Thursday, June 14, 2012

So apparently my last post was in March... Say wha??

I haven't posted in quite a while, I know. I've mostly just been settling in to life here, so there's not much to talk about.
Recently, though, I've taken a couple trips: one to Seoul where I accidentally saw a lantern festival and one to the beach, where I stayed in a pimped out penthouse and plopped my ass in the sand.
The thing about living in another country is that everything is remarkable and everything is the same. To me, this is just my life now, but I'm trying to come up with something to say, because I know that even though it's just daily life to me, it's interesting because it takes place on the other side of the globe.
Lotus Lantern Festival
About a month ago now (maybe more??) I went to Seoul, simply because I hadn't really been yet. I informed my boyfriend that he would be joining me (as if he didn't want to see the capital of our current county of residence) and then he promptly forgot until I mentioned it the night before we left. Guess how much planning I had done at that point. Yeah... I find that's generally the best way for me, though. I booked a hostel while on the way to the bus station on Saturday and barely knew what I wanted to see. 
It's a good thing we didn't have much of a plan, because that left us googling at our hostel (The Kimchi Guesthouse in Hongdae, a pretty decent place, especially for the money), where we discovered a lantern festival was happening. Our friends wanted to meet up there, and we set off to find them.

We never did.

That's okay, it was awesome anyway.

On the Saturday night we stumbled upon a giant parade.
*This will be one of those times when I mention how odd it can be to be a foreigner here.*
As we were standing to the side of the road, taking pictures, a woman comes up to me... and puts a shirt on me. Not gives me the shirt, this woman puts it on me.
And then procedes to photograph me.
Photographing in my beautiful new shirt
This country can get on your nerves sometimes, but that was just hilarious.
Other than the parade, we saw some stereotypical tourist sites in Seoul, like the gyeongbok palace and then we (I) did some shopping. It was a nice weekend, but I definitely have more to see and will be going back.
Some more lanterns from the parade
Blub blub
The main lantern design, the lotus (it was the lotus lantern festival, after all).
These two ladies smiled nicely for me =)

The other trip I've been on so far was to the beach. A few weeks ago (the weekend before my birthday, Memorial Day weekend in the States) was a holiday here as well as back home. Generally, Memorial Day weekend maks the beginning of the summer season, and so what better place to go for the weekend than the beach!
I think I'm the person about a third in from the left, but I'm not sure, Ed took this...
Koreans don't really do the beach, they don't like the sun (hence the amazing skin), so the beach was pretty deserted, which worked for us. The sun was also pretty patchy, but I definitely got some color. Mostly it was just nice to have a wekend way from Cheongju to relax and drink with friends. Which brings me to another odd thing here: no open container laws. Run to the mini mart, buy some beer and/or soju, and go drink it on the beach. perfectly legal.
Then we went back to our PENTHOUSE (I did mention that, right?)
Super excited about our penthouse!
 that the eight of us kinda accidentally ended up in and had a jolly old time until the wee hours of the morning. Rinse and repeat the next day.

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