I spent this morning in my room. Some folks went into Seoul, but after carefully thinking about it I decided not to join them this trip. I want to wait until I understand things here a little better. Also, money is tight and so I wasn't sure I wanted to spend so much right out the gate. (Individually, things are not as expensive in the states, but I am also trying hard to live on 200.00 this month, and so I need to be careful!)
I went to meet some friends at about 2pm. We walked into town, checked some prices and wandered around. It is really cold here and expected to be even colder tomorrow. It is not so bad when the air is still, but when the wind is blowing it is pretty miserable.
Prices here are a little bit cheaper on most things. Currency is roughly 1300 Won to the Dollar and many things are around 1000 won. I spent 32,000 won at the grocery store today because I bought shampoo, conditioner, a multi-plug so I could plug in many things at once, cereal, milk, several different juices and teas to try, lotion, etc. Right now I am wishing I had bought icecream.
We at Korean food tonight. Noodles in a spicy red sauce served cold with lots of veggies. It was good. I then got some bungeopang on the way home since it is my new favorite food. :-)
Here are a few observations on how S. Korea (so far) compares to Thailand:
- There are not nearly as many motocycles. I see 2 or 3 for every 50 cars I see. And those are mostly errand runners delivering pizza etc.
This country feels far more western. The food is still very different, and of course the language is currently outside of my comprehension, but the way peopple dress, the cars they drive, the stores we visited, etc. all feel very western.
Everything seems very modern. (At least in the area we are in.)
I wanted to take more pictures of the area around me but my camera died. I managed to trick it into taking one more picture of dinner, but that was as far as I got.
One of the things I regret in hindsight about my trips to Thailand (and to a lesser extent the DR) is that I did not leave myself tools for remembering things. So, I have decided to keep a digital food diary. (With Pictures.)
Today I ate the vegetable cream soup (the powder that came in a package) for breakfast. A korean couple was in the kitchen when I went in to fix it and she very kindly helped me. All you do to the soup is add water. It came out wonderfully thick and creamy, and tasted fattening and yummy.
Currently I am sipping on some Chesnut Milk and eating a package of Oreos that came with one of our meals on the plane. It is very yummy but since I cannot read Korean I cannot tell if it is actual milk made from chesnuts (like almond milk, or rice milk or soy milk) or if it is just a chesnut flavored dairy product. I tend to think it is the former and not the latter because of the texture but who knows. The Oreos are, of course, as always, delicious. I have been resisting them for 3 days and finally I caved in.
I also tried (but have not finished) a bottle of apple lychee juice and guess what? It tastes like apples and lychee! I really enjoyed fresh lychee when I was in Thailand.
I also was given a bottle of soju which is a little like sake. The brand I was given is Jinro. I have drank only a few swallows of it. It is strong, and I am not sure I like it. The folks I went to dinner with had mentioned wanting to try it, so when they went and bought some they sent some over to my building for me to try. (Their apartments are across the street.) The funny thing about the Soju is that in most stores it is cheaper than a soda. So weird! It kind of reminds me of vodka.
Well, I am about to crash! Luckily, I am exhausted and it is only 9.20 so hopefully I will get a full 9 hours of sleep tonight!
I start classes tomorrow so look forward to a nice lengthy post about school and the kids and all of my fun adventures there.