Week 14, 2017

We started phone speaking this week. We have to call every student and ask them leveled conversation and speaking/reading questions for five minutes, after classes have ended. It makes the work week more hectic and rushed and everyone is so glad once it’s all over. I am a bit lucky because I don’t have to call the 36 students in the lowest level because that would just be disastrous. Buuut I do have 56 other students I have to call.

I got my eyebrows touched up last Friday and they’ve calmed down quite a bit since then, thankfully. They were embarrassingly too dark.

Wednesday I bought a ticket to the Hiphopplaya Festival in Seoul. I had been planning on going to this since February when I saw the tickets on a ticketing website but I had forgotten all about it and then I sent a majority of my money home so I wasn’t able to purchase a ticket and still pay bills and, you know, eat food. I was talking to my friend, 보라 , and she said I ~had~ to go. She sent me the money to buy the ticket!!! This was to be my birthday present. Ohmaigawd! Best birthday present in recent memory! So I ordered the ticket. I also asked my dad to take some money out of a savings account for me and put it in my American account so I could stay in Seoul and not have to worry about public transportation after the event.

Thursday I booked two nights at a hostel near Hapjeong Station in Seoul.

Friday my classes and phone speaking whizzed by and I was out the door, on the way to Seoul. I arrived at The Lazy Fox hostel shortly after 10:30 pm. I immediately took a shower because after taking a bus and two different trains, I was a sweaty mess. After, I went to the common room to chill and meet the others staying there. They were, of course, already several shots into soju. A majority of them decided to go out in Hongdae but I knew I had a full day ahead so I stayed behind.

Saturday came and I was nauseously excited. I got all my stuff and set out on my journey. I knew there was a shuttle bus but I couldn’t figure out where it picked people up at and I was too lazy to look into the matter further so I just took a taxi.

img_0960

The first set was Hash Swan, 김효은, and Changmo. I’m a bit sad I didn’t get more video of Hash Swan…

Changmo

The second set was Rhythm Power

After these first two sets, I got tired of being shoved and left the festival to get water because I was not about to pay music festival prices for bottled water…on the way back I saw this gem:

That is a little boy who doesn’t give a shit about anything and decided he’d had enough of skateboarding, plopped down on the ramp, and took a rest. I can relate to him.

After I reentered the venue, I claimed a plot in the picnic area and may have fallen asleep at some point. This was a great place to people watch though! I had a view of a man who was intoxicated beyond comprehension that was just feeling the vibes of the music.

I didn’t go back to the standing/shoving area until Jay Park and Loco came back on… by then it was dark and had gotten chilly so I was in need of the collective warmth.​

​ Jay Park, of course, did the ever predictable 몸매 where he takes off his shirt, shakes his ass, and does body rolls; but I’m not complaining – this is my second time seeing it in concert…

I left during the last set and caught the shuttle bus back to the subway and then to the hostel where a majority were planning on going to noraebang. I tagged along. It just added to the fun of my super long day.

The thing about staying at hostels is – you have to deal with other people’s bullshit. I stayed in a room with three sets of bunk beds. One of the girls kept ignoring her alarm so it would go off and automatically go to snooze. By the third time this happened at 4:30 in the morning, I swung down from the top bunk and screamed in her face that she should either get the fuck up or I was going to result to violently turning her alarm off for her. Another girl had the WORST body odor I have smelled in a long time. Also, when she took her shoes off at noraebang her feet were so rank… I semi-enjoy being able to pay $29 USD for two nights of sleeping in a tiny ass cot but that was just too much for me.

My olfactory glands had not yet recovered when, I boarded the train to come back home this morning I was again assaulted with b.o., poo, and feet smell. At first, I thought it was an old lady then I realized the train car was damn near empty further down. There was a homeless man passed out with his shoes off. He looked super dirty and had chunks of ??? idek in his hair. I had to put on my face mask to hide the fact that I was gagging. I did, in fact, throw up in my mouth on one occasion. Luckily, someone complained and the conductor came, woke the dude up, and got him off the train. Ooh did that smell linger though.

I made it home, got brunch, put some laundry in the washing machine, and took a two hour nap.

First Hostel Experience and Itaewon Travels

Friday after work, Sean, Brittany, and I hopped on a bus and headed to Seoul a little after ten and after getting off the bus and taking the subway the remainder of the way, we arrived at our hostel not long after an hour had passed. We dumped off our packs and headed out to explore. Elizabeth, who works on the other side of Suwon, was arriving a bit later and met us out and about.


