Saturday, December 16, 2017

Day 116: Santa run in Sinchon

I already felt A LOT better today. My body was still covered with red spots to the point that I looked like a white strawberry but I was a lot less itchy and had so much more energy.
- Energy that I was definitely going to make use of by getting outside today and doing something.

I'd slept in today and got started on my day pretty late so I didn't get down to Sinchon before the afternoon. But ooooh when I did! There were loads of people here today!

It seemed like there was an event or promotion going on for warm body, which is a warm drink that (from my understanding) should be pretty good for your immune system as well. It's super sweet though and probably contains a fair amount of sugar so who knows.

Near the red tube, a big scene had been set up and both Koreans and foreigners were jamming away. Not pictured was a guy dancing around dressed as santa, who looked like he was getting ready to perform next.
Speaking of santa, today was the day of the santa run here in Sinchon! Sadly, it seemed like I had just missed it. I still got to see a lot of Koreans walk around in red felt clothes and with fake beards. 
There was also a Christmas market going on!
About half of main street was lined with striped white and red tents and people were selling all kinds of handmade stuff. I completely forgot to take pictures because this sweet middle-aged woman at the meringue stand kept giving me samples to taste. It was all very delicious.
I'd seen posters down in the subway that there would be a 별밤마켓 (byeolbam maket = starry night market) there at 17.00. When I went down there, though, there wasn't really anything special going on except this band, that had set up a little venue near where the subway connects to U-Plex. They played some sweet, jazzy Christmas tunes.
One of the cool things about the shops down in the subway near redtube is that they are temporary so once in a while we get to see new pop-up stores. This time around, there were two people in big shiba inu costumes were promoting one of the new pop-up stores and they were a huge hit for people, who wanted pictures with them.
Since the starry night market wasn't really anything special, I went back up to ground level. At first I was surprised by how the band seemed to be a lot more energetic now and then I turned to the HUGE mass of people, who were watching.... people dancing in the street?
Yes! A swing dance club had completely taken over the street and were having a PARTY!
They all wore Christmas'y clothes and some of the girls had bare arms even though it was -7°C and you could see their breath. But it didn't matter because they were dancing the night away and all the bystanders were happily watching.
Look at that happiness!
Hajun was busy studying for his exams this coming week and wouldn't have much time for me until Thursday. He did have time to have dinner with me today and while I was waiting for him, I spent the time finally getting a good picture of the Christmas decorations on the church here. The picture really doesn't do the real-life view justice, though.
Back on the main street, the dancers had left and the sound of the bands had been replaced by super loud EDM music, that drowned out all other sounds.
And if it's not snowing during our Christmas market? Don't worry, the Koreans have got it covered with fake snow!
I practically almost walked into Hajun while looking up at the fake snow that was being blown out above the crowd.
Both Hajun and I never know what to eat so we've reached the point of doing rock, paper, scissors and having the winner decide. Hajun won and picked a 불고기 place (bulgogi = marinated slices of beef/pork).
Eeey an almost normal picture of Hajun!
Will we ever see him in non-training clothes?
Some closer up shots of our food: here we have purple rice! The first time I went to Korea and had a stomach ache, the older lady at the restaurant I was at came out with a bowl of this kind of rice. It totally cured me!
We also got sides of 냉면 (naengmyeon = cold noodles). Now I've had it and I'm not a big fan. I also don't dislike it. It just doesn't do anything for me to eat cold noodles in a thin soup. The bowl was pretty small and so was the egg you see. I believe it's a quail egg. The taste felt like that of any other normal chicken egg.
I liked how the salad leaves were held in this thingie instead of being served in a small basket as usual. So fancy.
And here's our bulgogi! We got two different kinds. This is the normal, sweet type.
And here's a serving with cheese on top. Both were really delicious!
As a kind of service, I guess, we also got eggs and ham on the side.
After eating, we spent some time walking around before Hajun had to go back to his school to study.
We spotted another tree inside U-Plex!
We also went into the lego store where  decided to build a tree. Hajun, having learned this, decided that he wanted to make a BIG star for it. A couple came in, saw us, giggled, and then sat down as well as the other table and started building as well. It was super cute.
We finished just as the store was closing! I hope it'll bring some Christmas spirit to the next people, who come into the store. Or at least to the guys working there.
Hajun looks so proud.

He was the one, who had to leave, yet he insisted on walking me home.
When we got to my dorm, I remembered that I was still waiting for a package from my mom. I'd only just told him and walked over to the table with packages before he found it!
My mom and her boyfriend had sent me a package with the words: "We'll send a bit of Christmas to Korea so you can also enjoy this time." I'd joked that it was mean of her to mention my siblings' Christmas chocolate calendars and then she'd felt bad and decided to send me a bunch of Christmas snacks!
They sent me various chocolate snacks, marshmallow santas, and homemade pebbernødder made by my mom's boyfriend's grandmother. And they even included two Christmas cards; one by mom's boyfriend's grandparents and one from my mom, her boyfriend, my siblings, and my sister's boyfriend.

Hajun was a huge fan of the pebbernødder! We also gave some to the elder man, who works night shifts at the desk in my dorm. He looked super happy!

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