On the sixth Day before christmas…

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….I had the most bipolar weekend.

First. I will preface: this is Sunday’s posting that I didn’t post on Sunday because I was in Seoul dealing with the fact someone stole my wallet from my bag.

 

I’ve always believed that Seoul was relatively safe.

But with the amount of people shopping, it’s not too surprising that Myeongdong would be a hot spot for crime.

 

I had a great Saturday-meeting my one friend, and going to see the Nutcracker with the other.

But when we went shopping in Myeongdong, after I had withdrawn 90,000 Won, my entire wallet was stolen out of my bag.

 

Luckily other than money and an expired driver’s lisscene, all that was in there of importance was my ARC card.

 

I will have to go to Suwon tomrrow to reapply for a new one which will set me back 30,000 won. So between the stolen money and having to apply for a new ARC card, I will be out 110,000 of a budget that I had so carefully put together.

 

The nutcracker was wonderful and we had amazing seats for such a good price. Sometimes it pays to be a foreigner and sadly sometimes it  doesn’t.

 

When I went to the police station located in an area where there are not only a lot of foreingers, but  a lot of shops with sales associates who speak multiple languages, the police station not only was of no help, but when an English speaker tried to help me, they completely ignored us and only said to get my passport and bring it to them.

 

Like, hello we said that I live in Gyeonggi-do like 2 hours away.  How the hell am I supposed to do that?

 

It was sad that something as important as the police station did not have the necessary skills to help me with a stolen wallet, but down the street I could have help buying soap at Nature Republic in three different langauges.  I’m not saying the police should be required to speak English. But in a forienger shopping district where sales associates speak many languages, obivoulsy catering to foreingers, how is it your police station doesnt’?

 

Anyway this post will end here with today’s Christmas post because I’m too tired and annoyed from this weekend.

Clearly I won’t be home for Christmas though.

 

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Day 3: Monster

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HELLO! I hope you had an awesome weekend.  Mine was for the first time in about 2 months -unplanned.  Now that is to say it was slow.

After having my hair done (aka dyed black) I went to Seoul to do some shopping.  I had a few things I knew I wanted to buy -expensive Xmas presents for some of my friends while I had the money-as well as some things for myself.

Before we dive into our KPOP MV of the day, I’m going to recap my Saturday…if you don’t care too bad.

Now just within the past month or so I’ve become a fan of EXO ( don’t wanna talk about it) so when W and I have previously gone to SM Town Store in COEX I couldn’t have cared less about it.

Now…that’s a different story.  But the sad thing is a lot of the stuff tends to be sold out-stuff that being said is usually adorning the walls-pillows, bags etc.

So I’ve found that if you go to the other pop up stores they are actually usually in stock.  So I visited Dongdaemun Plaza.  Well..apparently it was Seoul Fashion week and models were all over the place.  I had to take a long route to get to the store, and battle photographers and fans.  When I finally made it to the store, I got (almost) all the things that I wanted. The girls were really helpful and gave me a ton of free stuff-ballon, cards, etc.  Now I have a Chanyeol balloon I’m not sure what to do with, a ton of Super Junior trading cards.

After I went to Myeongdong to pick up music before heading home.  Korea lately has been a little chilly but this past weekend seemed to be the last warm weather.  I had dumbly brought a jacket and scarf….I was sweating by the end of the day.  All in all…success!

Now moving on….DAY 3  of the KPOP Halloween 13 Day Challenge (excluding weekends).

Today is….BIGBANG’s Monster.

BigBang was actually the very first KPOP band I ever really got into.  I first learned of them after being coerced into watching G Dragon’s “Crayon” (shocking it didn’t scare me away right?) and then learned about the band.  After that…it was 6 months of nothing but BigBang.  That was in the fall/winter of 2013.  And now it’s the fall of 2015…Can’t believe it.

Anyway, it’s very obvious why this made the list.  G Dragon with devil horns.  Taeyang with…a humpback? And they all have creepy eyes.  And the name of the song is Monster.  Pretty much a no brainer.

Ever since Big Bang has made their comeback, I just don’t feel the same way about them that I did back in 2013.  It’s for a fair amount of reasons, but a glaring one is : the comeback.

After waiting for 3ish years, I was less than estatic with the songs they chose to release.  Yes “Loser” and “Sober” are great, but “BaeBae” wants me to be able to unhear a song.  With 3 years of nothing, BB puts out MADE series and while I know a lot of their fans (it really seems international fans) are really happy with it, but most of my friends aren’t pleased.  It seems weak, and average.

