Saturday, July 18, 2009

Happy birthday to me! Or: if it's so won, why does it feel so right?

Edited with pictures!

Yes, the "won" puns are likely to continue until we're ensconced in Japan, at which point I shall cheerfully transition into "yen" puns.

Before I get into today--yayyyy birthday!--I have to finish our adventures from yesterday! So when we left our heroes, we had enjoyed a lovely morning. The lovely continued with lunch at a kimchi jjig (chee-gay), which serves communal troughs of soup with a ridiculous number of side dishes. Very nice location; we removed our shoes at the entrance and knelt/sat on woven mats as we shared our meal. The sense of communion was lovely and the food was spicy and delicious.


In South Korea, it is known that Foreigners Like Eggs. So this place gave us a whole plate of fried eggs to eat with our meal.

Afterwards, we ventured out into the elements (it IS monsoon season and rainy quite frequently) and explored a farmer's market. It was on a MUCH larger scale than I originally pictured. Got some fantastic shots of bins of all sorts of fish, rays, crustaceans, and other oddities, as well as some neat mushrooms, giraffe-striped gourds, little yellow melons and more. Familiar fruit is very expensive, like cherries and peaches. Bananas and kiwis were reasonable.

Crazy fish pt 1

Crazy fish pt 2


I have NO idea what these are.


That evening, we ate "siesta burgers" at a beautiful little art cafe downtown. Renaissance-esque art covered the walls, and the floor outside was glass peeking down at an underground botanical garden. Very neat! The burgers themselves were, as with the "Italian" food before, Western food with a twist. The sauces really made it work--some sort of sweet soy on top and a spicy mayonnaise below. Tasty treat.

Ooh ambience.

Nomburger. This picture doesn't accurately show the hugeness of it. Meers burgers got nothin on this!

And then Harry Potter! Nuff said. Oh wait--at the concession stand, you can get popcorn, nachos, or squid with peanut butter. Yes, I'm being serious.

Now onto today, and what a great birthday it's been! We started the day off with a bike ride through a park by the river--side note, I have become fairly non-incompetent on the bike over the last two days! And have the sore butt to prove it--which culminated in a breakfast of crepes prepared by Rosie and me.

Rosie does the messaround!

Who says you can't find cheese in Korea?

Proof that I do in fact bike around!

What's up, handsome?

Pretty water wheel in a pond.

So pretty.

They have exercise stations set up all along this garden. An active Korea is a healthy Korea!

Men being manly. Nothin to see here.

Whew! I'm exhausted.

We then moved on to shopping...and shopping, and shopping, and shopping. Our mark was left on

  • a mall. Ohhh the food court--conveyor belts of sushi, bean curd molded and colored into beautiful cakes, Black Uncle cheesecakes, and such pretty dimsum! And a LUSH!!!! Which sold the same things as the Lushes in the states, sadly, and for a higher price.
  • A series of street markets. Think Times Square and Mexico smooshed together. Pet store after pet store. Rosie got attacked by a monkey. Kids serenaded us with karaoke from the second floor.
  • The underground market, which sells approximately the same goods as above-ground for lower prices.
  • More farmers' markets, with all the previous days' food experiences plus more street food, house wares, and clothing, including traditional Korean garb worn at weddings. Rosie says nowadays they will wear it for part of the ceremony and then change into more Western dress.
Me in Daejeon Lush!

Street view of a shopping district.

So many tiny fluffy puppies. It makes me sad and aww at the same time.

Rosie versus the evil monkey! My thought process was something like "hmm, I should probably help her....nah, I'll take pictures of this moment!"

Engrish is awesome. This shirt says "Flying Away: Every hour, every day, I will pray, I have one day to fly." We've seen many many MANY unintentional funnies.

City at night.

To cool down, we visited a coffee shop and played board games with other ex-pats while smoking hookahs (blech) and drinking tea and coffee products (blech). The company is nice. I lose at games. Mehh!

Dinner: Korean barbeque. Amazingly delicious, and again the feeling of communion, sharing a meal and bamboo liquor with my friends. Then dessert at The Chocolate, a cafe where we split fondue with fruit and hot cocoa.

Fallin in love is like falling in love is like barbeque....

The day was complete.