening, we had pies. Delicious pies! South African pies at Braii Republic. C and I will be going to a new restaurant in our hood every paycheck. This was a good first choice!

 Do you like your pies?

Yes we do!
Friday evening was an impromptu mini house party. We played a charades/taboo game, which was quite fun. Even though Maggy turned crazy.

Saturday... Korean class and Korean class. A really long die. I studied, which was good, and then studied some more. However, during Korean class number two we made makkeoli cocktails. Can you imagine drinking alcohol in a language class in the states? I don't think so!

 In the evening, we went to Moon Night and danced the night away. My new favorite band played (The Studs Lonigan Experience).

Bagaly being pro
So how do you finish off a Seoulcation? Waffles and chicken at Original Pancake Story. Yum. Happy Sunday!

It was a pretty cheap vacation and quite fun. My next few weeks are going to be tight money-wise, however, because C and I booked tickets to ... Malaysia and the Philippine! WOOOOOT! I'll be warm in February.

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