It felt like another GDXTY album with the rest of the featuring.  Daesung once again is so underused and Seungri is kind of just there.

I think with current popular artists that gained popularity while BB went on a hiatus, they have been able to fill BB gap well to the point where I almost don’t miss BB.

Now they will always have such a special place in my KPOP heart…but they are like a first love. I hope their new album that is supposed to be released following the end of their world tour will have more of the BB that I really fell for at first.

Anyway….after that rant….enjoy Big Bang’s Monster!

It’s a Lotte World After All

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While not quite Disney World, Lotte world is a pretty awesome place. Especially if the lines aren’t that long due to MERS.

I went on a Friday because my school was closed like so many in Gyeonggi-do. I hadn’t planned on going to Seoul but since I had already been stuck in my apartment for the past week due to sickness I wanted to get out.  So I went with the friends I made at GIFLE.

We stayed in Hongdae but they wanted to go to Lotte World which is located in Jamsil.  So we took the metro all the way to Jamsil on Line 2.  It was about a 35 min ride.  But no transfers so it worked out well.

We had to wait for the others so we killed time by wandering around the mall part and even found a studio Ghibili store! I bought a Howl’s Moving caslte figure for S to put in her care package.

After wandering we went to find the park.  It is a little hard to find because when you come out of the Jamsil station instead of walking straight to the mall, you need to make a turn.  If you miss it, you will continue walking into the mall, the opposite direction of the park.  If you pass the studio ghibili store ( on your right hand side) you are going the wrong way.  Turn around and you will magically see signs pointing you in the right direction.

Because we had been going the wrong way we failed to see the obvious signs.

When we got to the park we paid our money.  Now there are two choices: one is just general admission but no rides while the other is 11$ more but you ride the rides.  If you aren’t a person who likes rides, or can only tolerate one or two rides, I would suggest you get general admission (and then use a friends ticket for the one ride you want to go on-yeah not totally legal but hey ) But if you are like me and want to ride everything in sight then it’s worth it to pay the extra.

You will enter on the second level.  The bottom floor is an ice rink. There isn’t much to do on the second level but if you go up  a level there are rides and entertainment.  We went on the Caroseoul, pirate ship, tea cups- most of my group wasn’t into rides.  I did however skip out on the haunted house because I am terrified of stuff like that.  We also managed to find Dippin Dots!!

The inside is nice but it wasn’t anything that great and I was regretting my decision to spend extra to ride rides….until we found that there is an outside part!

Going up to the next level you are able to reach the outside park.  I knew there was an outside part- I had seen in when Big Bang went to Lotte World.

There are more extreme rides like the Gyro Drop, Gyro Spin, roller coaster, swings etc.  It wasn’t huge but for being in the heart of a city it was decently sized.  Of course i ran around like an idiot because I love the extreme rides and hey who doesn’t like to run around like a kid at amusement parks?

The roller coaster is actually pretty good.  It’s an indoor/outdoor combo.  I’m a roller coaster junkie-King da Ka anyone?   But i was decently pleased. My friend went to Everland yesterday so I will have to check that out sometime since it’s right here in Gyeonggi-do.

We stayed until about 9pm and then headed back to Hongdae. I hadn’t exerted so much engery for over a week so I was exhausted but the others wanted to go clubbing.  So I gathered myself and we managed to head out around 11.  But the person who was in charge of leading us didn’t know where she was going and the people we were supposed to meet were already drunk.  So we wandered for an hour around Hongdae.

Now I’m not saying a Seoulite but I’m pretty comfortable finding my way around on the subway and certain parts of the city and the people I usually go to Seoul with are also able to find there way around.

But this time, these new people didn’t know where to go and mostly just followed me around like lost puppies.  It was a little annoying and tiring but I guess I was the same way when I first got to Seoul.

When we wound up getting to the club we were supposed to get to  I already knew that I was already way too old for this kind of life.

We went first to Go Go’s 2.  Because I couldn’t find directions anywhere I will post them real quick. If you walk up the street that takes you up to Hongkik University-it’s right across from Exit 1 at Hongkik U. station-up that hill, make a right when you can’t go any further and keep walking down that road.  You will pass a side street that will take you to the playground-keep going- and then you will walk by a bunch of shops and bars people will be hanging around outside.  You will see a 7-11 on your right hand side and a starbucks across the street on your left hand side.  Turn right at that road and you will see a street lined with bars and clubs and both Go Go’s is right there.

Go Go’s 2-the best description is an adults version of a frat party.  I even saw a red solo cup.  I guess Korea doesn’t have frats and sororities so this is the best they can do.  Needless to say my 22 year old friends are just at the age where this is still super fun because they can legally drink.  However at 25 I am past that life and can’t really keep up any more.  I’m not a big drinker and never really have.

