Sunday, December 29, 2013

Retracing steps

Once I graduate from school, I will no longer have these lengthy breaks to come home that often. With that knowledge, I think I've been trying to "take it in" more this time around. After this winter break and maybe the next, who knows when I'll have a chance to just relax here like this?

Fully healthy now and with no academic obligations in sight, I've been getting out of the apartment more instead of just checking things off my movies-to-watch list (crossed off now: A Man and a Woman, Strangers on a Train, and Brief Encounter). A few days ago, I took the bus all the way to the Apgujeong/Sinsa area, which is the place I used to work a few years ago while I was in Korea. I often took the bus there because unlike the subway, I didn't have to change rides.

I always preferred the bus to the subway. In the summer, it's cold like a fridge, and in the winter, it's warm as a blanket. Yes, the drivers tend to turn the corners a bit too abruptly. But most of the time, you can just grab one of those captain seats and get your own little tour of the city. The best seat is the one right behind the wheel because you can put your feet up a little.

That was where I used to work. I remember when I first started out, I was just so happy to have somewhere to go where I was needed. Before that, being in Korea was kind of like ceasing to exist for a while as I was removed from my friends in the U.S. and I knew very few people here. Of course now, I love having nothing to do here because I've become much more familiar with this place and can find lots to do, but back then, having a job was the most exciting thing ever.

Here's the neighbourhood cafe that I went to almost every day in between that time I left my job and was waiting to enroll in school again. My parents are going to move soon, so this time will probably be my last chance to visit there again. Maybe next time, the place will have shut down or moved elsewhere. I went there a few days ago, but the owner couldn't quite recognize me with my wool cap on. She eyed me curiously, and I wasn't sure if she knew I was or not. As soon as I took it off, she remembered who I was.

The Galleria! This was what I passed every time I took the bus home from Apgujeong. It also reminds me of that brief internship I did at a luxury goods firm, which mostly required me to run errands around the city in cabs. I never realized how many different brands of high-end watches there were. I thought it all began and ended with Rolex, but there are only about maybe 50 others. At that time, I wished that I would be faced with a trivia night question that asked us to name as many luxury watchmakers as we could, and I'd be one of the few who'd be able to whip out all these brands that nobody's heard of. But then I would've looked like a complete tool.

Here's a popular type of self-serving bar where you just help yourself to any beer that you want. Then at the end of the night, you bring the bottles up to the front and you pay by the bottle. The selection is pretty good and it's probably the cheapest way to drink imported beers in Seoul.

A little less than 2 weeks left. Want to do as much as possible.

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