March 30, 2015

Winter in Korea

While nothing will ever compare to digging my car out of the Michigan snow each morning, Seoul still gets cold.  Windy, grey and cold.
Since utilities are quite expensive, we spent a lot of the winter in sweatshirts, making a serious dent in our Netflix queue. But we also took advantage of Seoul's indoor activities and escaped to Malaysia and India.

I started the holiday season by making multiple trips to the Indian embassy in the snow, while Andrew was working in sunny Australia. This is how I felt about it.
I tried to order a green Christmas tree, and realized I don't know the Korean words for colors when I opened the box containing our almost-neon-white Christmas tree.
As part of their office holiday party, the Samsung GSG employees/spouses can sign up to give speeches in Korean to win prizes. Since the thought of giving a PowerPoint presentation in Korean is terrifying, my language class learned several Christmas carols. We performed the songs for the office in what felt remarkably like a kindergarten Christmas show.

Indoor Activities: Jazz Club(s) // Basketball game with actual cheer leaders // Art Museum(s)

We went skiing in Pyeonchang, host city of the 2018 Winter Olympics! We had a great weekend, and enjoyed comparing the differences from a ski weekend in the States. For instance, bowing is a common respectful greeting in Korea (and East Asia in general). It's normal for someone providing you a service to bow as you enter or exit. In this case, the ski lift operator performs a deep bow as your chair reaches the top, as if to say "Welcome to this Mountain Top!"
After a day of skiing in the US, you go back to your cabin, drink boozy hot chocolate and play board games. In Korea, you go to karaoke and belt out their random assortment of English 90s songs. And you quickly realize that "Sweet Caroline" isn't a beloved song on this side of the world.

We attended a cooking class, learning to make kimchi and tteokbokki. It was a private lesson, since no one else braved the wind!

I dragged Andrew to the Sheep Cafe, because it's INSANE to me that a business exists in which you can simulatenously eat waffles and be near livestock named after Disney characters.

Since Andrew was working out of town for Thanksgiving, we defrosted the meal I'd made for the original holiday and had a belated celebration on a random Wednesday in March. Coincidentally, it was also the day we got two huge care packages of American snack foods, belated Christmas presents, early birthday presents and Girl Scout cookies!
(Fakesgiving was full of gluttony, so it was very much like real Thanksgiving).

…and we ate a lot of brunch.

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