Since this is my 25th birthday week, here are 25 random things that I've been up to lately. 1. Received with wild delight a bag of health foods I can't find in Korean (wheat germ, flax seeds, turbinado sugar, yoghurt starter) and two books, Modern Korean: An Intermediate Reader and God is the Gospel by John Piper. Said bag was hand delivered to me from the USA by kind blogger Sunny. Sunny is also married to a Korean man.2. Took Buggy Boy to the emergency room around midnight after DH and I swung him up by his arms and dislocated his elbow. Fortunately, the ER is just a few hundred yards from our apartment. Buggy cried terribly until they put him on the X-ray table. Then, his arm seemed to pop back into place and he was fine. We arrived home around 1 AM.
3. Went to see “Harry Potter: The Goblet of Fire” with my South African friend and was suitably scared. Came out the theater in a stupor. I still have the imagination of a child and am easily effected by movies.
4. Received phone call from in-laws stating the they were arriving in 1 hour to visit us—they live on the other side of the country. Then immediately received second phone call detailing that no, they were arriving in FIVE minutes. In the flurry of cleaning, my husband placed some boxes under the water dispenser and went out to meet his parents. The moment I turned my back on Buggy Boy, he climbed the boxes and dispensed hot water onto his hand. Yes, he cried a lot but not as much as I.
5. Discovered a newly opened American buffet nearby. It is considered a high-end restaurant here in Korea. Our first visit was quite enjoyable until Buggy stood up in his high chair and threw himself backwards onto the floor underneath table next to us (and there were people sitting at that table). So much for trying to be inconspicuous.
6. Was almost dancing in the book store when I found two books that only I would love: Pictorial Sino-Korean Characters and A First Reader in Korean Writing in Mixed Script. I bought them, of course, along with a chart of 1000 basic Chinese letters. It’s hanging in our shower now.
7. Bought a pressure cooker and successfully disregarded the instructions not to cook beans inside it. The beans were good.
8. Bought three Christmas stockings and filled my husbands stocking with chocolate. Then I ate all the chocolate. Filled the stocking again. Ate it all again. Maybe last minute gifts have some merit.
9. Watched Gone With the Wind and was fascinated. Also watched Alexander and was not disappointed in finding it to be just as disappointing as I expected. Yawn.
10. Received a sofa, bookcase, bed and miscellaneous items from my in-laws. My husband and I haven’t ever owned a sofa together so it is nice. Unfortunately, all the dust from the moving has brought on allergy attacks.
12. Above mentioned bed has a large stone instead of a mattress. It makes sleeping on a wood floor feel soft. But the stone is heated, and when I lie on it I feel a bit like a lizard.
13. “But you don’t look like an American!” Spoken to me by a Korean woman selling vegetables after I told her I am from America. Hmm. What does an American look like, I wonder? I suppose the only Americans that she has seen are on TV, and thus she is right. I bear no resemblance to Pamela Anderson.
14. “You don’t sound like an American. You have some kind of accent.” Spoken to me by a Black woman (who appeared to be American). What kind of accent, I don’t know. My husband comforted me by telling me that everyone has a accent. Humph. Maybe I’m been spending too much time with my South African friend or maybe I’m picking up a Korean accent.
15. Have finally discovered a large farmer’s market about a 25 minute walk away. Lots of fun! The vegetables there are about 1/3 to ¼ the price I used to pay in the supermarket. Horrified my hubby by the massive amount of vegetables I bought. I had to hide them. Sweet potatoes, boiling potatoes, red and green cabbage, yard long burdock roots, mugwort, big carrots from China, red and green bell peppers, red and green Korean peppers, mixed bitter greens, lettuce, spinach, ginger, garlic, unknown green vegetables, broccoli
16. Was not surprised to learn that the number-one best selling book in Korea for this year is. . . . duh, duh, duh! The DaVinci Code! I’m not surprised because I frequently go to the bookstore and every time The DaVinci Code is prominently displayed in the bestseller section.
17. Had two very kind looking Jehovah’s Witnesses come by my apartment one morning. It made me sad to see them, since I believe they are deceived in their beliefs. Couldn’t say a lot to them because my Korean is limited, but I can pray.
19. Oh, yes, my hubby and I spent several weekends looking at apartments. Was surprised to see that, without exception, every apartment was far messier and more cluttered than ours, even though I have a toddler around. I thought we could move to a larger and better place with a bigger kitchen but I discovered that our place IS the larger and better place.
20. So, we’re not moving and we negotiated with our landlord to reduce our rent for next year. He did!
21. I made fabulous doughnuts with this recipe from Randi. Only change I made was to dissolve the yeast in the milk instead of putting it in the flour. Oh, and I added cinnamon inside and outside.
22. Made the joyful discovery that one can bake brownies, even cheesecakes, in a crockpot. You see, we don’t have an oven, and thus I hadn’t had a brownie since April 2004. Until last night. Just turn your crockpot on high, make whatever recipe of brownies you like, put it in a round pan that will fit in your crockpot, and then set the pan on top of a foil ring so that it won’t touch the bottom. Mine took about 90 minutes to bake.
23. Bought a VCD of a movie called “Dancer in the Dark” because the cover said it was set in a small town in Washington State (which is where I hail from) and it had one a film award at Cannes. I think it might be a fun movie. Fun. Ha! It was about the most depressing movie I’ve ever seen, even though extremely little violence is shown and the scenes move quite slowly. I liked it, but the end scene really was too much for me. SPOILER ALERT: When the main character gets executed by hanging in the end, I was pale. And I spent hours afterwards thinking about how gracefully I could face being hung. Not so gracefully, I think. But I’d rather not find out.
24. Forget to mention that before the snow came last week, I’ve been going out so much that Buggy and I are become famous around Incheon. There are lots of places to go. Within a short walk, I have two large parks, several theaters including IMAX, several McDonalds, Pizza Huts, Baskin Robbins, Outback Steakhouse, TGIF, Sorrento’s, Pasta Rita, three large supermarkets, two large and two small bookstores, our dentist, our doctor, the emergency room, lots of Korean, Chinese and Japanese restaurants, numerous cafes including Starbucks, three 10 story high department stores, an art center and museum, the city hall, a farmer’s market, at least six bakeries, and at least six playgrounds for small children, and so on. People all over the place recognize me.
25. To save the best for last, we got an offer from hubby’s co-worker to let us take a vacation in Phuket for free! We even found very inexpensive airline tickets.. So, we’ll be in Phuket, Thailand just days after the one-year anniversary of the Tsunami.
Whew! This was a loooong post. If you made it this far, than you must be my father or a kind friend. Thanks.