Friday, 6 March 2015

Happy New Year!

I finally bought AC:NL on NYE and partied like an animal. In my pyjamas.
UPDATE: Again, this is another post that was just languishing in my drafts. Bad Bloggers of the Internet Unite!

New Year's Day was a holiday! Woo! was also cold and we were tired (what with it being just another random holiday in the middle of our working week) so we just stayed indoors and played with our new Korean Pokemon cards!

It's pretty fun because the rules are very simple (more simple than Yu-Gi-Oh! which I love, but it drains me a lot more mentally) and we try to do as much of it as possible in Korean (emphasis on try).

I was really worried at first, because with this game there are various effects and things that you use to your advantage, and obviously we don't know enough Korean for that.

What we quickly learned, however, is that it's like 60% Konglish (English written in Korean style) which makes it a bit easier to guess at what's going on. The rest is easy, because in the bottom corner of all the cards is a serial number. Thanks to the magic of the internet, we can search up this code and just find all of the information in English. Imagine doing that 15 years ago. Wow.

The next day, we went to celebrate a little bit more socially after school by rushing down to Gangnam to meet another Orientation friend (Nicolette).

To our shame (or merit) Nick and I hadn't been to Gangnam before now. I don't know if it was just a lack of time, interest, or avoiding the Gangnam Style stereotypes but either way it took us a while to get there. We headed to Butterfingers for an American-style all-day-artery-attack also known as 'breakfast'. Presumably, at 6pm, that makes it 'brinner' but we won't get into that.

Look at it, in all of its greasy, breakfasty glory.
Nick had a very Ron Swanson-esque overload of meat, while Nicolette (too many Nicks) and I shared a pancake platter where you get to try one of every flavour. Can I just say that, while it was really lovely and the pancakes were exquisitely fluffy, we were all in agreement that actually it was a bit disappointing. Why? Too healthy. There was just something missing from all of it. When you go for American food, you know what you're letting yourself in for. You're fully prepared for the grease, the salt, the excess of everything and carbs on carbs, and the consequent full-term food baby you're going to leave with in the end. What you're not expecting, is a really lovely, home-cooked feeling with lightly fried everything with the fat cut off and probably using a healthy sugar alternative.

Oh well, at least we had the food baby :p

I'll also add that the apple tea I had was amaaaaazing.
After that, we went over to our main destination, which was a DOG CAFE! Yaaaay~
I always worry about these places because there's always a chance it'll be gross, overcrowded with smelly, unhappy puppies. But I'd heard of this one and it seemed good.

We wound our way through several kissing gates (it's like being at home!) and found ourselves in an incredibly clean, spacious room that was surprisingly free of dog smells.

There weren't many dogs there, so there was a lot of space for them to run around and play, which was good, and they all seemed very content. There were only a few tables and chairs set out so I can only assume they let a handful of people in at any one time. The staff also seemed really lovely, playing with the dogs, running around with them, and immediately cleaning up any mess.

It felt more like a dog park that happened to be indoors. I think most of the dogs there were either attending their pet hotel or belonged to the patrons and/or owners rather than just poor pets cramped up in an attic for schoolgirls to squeal at and take selfies with.

One little cutie kept popping to our table to sit with us, and without prompting would hop up into the nearest free lap for a cuddle and a nap, then hopping down again when she'd had her fill. Her collar was especially adorable, with a fake scarf attached to it that went so well with her mousy fur. Very chic, little puppy! (All dogs are puppies forever, it's the rule. They know this. Hahaha.)

However, it was late, and as time went on, I'm pretty sure she fell asleep on me and I felt really bad about moving her when it was time to go. Sob sob.

On day 3, it was back into Seoul to meet up with Erin and Morgan (making the most of our time!) and also meet the new teachers Ben and Monica. We went in early for some exploration and errands, but not before I FINALLY bought Pokemon X with my birthday/Christmas money from home. Spending it wisely ;)

It's me! I'm even holding my Pikachu 3DS! HOW DID THEY KNOW?!
I like to think she's saying that with a tone of disbelief.

We ended up in Jongno, by the Changgyeonggung stream, which I've been meaning to explore more for a long time now, so I made the most of it by detouring along the little walkway beside it.

If I'm not much mistaken, this is a random chunk of the Berlin Wall, in the middle of Seoul. I don't know why.
Whale Skeleton
"Why is there a bear here? Why is the Berlin Wall here? What's happening?"

I finally found the stepping stones you can use to cross the stream. I'd been wanting to see this area for so long, but I wasn't really counting on seeing it in the frosty, icy winter. So that could be the reason for my scared face. That, or I've just seen how badly I've done my eyebrows.

I think I failed to take any more pictures past this point, which shows just how much fun we had (and how cold my hands were) but I did snap these pictures from Snowspoon where Nick bought the most enormous froyo for one, whereas I had a more respectable (but much less coordinated in flavour, I suppose) serving.

We explored Hongdae for a while and took in the sights, almost exactly reliving the same tour Nick and I had in our early days in Korea, and being quite amazed at how much of it now felt so familiar to us.

Finally, after many months, I found 3CE and got to look around. I was disappointed.

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