Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekend (8.3 - 8.4): Café Marathon, Local Art, Indian Food, and Back Sweat

This Saturday involved a marathon cafe-themed outing with an old high school friend and new coworker who just moved here at almost exactly the same time. 

We hit Myeongdong and went clothes shopping first. I spent too much money at Forever 21, and unfortunately, it was on very sensible things. Kim shared some of her treasure trove of knowledge concerning Korean skin care brands and products with Faith, and now I want to make videos of her and upload them so she can impart her knowledge unto the world :P

It was really hot and muggy and we got caught in the rain a bit. Since we were all kind of broke, we lunched at a little Korean restaurant in a basement, which sounds a lot sketchier than it was. The place was actually pretty big and popular, and basic local food is always the cheapest option. For a few seconds I convinced Faith that she needed to keep an eye on our stuff while we got water, because "bags get snatched in these kinds of places a lot". Oh lol, nothing ever gets stolen in Korea unless it's by another whitey!

Afterward we hit up one of Myeongdong's many cat cafes.

We got a middle-aged American guy we affectionately referred to as "dad" (though not to his face; because people from the same country miraculously ending up in the same touristy place at the same time must know each other) to take a nice blurry photo of us, hence the retake below. THANKS FOR NOTHING, DAD. 
Side note: every time I see/hear other Americans, I wonder if I'm as annoying as they are and remind myself to knock it off, and then figure they're probably thinking the same thing :(

At one point, while we were sitting at our table talking, I heard a scratching in the wall my shoulder was leaning against and was starting to say "I wonder what that -" when a cat exploded out of a small rectangular hole cut into the wall above our table, ran across it, jumped off, and scared the shit out of us in the process. It was great. They should have those everywhere. Except maybe in movie theatres and dentists' offices and stuff.

One cat had a ridiculously fat, fluffy, smashed face and we couldn't stop laughing after Faith said he looked like Teddy Roosevelt, because it was true.

There was also one very large white cat that just hung out by the automatic glass door and kept trying to escape. He was very friendly and meowed at people and rubbed against their legs and whatnot, but he was clearly jonesing for freedom and did indeed get out at one point.

When the cats (and chihuahua) grew tiresome, we set off further up the blue line to CapiCapi LoomLoom, Kim's Rilakkuma cafe Mecca. 

To get there, go out Exit 1 at Sungshin Womens' University and head up into the buildings, away from the main street you're on. Keep walking until you see the Greenwich Cafe, and turn left. It'll be a little ways down this road on the right.

INAPPROPRIATE. Oh, it's a baguette.

We each got a frappe: one mocha, one pistachio and one cherry-berry. And we shared an order of 팥빙스 with a choco-hazlenut drizzle on top. It was obscene. The frappes (at about 5800 won apiece) are just like full-sized fat American milkshakes, except they come in better flavours. The mountain of shaved ice was also inexpensive not only for its size, but for the amount and quality of toppings it had as well. 

While we were sitting there - Kim on an enormous Rilakkuma and Faith on a big flat Capibarasan - I was like, "You know, I don't even want to guess how many calories are - " before Faith cut me off with a "Shhhhh. Shhhh." We nearly lapsed into a sugar coma. It was wonderful and would be a delicious way to die.

It was hot and we were sleepy, but we trudged on. Neither Faith nor Kim had ever been to Itaewon and there was a small night art market at Gallery Golmok that night, so that was next on the itinerary. There were a few nice watercolours and some cute jewelry. The pics are crap, sorry.

We couldn't really decide on what real food to eat, mostly because it's a pain in the ass going to a restaurant with me, but also because Itaewon is really trendy among Koreans nowadays and that's driven prices up. Everyone was okay with Indian so we made it to good 'ol Taj Palace and just sat in the air conditioning for several minutes, each of us either on the verge of fainting or melting. We had been making jokes about how much we love back sweat all afternoon, and how awesome it is to feel absolutely disgusting. 

I showed them the two biggest foreign food markets after we ate, and we then attempted to find an elusive Australian bar and failed. It was too hot to press on; morale and supplies were low. We decided to call it and headed home. Phew!

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