Expensive cars errywurr, yo.


We went to this bar that had really random taste in music but seemed to be a pretty popular place and the beer was reasonably-ish priced. We met a really attractive Egyptian man who was there on business and he bought us a round of drinks after he realized I was drink-less. (So, being cheap and refusing to buy your own drinks, while not being a huge boozer to begin with, pays off sometimes.) He dropped off our drinks, we said thank you, and he went on to the next group of peeps to mingle with.


That says, “transgender bar,” I don’t know what all that entails but Sean and I were pretty proud to be able to read that.

After that we decided we wanted to actually dance and went to a club down the way. The music was better, but still not really my taste; I clearly didn’t mind because I danced so much I had sweat invading my eyeballs. My back started to hurt and I got tired around 3 am and tried to walk back to the hostel alone without getting lost. (I really should stop being confident about where I’m going, because I have no clue.) I stopped off to get a travel kit at the convenience store and didn’t realize the hostel was right across the street. I did, however, cross the street but just kept walking then realized I didn’t recognize anything and turned around. *face palm*  Then I had to walk up four flights of stairs, ew. I showered; it was awkward because I haven’t used a communal bathroom for like twelve years so it caught me off guard every time I heard the door open, but I was honestly too tired and a little tipsy to care.

We all woke up, my back was still killing me, and went to eat traditional Korean food for lunch. We originally decided on Indian but it was too expensive for everyone’s budget. I was pretty disappointed I couldn’t eat Tandoori Chicken. We went to go to the fish market because Brittany wanted to eat the wiggling cut up octopus; as I’m morally against eating one of my favorite animals and my back was killing me I opted to sit at a cafe, chug water, and take ibuprofen. Sean wasn’t into some aspect of the fish market either and he stayed behind with me and we people watched. We also had a time trying to find a western toilet. Having back pain plus only bringing one pair of pants for this trip, I was not about to fuck with those squat toilets – no thanks.

We went back to the hostel, made friends with some people that were staying there, watched random Korean television, loafed on the couch, and ordered in Koreanized Chinese food. We were supposed to go to Namsan Tower, which I’m sure was beautiful, but Elizabeth, Sean, and I weren’t feeling it. Brittany tried to go by herself but the bus didn’t stop at her bus stop so she just came back. The hostel had a beer pong night set up so I watched and everyone else played. We talked more to the others staying there and it was pretty cool – lots of seasoned travelers.


View from the top.


Later we went back to the first bar we went to the night before with a new hostel friend. The atmosphere was totally different. Better music and more people. There wasn’t really a designated dance space but if you know me, you know I will dance just about anywhere. While dancing I befriended a really REALLY drunk girl from Uzbekistan, so that was cool. She seemed really stoked that I was the first Uzbek person I’ve talked to. Because of the amount of people in the bar and influence of alcohol, I wasn’t really paying attention to what my hands were doing or where they were going – I was twisting my arms about my body when my hand made contact with this dude’s butt. He was like super annoying about it too saying shit like, “If you’re going to touch my butt, at least let me know first,” and I was all like, “dude, no. I don’t want to and didn’t want to. It’s called we both weren’t aware of each other’s proximity to each other, fuck off.” I danced some more and called it a night shortly after. I took a shower and decided I was against eating my random bag of cookies in my bunk so I went out and chilled in the common area with some other people.

Elizabeth went to church and Brittany and I went to Gyeongbok Palace. I had to purchase a new transit (T Money) card because I seemed to have lost my other one. It was raining so it made out commute a bit more interesting. There was a National Geographic DSLR exhibit on our way out of the train station. We got to vote on three photos we liked the best.


While we were en route, Sean messaged saying that he was just going to go back to Suwon. We made it to the palace and there weren’t loads of people there because of the rain, which was a perk. It was super pretty. I would have liked to roam around more but my shoes were soaked and I was still tired from the night before.


On our way back one of the escalators was out of order and I thought I was going to die! Brittany and I already joked that I was too good for stairs before seeing this and I said “oh helllllllllllll noooooooooo,” when I saw that. There must have been over 100 stairs I had to climb with people behind me so I can’t stop or go slow. I never want to see that many stairs ever again.


After all those stairs we decided we wanted to go home too. Two train transfers and a cab ride later, I was home by 3:30 and then it started to downpour. I did the bulk of my laundry immediately so I don’t have to anything tomorrow and can be the loafer I was destined to be.