Friday, 12 October 2012

Botched Haggling and Janghang Ho!

The other weekend my friend Rachel from uni came over to South Korea for a few days after touring in China for a month. Meeting her outside Angbok station we went to the palace of Changdeokgung and had a look around. Pictures below!

The palace is stunning and beside it was the Secret Garden where we had a tour. Pictures below!

 Seoul really is wonderful and it’s so amazing to realise that you are in one of the most largest cities in the world and yet are completely cut off from all the hustle and bustle of the outside life.
I then took Rachel to a Korean restaurant. We had Kimchi broth with tofu and pork, Galbi, which is tender pork where you fry it before you and bibimbap which is rice, spicy sauce and vegetables. Very nice! Rachel loved it a lot and wants to look for a Korean restaurant in London when she gets back to the UK.
That night we went to see the Fireworks display. So many people were around the place, but it was spectacular! The people quite literally lit up Seoul. As Rachel said, it was raining gold!

Following morning we went into Itaewon. Now Itaewon is an area in Seoul which is very Western and you’ll find a lot of western shops for clothes and food (I got gravy packets, custard packets, Gummie Bears, Apricot Jam and tarragon) and so forth. Well finally after many, many months I found a shoe shop with my size! Most of Korea and actually Asia have shoe sizes that go up to 6, or 250, well it’s sod’s law that I am a 255, or 6 ½ or a 260, a 7. And many shop assistants give me such a look when I asked for 260 in women’s shoes. Grumble. But! This shop had 260! And I got some boots for my 1 yr anniversary with my boyfriend aww…sad fact though that the bloke wanted the money in cash, so the boyfriend used my money to buy my present for me….Typical.

Anywhoo, so walking down the road, minding my own business and the boyfriend says, “Look gloves.” They were black and leather and something that I really don’t like. But I looked at one and a woman suddenly sprang up on me and started talking to me in broken English and Korean. She said it was discount from 80,000 to 45,000 and I said it was too much, as they were. I only had 20,000 on me so she asked how much. I told her 20,000 and she shook her head and gave me some other gloves that were worth 20,000 and I said no then walked off. She then called out 35,000 and said no, too much then as I walked away for a second time, she said, ok, ok, very irritably and I made a bargain of 20,000 from “80,000” 45,000 pair of gloves.
On the train home I looked at my new gloves, relishing in the fact that I finally made a bargain and then became somewhat distraught when the woman gave me two left hand gloves…asdfghjkjhgfdsdfghsdjhgfdjhgsd!!!!!!!!!!!  Serves me right I suppose. Buggeration.
The following weekend…

Last night our little Seocheon group (in South Korea) visited Janghang, the next town over and we brought with us a newbie from Ohio. He had only been in the ‘Cheon (nickname for Seocheon) since Wednesday and hadn’t met any of us.
First we headed over to the samgyupsal place in Janghang, along with quail eggs, kimchi, fried fish and the traditional bbqing pork in front of you- we had a brilliant time with beer, soju and cola! Then we moved away and went ten pin bowling! I’m not a good bowler and after winning 2 games out of 3 and only getting 3 strikes, we then drunkingly moved off to noraebang. Noraebang is basically karaoke.  A booth with alcohol, munchies, 2 microphones and 2 tambourines, the 13 people from both groups melded together like chocolate and caramel and got stuck into any and every random song. Twas very, very fun!
Our little newbie from Ohio got quite drunk to the point he passed out…bless. And our usual strip tease from a friend didn’t happen as it’s getting quite cold. But we did have a good time and I managed to hit the high notes in Avril Lavigne’s I’m With You and Ugly Coyote’s Can’t Fight the Moonlight. So I feel proud of that! J

I now have a week off invigilating for my students as they do their mid-term exams. During the week I am going to prepare for NaNoWriMo and finish off my little spin off. Writing for a week! Bliss!!!

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