This one is going to be long, so print it out and go get a cappuccino somewhere…
I haven't written anything apart from the quick update on my internet Blog. As most of you know, it is because my hand was broken. The broken part was not the biggest problem. The cast preventing me from using my pinkie and ring finger was. And the part around my writs just made it so that I could not get my arm in a comfortable position. All of this just made me not want to write at all.
That being said, the cast is off now and I can write relatively comfortably. The three pins they put in my hand are still in, but I hope to get it out this weekend.
I tried to keep the pins protected because they kept on getting stuck in the wrist splint that I have to wear and it hurts.
A pharmacist gave me this strange spongy cover that I stuck in place with a plaster. Problem was that it kept the wounds wet and that seems to have caused it to infect a little bit. I have stopped using it and now just cover it with a thin plaster tape that is completely breathable. It's not nearly as clean, but who cares, as long as it works better.
An exiting thing that happened to me the last few weeks is that I got a credit card. It is a KOREAN credit card. Now I can buy things without having to carry cash around. I can, of course use my debit card, but that is not nearly as safe and I also can't use it online. I can use my SA card, but that will be to expensive in the end and some sites don't accept SA cards. I think it is because we are all criminals, you know?
The past few days was Chuseok. To foreigners it is three free days of holiday. It's not, like some Koreans seem to believe, a lonely time for us because we can't visit family like they do. That is where Christmas comes in for South Africans, for example. We don't care about Chuseok. Most of us don't even know what it is suppose to be. In the spirit of not knowing but wanting to know, I found this for you on Wikipedia…
Time to talk about food again. It is an endless adventure here to find food. There are 5 restaurants around every corner of every quality and type. I decided to try a little pizza restaurant that I noticed close to my place the other day. The pizza was OK, but nothing I will jump tall buildings for. When I came back it was well dusk but still light enough to see where I was going if I chose to take the back way home. This is the same back way that I take to school and back every day.
Because I had no idea what it looked like when it got darker, I decided to have a look. You never know when you might need to do some outdoor clandestine activities. There wasn't much excitement, I must say. No scary sounds, no eerie breezes, nothing. There was, however, cute romantic little fire flies. It was just to pretty for words.
The down side of the dark road comes in that the rains have stayed very late this year and I ended up sloshing through not just one shallow pool with my Crocks. Wet socks are just not my thing, I tell you.
When June was in town a few weeks back, we went for dinner with her sisters. There they offered to take me around Seoul a bit. This offer was then taken up in the Sunday before Chuseok started. It might have been one of my nicest days in Seoul so far.
I started the day by going in to Seoul, to the Express Bus Terminal quite early so that I can go to the book shop and look around Shinsegae a bit. I was really surprised by how easy the traffic was and by how empty the bus was. I was told that this is normally a mad time for travelling. Maybe it is because there were two extra days for people to travel on.
A little side note. When you go through a toll gate, look for the men standing there with the short orange light sabres things directing the traffic. They are not men. They are mechanoids. They are scarecrows what move their arms.
Anyway, Shinsegae was interesting now that I had the time to really brows, but they have nothing I can't find everywhere else. The book shop had a few interesting books and took my money again. The book that I spent my money on was then the book that accompanied me to the Krispy Kreme for a cup of coffee. I had heard the week before that some Krispy Kremes give you a free doughnut with your coffee. This was surely something to test. Alas, I got my coffee but without the hoped for doughnut. What a bummer!
Never mind, I still enjoyed my cappuccino and the book while I waited for the girls to arrive. I don't know how many of you ever look at these things, but have you ever noticed that cups are normally made so that the logo face you when you drink with your right hand? Look for it next time. Consider this though. I might be wrong about it being the same in Korea. Many things that I would expect just don't work that way here. Krispy Kreme's cups, however, are printed on both sides. It is the first time I have ever seen this and I like it.
I still have to ask, but maybe the Korean readers can email me back. Is it because of Chuseok that there were so many women in the stores doing promotional selling wearing Hanbok?
For those of you who don't know yet, Hanbok is the traditional Korea clothing. All over Chuseok I saw children dressed in it and I often see older women wear it to church on Sundays.
Now, back to my day with The Sisters. They met me in KK and we went for lunch first. Bibimbab, which translates to something like Mixed Rice, Bab meaning rice, was on the menu. They took me to a elegant looking restaurant that had a whole variety of the stuff. I liked it already, but these were nice to try. I hade one that was tofu based. After that we started the adventuring.
They took me to an area that I thought was called Changdu(청도), that my map says is Jongnu(종누) and which June says is Jondru( 종로). I still don't know. Girls, please let me know. Whatever it is called, it is a photographer's heaven. I will be going back very soon to take more photographs. Photography is done better on your own, I feel. The place is filled with pretty buildings and interesting restaurants.
I have to say the best part was there the toy museum. It is filled with statuettes and toys. The detail on these things is just amazing. I was wowed all the way. The collection must be worth a fortune. I will send photographs of it soon. Not greatly edited, but just resized for email.
Somewhere in the area there they took me to a little restaurant for a snack. The place is supposed to be the second best place for Danpadjug(단팓죽). Danpadjug is a single sticky rice cake in a very sweet red bean portage. The name actually translates in to Sweet Red Bean Soup. This stuff is good for expelling ghosts, I hear.
That was most of the day. Really, I can't say much more without going in to a few more pages. The place is a visual treat and you have to go there to really appreciate it. I am no the kind of writer that will do is much credit if I try to write an image for you. I will try to have some nice photos of it soon to send to the Blog People.
The last thing about the day was the trip back. After I arrived in Seoul I thought I would ask if I need to buy a ticket back, just in case it is to busy. Turns out the girl at the foreign cue does not speak English. Imagine that. In the end I spoke to someone on a phone and we establish that it would be a good idea to buy the ticked in advance. The bad part is that she gave me a ticket for 11:30 that evening and it was just too much effort to try and correct it. Luckily The Sisters was kind enough to go with me after the day was done and ask them if they will change it for me to the next bus.
I got on the bus after saying my good byes and was off home. It was a short but very enjoyable and tiring day.
Peoples of the Blog, I think I have written enough for now. Next week I will tell you what I did yesterday because that will be another page added on and I don't feel like writing all that now.
Go Well, Annyeong.
*Please note that the statements in this Blog are not intended to make anyone look bad. I do not look down on Koreans. I'm merely describing how amusing I sometimes find people and I am mostly describing it to other westerners. Feel free to come to South Africa and tell the world how crazy we are because heaven knows, we are.