It’s been a while since I’ve last typed a Recent Realities post. I hadn’t written for this column since October — whoops! Here is a new post filled with some of my Seoul adventures from last month, including me trying some new food items. There is a new thing I am looking forward to in February, but I guess I should finish January first, haha! Speaking of January, I also realised that this is a pretty good month in terms of having a lot of days off. Oh, and Amazon Rewards Visa has become fabulous!
Seoul Tower & Gwangjang Market
Last month, one of my co-workers wanted to see and do a few more things in Seoul before she moved back to the states. Seeing Seoul Tower was one excursion she wanted to do, so I played tour guide, and we took the bus up to the tower! Years ago, I had an aversion to this tower due to a horrible field trip experience, and I’d vowed to not go up there for years. Well, I broke that vow about a decade ago, and I’ve been coming up here quite often.
These are the love locks that couples like to put up around the tower to symbolise their everlasting love. It’s a neat concept, but I do wonder what happens if a couple separates — do they come up and take the lock down?
Despite coming up to the tower multiple times, I never watched any of the traditional performances they offer. My co-workers and I had good timing that day, and we sat through several shows — samul nori, sword fighting, and acrobat galore! My co-worker even was picked to do this spinning disc activity! It was hilarious!
After we left Seoul Tower, we went to Gwangjang Market. I introduced my co-worker to bindaetteok (mung-bean pancakes) and mayak gimbap (literally means “drug” gimbap because the sauce that accompanies the gimbap is so good and addictive), two food items that the market is known for, and they were so delicious.
Flat White & Chipotle Chicken Sandwich
These are the two new food items I’ve had. I tried a flat white at my favourite coffee shop, who only recently started selling it. The chipotle chicken sandwich was tried at a restaurant I hadn’t been to in person. A friend and I finally checked it out, and the sandwich was tasty!
Month of Days Off
I was looking at a calendar the other day, and I realised that I have no full work week for all of January due to holidays, annual leave, and sick leave. Talk about a good timing! See below for the breakdown.
– January 2 (Monday) was a federal holiday.
– January 4 (Wednesday) had me calling out sick.
– January 5 (Thursday) had me calling out sick again.
– This was a one-and-a-half-day work week.
– January 13 (Friday) was a family day, so our office was closed. We had the option of coming into work, but I chose to take the day off.
– This was a four-day work week.
– January 16 (Monday) is a federal holiday.
– January 19 (Thursday) is my birthday, so I requested annual leave.
– January 20 (Friday) is when I have my medical appointments, so I requested sick leave.
– This will be a two-day work week.
– January 27 (Friday) is Lunar New Year, so my workplace is closed.
– This will be a four-day work week.
– January 30 (Monday) is still Lunar New Year, so I requested annual leave to avoid commuting in the horrible traffic.
– This will be four-day work week.
Looking Forward to 4CC
Next month, I’ll be attending the Four Continents Figure Skating Championship — my first figure skating event — held in Gangneung! The championship is taking place on February 16-19. Ideally, I would have preferred to attend the entire thing, but I chose to just attend the events happening on February 19 because of timing, travelling, and financial constraints. At the very least, I’ll be watching the men’s free skate and the gala exhibition! The seats I’ve chosen aren’t great, but I am simply attending for the experience! I also hope to get Hanyu Yuzuru’s autograph (and whoever else I can get!), but I am not holding my breath with that, haha XD Either or, I can’t wait! This will be a great day-trip, and it’s also a city I’ve never been to in South Korea, so woot for new places and experiences!
Farewell, Foreign Transaction Fees
Lastly, my Amazon Rewards card recently upgraded to where Amazon Prime members will be getting 5% back on Amazon.com purchases! However, what really excited me is that the card will no longer have foreign transaction fees! As someone living overseas, this is a big, big deal! I’d been not using my Amazon card as much because of the fees, but now I can resume using that card on a regular basis instead of using my other one. Thank you, Amazon, for being amazing :D