We hung out at various apartments until making out way down to Hongdae. We started the night at 'SKA', a dance club that I've been to a few times and that's always been a lot of fun. It used to be free cover for foreigners, although it's now W10,000. Boooo! You do get a free drink though, so that somewhat makes up for it. We danced our little hearts out for several hours, until the pain from our high heels started kicking in. From there,we ventured over to, surprise surprise, Ho Bar. I think I'd die of shock if we didn't end up there at least once during a night out! Ah well, it's a fun place with good music, cheap drinks and familiar faces. We spent several more hours at Ho Bar, then closed the night with a Burger King stop. Nothing like fast food at 5:00 in the morning! I waltzed into my apartment at approx 6am and noted with delight that the sun was rising when I crawled into bed. All in all, a Thursday night VERY well spent!
Friday and Saturday were spent in self-inflicted isolation. I was in need of some 'me' time, so I ignored my phone and did my own thing. Basically wander around listening to music, reading, and watching movies. I did miss out on some group activities both of those days, but there's ALWAYS something going on. If I waited until there was nothing going on for me to have a few days to myself, I'd be waiting a loooooong time. I absolutely adore the group, but it was really nice having some downtime. I talked to Mom and Dad for over an hour on Saturday morning, which was obviously a great thing. It's been really hard coordinating times for us to talk with my new preschool schedule, so I was happy that we were able to work in a time that worked for all of us. I miss my parents and it makes a world of a different just hearing their voices and finding out what's going on back home. Yay for technology and its ability to aid in communicating with loved ones who are at the other end of the world!!!
On Sunday, I returned to the real world and joined Lindsay and Amanda for an excursion to Itaewon, which is basically foreigner's central. This area is heavily populated by foreigners, especially U.S. Army personnel, so it was incredibly strange to see so many non-Koreans in one place and to hear so much English being spoken! Bizarre! The main reason for our Itaewon trip was to visit 'What the Book?', a new/used English bookstore. HEAVEN!!!! It's not a massive store, but has a great selection of books, both old and new. The best part is that if you can't find a certain book, they can order it for you. Fun! Not surprisingly, I left the store with 5 books in tow and a happy skip in my step. Lindsay and I have made a promise that we'll visit 'What the Book' at least once a month, a promise I'll happily keep! After this, we wandered around the part of Itaewan that we were in waiting for Tara to come and join us for dinner.
She arrived maybe an hour later (It's a good 45-60 minute trip from home) and we tried to find somewhere to have a real meal, not just fast food or Quiznos. We ended up at a Canadian pub, somewhere that Tara had visited before. I love that Korea has Canadian establishments! It's like our equivalent to a Korean restaurant and it makes me giggle a whole lot! From what Tara had been told, the owners are 2 Canadians who missed home, but loved Korea so much that they decided to open a very Canadian-esque restaurant/pub. The place was packed and I think that was mostly due to the hockey game that was being projected on a big screen. They were playing the Senators/Penguins game from the previous night and most of the guys were wearing either Sens or Pens jerseys, hollering and cheering. I totally felt like I'd been transported back to Canada! Especially since it was Hockey Night in Canada playing on CBC and all of the commercials were for Home Hardware and other Canadian franchises. We all reflected on how strange it was to hear English commercials and Tara and I (The 2 Canadian gals) were giddy at seeing commercials that were so familiar to us! The place itself was decorated with jerseys from Canadian sports teams, Canadian license plates and other knick-knacks that are delightfully Canadian. You can even order a beer in a cup that looks like a mini replica of the Stanley Cup! The next time we go there (Because there'll obviously be a next time!) Tara and I are totally getting drinks in those! The food was delicious and I was thrilled to see 'poutine' on the menu! We ordered one for the 4 of us because Amanda, being from Florida, had never tasted it before and we wanted to show it that it didn't taste as gross as it might sound. Lindsay, who's from Maryland, had only had one poutine in her life, so it was also necessary to give her another taste. Sadly it was only ok, but I am a bit of a poutine snob. There's nothing quite like a poutine made with homecut fries, thick gravy and fresh cheese curds, sold from a chip stand. *sigh* It was a nice temporary substitute though and I mean, for Korea (who's definitely not known for its cheese...ugh.), it was good. Amanda enjoyed it, so all that matters is that someone else now knowns the wonder that is a poutine! After a very satisfying meal (I had YUMMY chicken quesadillas...not very Canadian, but they did remind me of home because I order quesadillas so often when we go out!), and some good entertainment (the game was tied in the 3rd period when we left, although I later learned that the Sens lost 4-3 in overtime. >_<), we headed over to Coldstone for dessert. I had never experienced the wonder that is Coldstone, because as far as I know, it doesn't have any stores in Canada, but it's fabulous ice cream creations! I don't remember what my deliciousness was called, but it was chocolate ice cream folded over orea cookies, peanut butter, chocolate chunks and other yumminess. SO GOOD!!! I could barely move by the time we left there and it was an unanimous decision to cab home (Since it would cost us less than W5,000 each), as opposed to dealing with the subway ride. Once again, another weekend had come and gone.
Oh! I almost forgot! That Sunday marked my 3-months since I'd arrived in Seoul. Can you believe it?! I certainly can't! 1/4 of my contract is already done and it feels like I just got here! But, as mentioned before, it also feels like I've always been here. I still wake up some mornings and it hits me "Woah. I'm in Korea." and I feel the same jumble of emotions that I did when I first stepped foot in the Incheon/Seoul Internation Airport. The reality of my current life hits me at the strangest moments and it feels very surreal, as if I'll suddenly wake up and be back home. I'm so relieved that I'm enjoying it as much as I am, because those moments do shake me up a bit. The fact that I'm so far away from everything familiar to me, everyone that I've known for so long...craziness! But then I'll go to work and be bombarded by these adorable little faces and talk with those that I believe will be lifelong friends and I'm so happy to be here. I know that once my year's up, I'll be so excited to go back home and be with my family and friends again. I smile just thinking about it! But I also know that it'll be really hard to leave this life behind and all of the people and things that go with it. But not going to dwell on those thoughts just yet. Afterall, I still have another 9 months to go!
As it is currently Saturday in the 'Land of the Morning Calm, that means that my week is not yet over. Meaning, you get to wait a little bit for my update of this past week. I don't think this is a huge deal, as it's not as if I haven't given you enough to read in the past 12 hours!
So once again, my life update is to be continued...