After leaving  Go Go’s 2 we went to Go Go’s 1 which is right down the street-it’s more of a bar and less of a club but just as crazy.

I won’t go into detail but there was a bunch of drama.  It was like being back in college again.  I had no interest.  We got back to our hostel around 4 where I promptly took a shower and then crashed.

The following day the two friends I stayed with in Hongdae and I wandered around Hongdae for a bit.  We had our breakfast at Travel Maker-right near Hongki U. station exit 3. Make a left when you come out of the exit and keep walking down the street. It will be on your left hand side.  It specializes in American breakfast so for all you expats you can get your fill of breakfast that we all miss.

Then due to the lack of sleep I suggested we go to Yeouido and relax by the river.  So we headed out-took the subway to Yeouinaru stop ( this stop is literally on the Han River, Yeouido stop is more towards the city part of the island) and relaxed by the river for about 4 hours.  It was a nice day and we managed to find shade.  You can buy mats and sit on them or bring your own.  Many people bring tents which I wish we had but it makes no sense me to buy one.  If i move to Seoul and have better access to Yeouido then it might be different.

It was one of my favorite parts of the weekend if not my favorite part.  Relaxing and just talking was much much needed.  The others didn’t wake up until 4pm so we wound up eating without them and made our way back to Hongdae.

They had planned on going on a bar crawl but I had no interest in it.  Eventually once we met up with everyone else we chose as a group to go to one of our friends birthday parties near the playground instead.

The playground in Hongdae is literally an outdoor playground where vendors sell drinks, and people do dance battles and music.  Follow the directions listed above to Go Go’s-take that side street instead of walking by it.

We wound up meeting with some of our other friends and then they all wanted to go to Go Go’s again which we did.  We wound up leaving around 3 am this time and I was starting to really feel it- I had been doing nothing but sleeping on my couch for the past week eating soup and crackers -so my energy level was already low combined with late night partying- I was done.

I realized that while I really did love this kind of life style and craved clubbing and bars, I have officially out grown it.  I don’t mind hanging out a a bar earlier in the evening before completely drunken idiots take over.

At 25 I’ve officially passed into “adulthood” and have no enjoyment for it anymore and I’m not sad about it.  But because my friends are in the age where it’s still exciting and fun and cool, that’s what they were all about that weekend.  And I didn’t really enjoy it.

The following day we wound up having to check out by 11 am.  We bought our tickets home, stored out luggage and then headed to Myeongdong for some much needed shopping. We had to store out luggage at Hoeyeon station-the Namdaemun Market one- because Seoul Station was full and Myeongdong station has so many exits it’s a nightmare.

It was a hot day and the two others were recovering from the previous night.  And once again I was leading them because they had no idea where we were.  I love to look around Myeongdong but their interest was low.  So I bought what I needed (and maybe a little more) and then we headed over to the Namsan cable car. I had to finish up S’s care package and needed some new music for myself as well.  There are two really great music/kpop stores in underground Myeongdong.  They are both located in the underground shopping of exit 6.  They have a ton of stuff so if that is what you’re looking for you will leave a happy camper.

I had never taken the cable car before.  It’s a bit of a hike to get there.  I’m not one for directions but I believe it’s exit 3.  Then you have to walk up a hill-pass Pacific hotel (which should be on your left hand side) and continue walking, up a set of stairs, and then turn right and you will see the cable car building. That’s the best I can do.

The cable car isn’t that bad-its around 8$ for a round trip. It’s a short ride, like 1 1/2 minutes to the top but it’s really fun. If you are afraid of heights then I suggest you stand towards the middle because there are windows all around.

Already having been to Namsan once I already did the lock, N tower, and saw the show but one of my friends had never been there so we did the tourist thing with her.  I love the Myeongdong/Namsan area so I was content to just relax and enjoy the scenery.

Our train left at 5 so we made our way back to Seoul station and left.

Needless to say I have officially had my first crazy club drunken (not me) weekend in Seoul. I would have to say that is enough for me.  I prefer to do my slow, concert , shopping weekends.

Speaking of shopping….this country is built on shopping…and its oh so hard not to fall into the trap…and I did…and now I’m officially a sport shopper.  It’s insane.  But I’m trying to be better at it…but dropping 104,000 W at the music store….yeah.

Next time on the Real Black and White Dog Archives of Korea: mosquitos meeting their death, why June seems so much slower than april and may, and hyping up for Jurassic World!!!