Last weekend was a really busy one where we went to a few cool new places and basically hung out alot with some of our coworkers. Friday night we all went out for dinner (which is usually what we do to reward ourselves for getting through the long week) and this time we decided to check out the only Italian restaurant in Gimpo. Visually it was really pretty and my lasagne was yummy, although poor Matt had less luck with his meal. I'd probably go back sometime.
Matt was really cheery until he tasted the asparagus and prawn pasta of death.
Afterwards Joi, Paige and Kelly went home and Elly, Jon, Matt and I decided to go bowling. Cleverly I paired myself with Elly, as opposed to Matt. I'm sorry, my desire to win clouds my normally loyal tendencies. Granted, the last time we went bowling Matt still had a fractured foot but I can still remember all the times before the foot incidence where he really sucked. It turns out that I was wise in my team choice since Elly and I are awesome, Jon is an okay bowler but lacks any kind of competitive instinct, and well, Matt sucks. I also enjoy the Korean tradition of "Loser's Pay".
On Saturday Jon, Matt and I met up with Kelly in Insadong [Seoul] at the recently opened Bandi's and Luni's bookstore (there is another one in Gangnam but that's pretty far away from us). It was really beautiful and everything was decorated for Christmas. I bought some Korean Christmas cards and we looked around at the English book section for ages. We also purchased some more books to learn Korean, as Kelly has gratiously offered to help us learn. Afterwards we looked around Insadong and Kelly showed us a free Korean art gallery. Then we had a cheap but delicious Korean meal (I had the barbequed beef soup/stew) and went for coffee/dessert and talked for ages about everything you can think of. The coffee shop we went to was nice but a bit hilarious with its decor. I felt like I was either trapped inside of a Valentine's teddy bear or a bad 70s porn movie- complete with elevator-esque muzak. I had a really yummy chocolate milkshake and Jon learned that the perfect amount of time to steep tea is 3 minutes. His green tea arrived with it's own "3 minute glass".
You're only 3 minutes away from tea perfection!
Play that funky muzak!
On Sunday we were very tempted to stay in but then the thought of just hanging out at the apartment and wasting the day was too depressing to bear so we took the long journey into Seoul once more. We ended up at the COEX Mall which was a pretty cool place but is really far away from where we live so I doubt we'll be going there much. We wandered around for quite awhile before deciding to get something to eat (I had a chicken quesadilla that was altogether too garlicy and I ended up feeling a bit blah the rest of the evening) and then checking out the aquarium. On route to the aquarium we stopped and looked at the huge movie theatre (it was called Mega something or other) where we discovered odd movie advertisement things where you can sit and pose and where they have previews of the movie playing on a TV in the display. Took some pictures, of course.
The aquarium turned out to be really excellent and fun, although at first I was a bit worried because all of the information about the fish, etc was in Korean and there was very limited English. However, the displays were so cool that it didn't matter much and deeper into the exhibits there was Korean and English information. I took a million pictures so I'll only post some highlights here and the rest you'll have to go to my photobucket. Something that was really cool about this aquarium and that I hadn't experienced before was that alot of the tanks were open at the top so you could actually see the fish and stick your hand in the water (although I am sure you're not supposed and it's dangerous, etc). They also had a section where you got to touch shells and starfish and that kind of thing. They had some really huge fish and a giant turtle and a number of sharks. The one section that really cracked me up was the "Arctic" section where they had a big polar bear picture on the wall and a snow machine that you could stand under and get snowed on. Here are a few photographic highlights for your viewing pleasure:
If you can't tell, there are tons of fish nibbling at my fingers.
Us in front of the piranhas.