Thursday, August 7, 2008

Random Travel Update 27

Last Location: Suwon, ROK
Arrival Date: August 2, 2008
Departure Date: August 2, 2008

Current location: Seoul, ROK
Arrival Date: July 16, 2008
Departure Date: Undetermined

Next location: Undetermined

Today is a good day for an update. I was waiting for the best day to write an update. Yesterday was an excellent day and I would have written then but the day started to early and ended to late. It was a good thing, because today turned out even better.

My acclimation (or "acclimatization" for you Kiwis and Aussies) is moving forward steadily. I now have a bedsheet, wireless internet, towels, door mats, laundry detergent, placemats, veggi-meats and an apartment walking distance to work, complete with several nearby coffee establishments and the like. I also have a handful of new friends that I have been checking out the town with.

Last weekend, I went with my ex-neighbor, Jeremy to visit his childhood friend, Korah, in Suwon, a satellite city of Seoul. The three of us spent the day hiking the Hwaseong Fortress and then settled into the evening with a huge dinner, some kiwi soju and live entertainment at Korah's hotel.

Sunday was spent getting to know the expatriate vegetarian community. There are apparently at least two vegetarian social groups in Seoul: one for Korean-speakers and one for English-speakers. Who would have thought? Goes to show that Korea has pretty much everything. We checked out a hidden hole-in-the-wall all-vegetarian Korean restaurant near the Hoegi metro station, just to the west of where I was living before my move. Lunch was at 2pm, but we decided to spring for ice cream afterwards and ended up hanging out swapping veg secrets at the Purely Decadent soy ice cream shop late into the afternoon.

Monday night, I met my new Korean friend and fellow student-type, Sun (pronounced San), after work at one of the coffee shops near my house where I discovered "double mocha snow" which is apparently like a quadruple shot frappuccino in the states. I had one of those and didn't get to sleep until 5:30 the next morning. Sun and I have agreed to meet at coffee shops in the mornings from now on.

Tuesday morning, I made Sun wake me up and we took a trip to Itaewon for lunch. Itaewon is the foreign district (think reverse Chinatown) and thus has the best diversity of food. It also hosts my favorite falafel restaurant, Marrakesh, which offers a $5 lunch special with a falafel sandwich, fries, tabouli salad and a drink. Really good, considering most places charge about $3 just for a soda! Unfortunately they just moved into a nicer building and I am worried that they are eliminating the lunch special. So call before you go. Email me if you're in town and I'll send you the details.

Wednesday night was spent in Seoul's most ritzy neighborhood, Apgujeong, which borders my new neighborhood Cheongdamdong. We went for some drinks and tempura at a decently-priced and classy Japanese restaurant off of Rodeo Drive. Apparently, there are a few Rodeo Drives around the city. I recall someone telling me that Cheongdam is the Beverly Hills of Seoul. However, Korea is nothing like California. New York City? Maybe. LA? No.

Last week was productive. I switched apartments, met new friends, and visited friends from the last time I was in town. It is hard to keep track of time. I have been here three weeks as of today.

The only thing Korea is missing, other than perhaps decent weather, is Jon. And he just purchased a ticket to Seoul this morning and will be arriving in 16 hours. It's like a fairygodmother came and waved her magic wand and *poof* Jon was on his way to Korea. I feel like the Disneyland theme song should be playing in the background, "When you wish upon a star..."

I hope everything your heart desires comes to you, wherever you are.



No comments: