Thursday, 5 March 2015

Post-Christmas Rush

UPDATE: I've just found this tucked away in my drafts more than a month after I'd written it. I don't know why I never posted it!

It feels like I haven't posted anything in ages, but I've realised that actually it's only been about 2 weeks so now I a) don't feel bad but also b) am quite horrified at how quickly time feels like it's going by. It's been a busy 2-3 weeks though, so I hope you'll let me off.

So, the weekend after Christmas we finally had a chance to meet up with our Orientation friends. What cruelty is this, giving us friends then making them live in all different corners of the country?

We met up with Cherie, who had to come via Seoul anyway, and got on the train to Hongseong. What we didn't realise, is that Hongseong is actually REALLY FAR AWAY. Also, the fact that we'd be buying proper train tickets, not paying with our subway cards. (Maybe everyone else knew this, but I didn't, haha)

The result was us buying tickets for a train that was ages away, and not getting reserved seats because a) it's the super busy winter period on a weekend and b) we didn't think it'd be that long of a journey. Oops. (I seem to be really enjoying lettered lists today, sorry)

2 or 3 hours later, and several hours late, we finally reached Justin's place (after an exciting, frosty walk in possibly the most remote place I've been to in Korea so far, although that's not saying much)

We ate food and tried to make gummy bear soju (red was great, green...not so much), and mug cakes (which we ended up being too full to eat) and generally made the most of the toasty ondol. We ended up staying the night and heading back very early the next morning before the sun was even up.

After making our train and dozing for most of the journey, waking only to snap a few shots of the lovely snowy countryside and sunrise, we headed home for a quick freshen-up before heading BACK to Seoul to visit a Pokemon exhibition we'd seen advertised.

Being 90s kids, Pokemon was and kind of still is a big deal for us. Considering we had to miss the infamous Pikachu parade a few months ago, we were pretty stoked for this.

We wandered around the place it was supposedly in (just your standard gigantic Shinsegae dealio) accompanied by "are you sure it's here?" "I can't see anything" only to stumble upon an enormous Pikachu head suspended from the ceiling. Was is a warning to other Pikachu to not enter the area? Was this a brutal Pokemon bandit camp?

Thankfully, no. It turns out that dismemberment is just one of the many ways we can signify SOMETHING FUN IS HAPPENING, and bustling below the floating head was a pop-up Pokemon Centre. Whilst it was quite small, it was nice to see something like this in Korea that had all the essentials as well as a screen showing new eps of the TV show (it's STILL going?!) but in Korean. Ash still sounds funny.

After impulse-buying some Pokemon cards and various Pikachu accessories (whilst pointedly avoiding the bountiful display of adorable Pokemon plush toys) we headed upstairs to see if there was anything else around.

We found a very cute art gallery of Pokemon-themed artworks submitted by the children of Korea. Kids over here all seem to be REALLY good at drawing, I don't understand this but it's incredible.

Me and my Pika ears
After that, we bid our goodbyes to Cherie and made our way to our next appointment, cashing in my birthday voucher with Erin and Morgan which was basically one final baking day of fun before they cruelly rip themselves away from our clutches back to their home country. How dare they.

We ended up making apple crumble, which was great, and drinking various herbal teas whilst descending into a delirious state culminating in us rolling on the heated floor playing some sort of Hungry Hungry hippos game with Nick's Chapstick. I'm not sure how that happened but I'll cherish that memory in the dark times. (No but really, we're gonna miss you guys ㅠㅠ)

"Nick, memorise her outfit for me so I can draw her when I wake up"
All good things come to an end, and we slept our way back home on the subway, with me having just enough energy to doodle this adorable lady I saw sat across from us.

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