Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Proper Weekend Again.

Lake Park in Ilsan

Monday was Korea's Memorial Day. We're in a bit of a season of holidays, and I like it. Since Dan's day was free, we decided to go visit Lake Park in Ilsan, a suburb of Seoul. We rode the Orange Line nearly to its end. We ate an exciting lunch in the Lotte Department Store basement food court after an exciting perusal of the samples (loads of fruit!) and the international foods aisles (clearance sale on candies and Dijon mustard for a dollar!). Then we made our way to Lake Park, a park rife with absolute bicycle and pedestrian traffic mayhem. We witnessed some grumpy grown male cyclists and some young boys well on their way. Bike bells making our heads spin. There were also cute kids doing cute things on various sets of wheels and several sets of badminton games. Overall, it was a mass of people gathered around a physically inaccessible man-made lake. I really wanted to put my feet in the water. Also, sadly, the Sanitation Museum was closed. True story about there being a museum for toilets.

I mentioned a move. This is the bulk of our stuff in Korean moving crates. They are a universal size and so stack up on each other. It's very smart. Thus far, having settled in the new place (which we really, really love), I have only misplaced one stack of photos that I think I tucked into a book somewhere.

I decided to melt down that messed up taffy and make Tootsie Roll style chews. Here is the process. It starts with cooled sugar (dark brown), which you pull into ropes (light brown), then twist and cut and wrap. Yay. And they were perfect Tootsie Rolls for a day, but then they adopted the texture of after-dinner mints, which is nice, but not tootsie. I think it's because I melted the mixture down three times in total before I got the temperature right, and chemistry is a science.

This was the beginning of our Monday. Bright pink rose bushes are everywhere in our new neighborhood.

This mall has been going up since we arrived in Korea. It is huge, and it is now down the street from us.

Fried Chicken.

We lunched at the Sunshine Kebabs kiosk. You can choose three sauces from four sauce categories. Did I say you can choose? I meant must choose. I wanted mayonnaise, which the guy didn't have, so I picked just barbecue, which prompted a dispute about how could I want only one sauce, which I lost, so I gave in and picked some onion thing, too. It was strange to be coerced into excessive condiment usage as I am used to having it my way, and I think they were the only two sauces even amenable to my current immune system. Then, Dan and I decided to share the sauced kebab and snag with it the 2 for $5 hot dog deal, which flavor up-selling we managed to deny.

Walking toward the lake behind a stylishly matched couple.

A towering sculpture and the first of many bikes to dodge.

We peered a group of students (the standing) rehearsing a choreographed dance for another group of students (the seated). I think Dan took video.

I should have taken more pictures of the abundance of people and transportation.

On the ped path through an archway of flowers.

To me, they looked like peonies, but I don't know much.

We found a willow tree under which to respite.

These ladies took their leave nearby, they with their sun hats and parasols and watermelon to eat.

Dan under the willow tree.

I think it might have been the prettiest spot in the whole park. We tried to come back to it later, but someone new had claimed it.

I think this was the Japanese section, but that structure looks pretty much Korean, doesn't it.

This was the Chinese structure.

Barefoot Ground. This is one of those rock walks for well-being. Dan regards them with disdain, but I think they are a fun invigoration. We saw some middle aged women walk around three times! Three! With no signs of stopping. Theirs are sturdier feet than our own.

There was a cactus exhibit. It was sort of dangerous with an erratic pathway and overhanging spines. We survived, though. I enjoy a good cactus show.

That's one supple succulent.

And holy heck, another weekend starts tomorrow. This one is bringing rain. Maybe I'll take pictures of our apartment. Maybe instead I'll make S'mores Cookies because weekends are for desserts.



  1. I love everything that you do and everywhere that you go.

    Also, I think you come up in my daily conversations frequently...somehow. Today, the subject of "socks" came up at work with one of our student workers. My first thought was "K Socks!" and I shared with her your Korean sock photos. She loved them, and then informed me that you were her camp counselor when she was in middle schools (Rebecca Owens).

    End of random story.

  2. But that is a really random story! Your life seems more serendipitous than most. I think I camp counseled for only two, maybe three, years. I wonder if hers was the year that I did the laborious bedtime countdown (every minute for ten, every second for the last minute; it was annoying enough to work).

    Thanks for keeping my memory alive at FCC and in America. As for the socks, I have two bins too full, and I wish I could start doing Baby KSocks, but Korea does not make a habit of selling those streetside.

  3. I love my serendipitous life.

    Just noticed I said "when she was in middle schools" and it makes me laugh. I speak the Spanglish.

    Your memory seems to keep itself alive here! There is a group of wonderful girls who have a glorious ghetto wall in their apartment. Flat Serenity is part of that wall in order to pay homage to you as one of the founders of such a marvel.

  4. What are you saying! That is the most flattering news of my life. The Ghetto Wall always was such an art installation. I wish we had taken better pictures of our own, but that was back when we had film cameras.

  5. I'm so glad Flat Serenity exists! I also wish you had pictures of that glorious wall...I only remember little pieces of it. I am realizing that I took maybe 1 picture per year of my college life, and that makes me very sad. I'm not sure what was wrong with me.

    This Fall, when "Ghetto Wall: The Next Generation" is taken out of summertime boxes and reinstalled, I'll try to remember to take pictures of it and send them to you.