Friday, September 8, 2017

Day 17: Sinsa and Isu with Jake

Today was a good day. Probably one of my favorite days here so far.

After class, Celine and I went to the convenience store to grab some lunch to bring back to our dorm.
I bought fruit and something that looked like 'wienerbrød' (a danish) and severely disappointed myself!
When looking at it, I thought the top part would be custard, like on a normal danish, and the dark parts were raisins. Celine thought it was chocolate and to be honest, both would be fine with me. But nooooooo!
The dark part was not dark but green and the ENTIRE THING WAS FILLED WITH THIS WEIRD (possibly bean) PASTE. KOREA WHYYYYY. I WAS SO SAD!

Today was another extremely hot day and after finishing a blog post or two, I asked Celine to go with me back to campus to sit somewhere and people-watch in the nice weather while doing our homework for our Korean class in the afternoon. She was pretty reluctant at first but because we had to walk up a hill but she ended up going with me. I think I shamed her into going with me because of the pizza slice she ate the night before.
We sat down in this park-like area in the top part of campus.
Pardon my derp face.

We finished in good time before Korean class. Today we had our Reading teacher for the first time. She was also a bit hard to understand, due to her being sick and having a mask cover her mouth, but also because she... mumbled at lot. At least the text we work with is still way easy at this point.

I had made plans to hang out with Jake tonight but since he hadn't replied my last message after class had ended, Celine and I we went for dinner with Isabella at this cheap, basement restaurant selling traditional Korean food near our dorm first.

We had our own little feast.
I ordered omerice (an omelette with fried rice inside). It was good! But I would probably order this for lunch next time.
I got this sort of fish-tasting soup on the side. I don't know what those white pieces are but it tasted pretty good.
Isabella 씨이이~
Celine and I also shared these dumplings. We were supposed to all share but Isabella had a pretty big portion of her own food.

On the side Isabella also got these little fish that she and Celine claimed just tasted like salt. I didn't check. If possible, I prefer not making eye contact with my food. Isabella put some in her rice and after eating them, she joked about how all the eyes had fallen off and were now in her rice bowl. Ohmygosh

I went back to dorm where I could finally have wifi again and set up a time and place to meet with Jake. Once again we went to Sinsa to look for a shirt for him and once again we failed.
Jake hadn't eaten yet so we sat down at a barbecue place in the street and ordered some really weird-looking samgyeopsal.
Since he spent so many years overseas, he's got a tiny bit of an accent when speaking Korean sometimes. I caught him pronouncing samgyeopsal funny and teased him the entire night. I also started questioning whether he was 'truly Korean' and so it became a thing that he'd do things, like bringing this cube of fat around the grill to make it nice and greasy, and afterwards claim to be a true Korean.
He told me that usually when Korean go out for barbecue, one will be given (or taking) the role of being the grill master. So while eating and talking like the rest of the group, it'll be this person's job to make sure that the meat is being cooked well. And then it'll be the best cook, who gets this role since meat is no joke!
Jake was our grill master as 'he was a true Korean'. Our meat still got a little burnt though ㅋㅋㅋ But it was okay. I like my meat well done.
He also told me to try this cold soup thing that we'd gotten on the side. It was surprisingly fresh! I wondered what those beige squares were. Jake told me it was called '묵' (muk) but had trouble explaining what it was made of so I looked it up. It's a jelly made from grains, beans, or nut starch.

I'd asked Jake if he was up for a drink after but since Sinsa is a pretty expensive place we took the subway to Isu, his 'hood.' Apparently Sinsa is a popular dating spot because there are lots of cafés here and the area is pretty!

We found a drinking place but had to go back to Jake's place to pick up his ID card. As we walked through the streets, I stopped a few times to take it all in. The neighborhoods meant for living are so so so so so different from the Seoul I'd seen so far!
I don't even know how to describe it. But I hope to be able to go back one day and take pictures of it there.

When I said a drink I meant beer but Jake, who also wasn't a soju fan, convinced me to try this soju with strawberry flavor. This is my new favorite soju! It tasted exactly like strawberry slush ice but with a tiny hint of a soju aftertaste.
In Korea, they have these bars where you can go into smaller rooms and close a sliding door for a more private atmosphere. It might sound a little intimidating and it also sort of is if you are drinking with people you don't know well. However, if you're with friends, it's super fun! Especially if you, like my friend group in Denmark, is often disturbed by others.
This is a theory of mine that has yet to be proven false: Koreans always eat something on the side when they drink.
Jake told me he always ate while drinking and so we ordered a plate with fried squid, fries with.. cheese powder?, and potatoes and chicken in barbecue sauce.
There had been other people in the bar when we came but when we left around 3am or so, the music and lights had been turned off in the other rooms.

Most of us must have had one of those moments where we are with people we can just talk to for hours, right? Tonight was one of those and that's something I really appreciated.
The last subway I could have taken home had left before midnight so the only way for me to go home now would be to take a taxi. Well, I wasn't planning to go home any time soon.
Outside we found a bench near some water and sat down. 
We just sat there and talked. Shared stories, secrets, and reminisced about the days we used to talk every day.
You know how song songs can take you back to specific moments? That works for me with pictures as well. I didn't take this picture of the milk truck (although it was pretty cool how it was glowing green) but to take in the moment and, hopefully, forever be able to remember it.

We stayed there for the rest of the night and before we knew it, the sun had risen.
If I went home now, I could still get a couple of hours of sleep before Saturday's plans.
Jake followed me to the subways and gave me a hug, which was not very 'truly Korean' of him. I've been told so many times that Koreans don't really hug in public.

After about 30-40 minutes I was back in Sinchon. It could be because I was getting overly tired but somehow the main street seemed different. I kept walking but 30% of the time I did, I was unsure if I'd gone in the right direction. We usually go to Sinchon in the nights when everything is lit up or during the day when there are people everywhere.
But this morning.. this morning Sinchon was such a tranquil place.
While walking, I passed a group of 5 guys around my age. One of them, a pretty good-looking guy greeted me and I said hi back as we passed each other. For a moment I felt super cool. But then I turned around when I heard him step into the road and greet a group of doves as well hahahah

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