My favorite thing about living in Korea is the sheer amount of choices I have in terms of food and entertainment. You are never bored, that’s for sure. There is always something new to see, do and EAT! The awesome public transportation also makes it convenient and pretty cheap to travel around the whole country. Back home in NC, most of my conversations with friends consisted of “What do you wanna do?” “Dunno. What do you wanna do?” “Mall?” “Meh, okay.” Ain’t nobody got time for that in Korea. Choose a city to meet in, look up some matjips (popular food places) and crazy attractions (such as a local festival or a sex museum), then hop on a bus or subway. Or you could just go to a random city and wander around – you’d be surprised at how many great hole-in-the-wall shops and restaurants are hiding all around you. If you are more interested in hanging out in Seoul, here is what a typical weekend girly catch-up date may look like (the non-clubbing/barhopping version).
While living the foreign life of an expat has plenty of perks and adventures, one major downside is having to spend the holidays apart from your family and friends on opposite sides of the world. On top of that, my husband had to work the night shift on Christmas Eve! But before he had to leave for work at 10PM, he planned a lovely little Christmas Eve date-night that started as soon as I arrived home from work.
7/18 was Chobok (초복), the first of the “three hottest days of the year” in Korea. They are spaced ten days apart, so the second one (Jungbok / 중복) will be on 7/28 and the last one (Malbok / 말복) is on 8/7.
On these “especially hot” summer days, Koreans flock to restaurants that serve foods like Samgaetang or Baeksuk – basically boiled chicken served with rice porridge. They supposedly give you a burst of energy(?) in this crazy heat. Personally, it just makes me sweat even more haha but it tastes great so no complaints here!
After the baeksuk dinner, we wandered around looking for a patbingsoo place and stumbled upon an old-fashioned, quaint little cafe that’s been around since our parents were our age! Complete with record player and vintage posters. As we were leaving, the owner gave us a postcard with a photo of the cafe from way back when. So sweet! Continue reading
When I think of Hongdae, my mind immediately flashes back to my first couple of years in Korea. Back then, this trendy, busy college town was the perfect playground filled with my favorite bars and clubs blasting oldschool hiphop that I couldn’t find easily in other cities. Every Saturday night was spent squeezing through overcrowded dance floors with an overpriced cocktail in hand to claim enough territory to dance with my friends (and the occasional hot stranger). Thanks to Korea’s never-ending nightlife, the clubs stayed open til 6 in the morning. So after a crazy night of basically a whole week’s worth of cardio, we’d go out into the breaking dawn and ravenously devour hot spicy gamjatang (pork-rib stew, aka a type of “hangover soup”) in a hole-in-the-wall joint in one of the many dark alleyways. Continue reading