Last week, P and I decided we were going to be tourists on Saturday. Go out during the day (*gasp, for the record, we had become little partying vampires it seemed), and do things that tourists do. We really needed to right our schedules (or at least I did, P gets up at 5AM, and I try to get up with him, but the weekends always set me back since we stay out late and then sleep until noon. Much as I’d love to, I cannot do that during the week, and I hate flipping my sleep schedule all over the place).
So Friday, P didn’t get off work until probably 6:30 or so. It was too late to be tourists and neither of us wanted to go barhopping or clubbing. We had been hearing about an area called Yatap, which can be seen across the airfield, nestled in the mountains. Yatap has a ton of restaurants. And a Kim’s Club. Kim’s Club is like walmart. It’s pretty darn cool. If I didn’t have to buy meat, I would totally start doing my grocery shopping there (meat is very expensive on the economy). P and I headed out at about 8, and hopped on the bus to Yatap. We went to Mr. Pizza, as I was not feeling Korean food at all. I wanted carbs, dang it! Mr. Pizza was okay, but it definitely did not compare to the Pizza Peel.
Outside Mr. Pizza’s was a Chineese Familly Restaurant. We’re thinking about checking it out sometime.
After dinner, P treated me to dessert at Can-more, aka Barbie’s Fun House! I had a sweet potato latte, which was pretty good. I thought I had ordered a lemon tea, so sweet potato was definitely a surprise! P ordered an ice cream/sherbet/snowcone/fruit-filled/fruit loop concoction that was insanely amazing. We also goofed off as waited for our goodies.
Mr. Pizza, and Can-more, were located in one of many highrise buildings. Yatap had building after building filled with restaurants and arcades and other social places. Well, the basement of the building that housed Mr. Pizza, Can-more, and Chineese Familly Restaurant, was pasted with pictures of nudie girls and pumping out absolutely ridiculous slow electronic music. So you know what we assumed: strip club. Well, P, giggling like a four year old, insisted we go down stairs and see what it’s all about. When you get downstairs, there are more nudie girl posters and two frosted glass doors with colored lights shining through, as well as red velvet lining the walls. You can imagine why we thought this was a gentleman’s club. Especially, when we opened the first door to see a long hallway of more doors and one lonely well-dressed young man manning the front desk, asking what we would like. P leans over to me and whispers, “I think this is a brothel.” P then asks the well-dressed young man what exactly “this place” is. As the kid flounders trying to remember his grade school English, he runs to grab his manager, a seedy looking middle aged man. We were promptly escorted into an empty room down the long hallway of doors and handed a menu. I’m sure you’re just as confused as we were: What sort of place sends you to an empty room and hands you a menu? Well, seeing our looks of confusion, the young man grabs a microphone from under a table and starts pretending to sing and dance. That’s right folks. We found ourselves a couple of karaoke bars. Karaoke bars that believe in hanging nudie girl posters everywhere. But their bathroom sign was pretty comical.
We realized it was almost 11 as we started heading back towards the bus stop. Buses stop running here between 10:30PM and midnight, depending on the route. We were still a good ways from the bus stop when we saw the bus we needed pass by. We debated for about half a second whether or not to run for it or catch a cab (Who really wants to run after pizza and dessert??). We ended up running. P and I made the bus, but only because the bus was stopped at a stoplight and the driver was actually kind enough to let us on the when we knocked (Trust me, that is very rare).
P and I started watching Rome when we got home, and boy did we get hooked. A major part of our free time this week has been spent watching Rome, actually.
Saturday, tourist day, we planned to get up at 7:30, but we forgot to actually turn on the alarm after setting it! Oops. It was okay though. We got dressed and then hopped the subway.
Our first stop for the day was Jeoldusan Catholic Martyr Shrine and Museum. It was very neat. The site holds the remains of 28 martyred Catholics’ ashes. The Museum is very well put together, showing the history of Catholicism in Korea. Since it’s still winter here, the plants were not in bloom yet, but you could tell the site is absolutely beautiful during the warmer months. We didn’t wander the grounds at all, because it was pretty windy (the cathedral is on a hill overlooking the river). We definitely want to go back when it’s warmer though.
It took us a little while to find the Jeoldusan (which means “beheading hill”), but P’s newfound Korean skills helped greatly. He can get us from point A to B, which is really cool!
In Korea, they put these sound proof barriers on the sides of the highways and subways to prevent noise pollution. The mural in the slide below is painted on one of these barriers beside the shrine. You never would have know there was a highway on the other side of it.
After seeing the museum and the chapel, we hopped back on the subway. Our destination: the Korean War Memorial Museum. Now if you are like us, you’re probably assuming that this memorial museum focuses on the Korean War only. P and I were very surprised to learn that it commemorates all wars fought by the Korean. We only probably didn’t even go through half of the museum. We didn’t arrive until after lunch time, and let’s face it, P and I are eaters. We like food, and we should’ve eaten lunch before heading over to the museum. We definitely should have listened when my dad told me he could spend the whole day there. In P’s defense, he would’ve happily spent another 3 or 4 hours there to finish out the museum, but I started getting cranky. But this just gives us an excuse to go back! What we did see, though, we really cool. They had planes and tanks and boats and cannons and statues and all kids of large and neat metal toys arranged outside, and then more neat historical type stuff on the inside.
After our trip to the War Memorial, we went back to the Pizza Peel (I’ve been eating pizza like a madwoman lately). We broke our no going back rule. (This isn’t a rule because things aren’t good, it’s rule, because we can so easily get suckered into eating at one place — La Parilla anyone? — and never trying anything else! There are too many place to eat around here!) We had a calzone with the most amazing crust I’ve ever had in my life: honey crust is what’s listed on the menu. Amazingness I tell you. Amazingness. I can’t even remember what the filling was, that’s how amazing the crust tasted. Yum yum yum. We also tried the BBQ chicken pizza, and I have to say, the BBQ bacon was MUCH better. But how was that ever even a question? Bacon is meat candy.
Goofing off as we waited for our FOOD!
After lunch, we hopped back on the subway (since, once again, we had just missed the bus), and headed home. One of our friends invited us out to a jazz bar Saturday. We ended up completely losing track of time while watching more Rome. Awesome show, I highly recommend it (not for children, though! It is an HBO show and all).
Sunday, Day 40, we headed up to Yongsan. Church, movie, and commissary made for a pretty easy day. The movies are free on post which is pretty darn cool. I snuck in a banana/rice concoction, and we bought hotdogs. Yum. We’ve decided Saturdays will be toursit days, and Sundays are going to be a relax, reset, and prepare for the week kind of day from now on. We’re pretty excited for this.
I cannot even begin to tell you what happened on Monday and Tuesday, because, well, it’s been such an uneventful week, that I really just don’t remember. Wednesday, Day 43, P and I had to run errands in Yongsan. He ended up surprising me, and getting me a new handmixer (because I clearly lost my damn mind when I thought it was a good idea to store everything in our kitchen), so I went and bought baking supplies to go with it (flour, sugar, etc.). So, FINALLY, I can bake again! Hurray! Our oven, btw, rocks. When you look inside, it looks scary and old and like it won’t heat up right. Well, it heats up like a champ! I bought an oven thermometer when we first moved in, and it was spot on at maintaining temp. Awesome!
Here are a few random neighborhood pictures. I think it’s almost my bed time! Goodnight, y’all!