Wednesday, January 26, 2011


First off, I am sitting at my (well Paul's) computer drinking none other than a Sam Adam's Winter Lager. And it only cost me 3,000 won at the local Filipino mart. Ahh the taste of home or at least of good beer.

Last night with the BBoys was a total blast. I went over to Apujeong (the ritzy area of Seoul) early so I could find the venue and study while I wait for Paul to join me. I wandered followed the directions from Platoons website: go out exit 3 walk straight for about 15 minutes. Well I know I walk faster than Koreans, so after about 20 minutes of walking I stop into a Starbuck's. Of course, I can't figure out how to log into their Korean password protected internet on my iPhone (thanks Henry!) so I go to the next coffee shop, Cafe Bene. These shops are popping up more than Starbuck's circa 1997. There's got to be one on every block throughout all of Seoul. This is a good thing though. Despite their 4,000 won Americanos, they also have waffles and gelato! And they're warming decorated and have wifi (ah hem Starbuck's). I find my bearings and discover I need to make 2 more turns back in the direction I came from and walk an additional 15 minutes. Did I mention it's been in the negative teens (C) for the past month!? Anyway, I finally find the place and it's awesome. It's what I guess you could describe as an "art house." The building is all windows facing the street and is completely made of shipping containers. According to their website, the entire thing can be taken apart and rebuilt in a new location. Cool I guess. When you go in you immediately see a bar/cafeteria area. On the right there's a large open space and above is a projector. There are several levels of seating on the periphery of the room, and even a couple box seats (probably more like the projector room).

Looks cool, but there's studying to do. I make my way to a Tom and Tom's (the Zoo Coffee was a few blocks away :( ) and sit and study, and I quote, "autoregressive conditional heteroskedacity." Yes, I do know what that means, how to test for it, and how to correct it. CFA i own you.

Paul comes and meets me, surprisingly doesn't get lost. This is probably due to my amazing abbreviated text message directions. We go to Platoon to get some dinner. Their website promises traditional German fare, including, German pizza ish thing which we were going to get. As we approach the front of the line, they take the menus off the bar and say food service will be held for 30 mins. Sweet, the movie starts in an hour and we're hungry. So instead of eating at the venue to hold good seats, we venture out into the cold into the depths of a new foreign neighborhood. We walk just a few feet when we see a large sign with pictures of seafood red (which means spicy!) soup for 6,000 won. Only as we're passing through the door do I notice it's a Chinese restaurant. I HATE Chinese food. I don't like it in America, I don't like it in China, and I assume I won't like it in Korea either. Although, I do really enjoy dim sum. I try to put on my I'll-try-anything face and we sit. We're greeted with hot tea, yellow radishy things (Korean), and Chinese pepper/cabbage stuff. A good start. I order the gochu (pepper) haemul (seafood) tang (soup) (myeon) noodles. We looks at the one below and it says pa-something-tang myeon. We know it's noodles so Paul puts on his adventure face and orders that.

Less than 10 minutes later and we both have huge piping hot bowls of soup and noodles. Oh boy! Mine is blazing red with shrimp, real ones! not the crappy little ones you get at a kimbap cheonguk! all sorts of shells, squid and mushrooms. Paul's is essentially the same thing except with a brown broth. They were both really good. It was still a little too Chinesey (see greasy) for my taste, but the best Chinese I've had in a looong time.

Anyway, time to go to the movie. We walk back 30 minutes later and it's wall to wall people. We're informed there are no more seats but we can go get camping style fold open stools. We find a good spot and sit. We sit here for 2+ hours on little tiny ass stools. By the end my shoulders and back are stiff. The movie was great though! The director came out and introduced the movie, then it began. It focused on the world championship of bboying. If you've never watching break dancing, you should watch this movie or at least youtube it, it really is impressive. They followed the leading teams, USA, 2 South Korea teams, France, and Japan, and gave little back stories about the dancers. Then they showed the finale. Totally impressive and it totally makes me want to go see the BBoy and the Ballerina again! Post movie was a Q&A with the director, which I could have done without, and then they brought out some dancers. Some were local and some were from the movie. It was amazing!!! I need to hit the gym ASAP and work on my headspins!!

Twas a lovely night out, sans drinking, which is rare here trust me, and I was still home and in bed by midnight. Asa.

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