So my Christmas started on a train to Daegu with a super cool co-worker from the Busan branch. I learned a few more Korean words (like left, right, how to ask for a number of something, like: can I get 2 coffees, please?, as well as “please take me...”) I was also introduced to the Korean alphabet which I'm very anxious to learn. I got to Daegu fifteen minutes to Christmas and Jaime was at the station waiting for me.
We ventured out in her neighborhood after dropping my bags off and were in the mood for pork and fried chicken. Thanks to my handy dandy Korean phrase book, we got pork and fried chicken.... which was probably the next best Christmas present (after the plant that Jaime got me for my humble abode.) We stayed out until about 2am and talked a bit into the night and slept in until around 10:30.. just in time to talk with our family's for their Christmas Eve :-)
Tonight there was a MoonKkang gathering at Hof and Joy so Jaime and I made our way there with another MoonKkanger. We cut through the Chilseong Market which included a variety of fresh fish, dry fish, fruits and vegis, and even a monster bunny on a dog chain... just chillin’ out. I always enjoy walking through a more rural area with lots of Korean people because the reaction of fair skinned people is kind of amusing. Especially from kids. They like to point. I always smile and try to whisper “Ahng yawng!”... “hello!” The kids are so beautiful :-) I actually had a couple little girls jump out of their seats across from me on the subway tonight and kind of push each other to see who would sit next to me. You can’t help but laugh when something like this happens, because usually they’re super shy.
During our walk three people said “Merry Christmas” to us... which made it feel a little more like Christmas, despite the lack of snow and decorations. (The Christmas tree in the subway station-- which Jaime and I took pictures in front of-- was actually the first one I’ve seen.)
We got to have turkey tonight, which was a big treat since I missed Thanksgiving at home this year as well. Jaime and I enjoyed sharing a pitcher of soju and cranberry juice. Again... soju is like rubbing alcohol (or the cheapest vodka you can find at home... but you can’t really tell when it’s mixed with cranberry juice.) The glasses are also half the size of glasses at home so I never really feel like I’m drinking much. But be warned. Soju is potent. One pitcher was enough. The beer here (either Hite or Cass) however is like drinking watered down budweiser.... mmm. Not really.
(More bars....... more beer....)
After the yankee swap (or what they called “Bad Santa”) we headed out a bit early, ventured to Home Plus for Bailey’s for tomorrow night. I also still can never help but take pictures of the food I see in all the glass cases that you wouldn’t normally see back at home. Like itty bitty crabs mixed in some kind of kimchi-looking salad deal.(see below) I always feel like a tourist taking pictures, but I never get a disgusted look for doing it (like you may get if you were doing the same thing back home.) They just stare and smile at me from behind the counter.
We ended our night with some skype calls... and later on a bit of an emotional moment.. that was totally needed. I’m now feeling ready for a new adventure tomorrow. Miss you family. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.