Back in September, a friend of mine, Stephen, invited me to join him on biking trip during the Chuseok holiday. We assembled a small team for said trip. I’ll go more into the details of the biking portion in a later post. To make the most use out of our time during Chuseok break, we all decided to get bus tickets that left early Saturday morning. Those buses would be leaving from Express Bus Terminal. Upon further consideration, I realized that leaving from Suyu with bags and a bike along with a few other members would make it an exhaustive ordeal to reach the bus terminal in time – the major issue being waking up at the crack of dawn. Waking up early and going through all that strenuous traversing didn’t sit with me too well. I came to the conclusion, it’d be much more efficient to take everything down after work and spend Friday night somewhere south of the Han River. That way, we could all get up at a reasonable hour and not kill ourselves making it to the bus terminal in time. I had always wanted to try using Airbnb and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. This led me to Culla Guesthouse.
I had got the bike that I mentioned in my Ilsan post back in late June, the 25th to be exact. Like any new toy you just get, I was taking out my bike all the time. Any and every opportunity I had, I used to ride my new bike. This was actually my first bike I’ve ever bought, so it has an extra sentimental value to it. It also opened a new world of freedom that I hadn’t experienced before. I have always had this distaste for walking – it took too long. With my bike, I could go further and faster and explore more of not just my neighborhood, but all of Seoul. It gave me access to places that I was just to lazy to reach via by foot.
Sometime around mid July, a few friends and I decided to go check out some coffee shops in Hongdae. Two of my buddies, Kyle and Michael, are both into the art of coffee. Kyle had found this one specialty shop in Hongdae that was known for its excellent bean quality. We had all been meaning to check out this place, but due to conflicting schedules, that trip kept getting delayed. We all happened to be free one lazy Saturday, so we decided to finally check it out. We invited our friend Jessie to come along with us because, well, Jessie is awesome. Her husband, Ryan, would have joined us too, but he was feeling a bit under the weather. So the four of us set off to the faraway hipster land of Hongdae.
Since our destination was Hongdae, we of course had to grab a bowl of the best Japanese ramen in Seoul at Hakada Bunko. Tons of other blogs have written about it, so I’ll keep commentary on that short. Just know, there is no other Japanese ramen than tastes better than their In Ramen. Go check them out. Do it.
Back in late May, there was a singular incident of a man who was identified with MERS or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. It spread to a few others in the same hospital and unfortunately there were a few deaths. The media then picked this up and blew it up to epic proportions, throwing the entire country into a panic and making it seem like it was a fatal pandemic taking over Seoul. People were wearing masks and it was paranoia to the utmost levels – the slightest cough on the subway got everyone giving you the evil stank eye. The government had to respond, of course. They started setting up potential quarantine facilities, one of which was where I worked. I work at a government established but privately run English education institute. There were rumors going around the office at first, but then we got the official confirm that we all had to evacuate and be relocated to a place I’ve never heard of, Suanbo.
Last Thursday, a friend of mine, Elana, randomly asked me if I could bring my camera to work the next day. I said sure and then she ran off. Saying it out of the blue like that threw me off a little. Later that day she sent me a message realizing she had forgot to explain the context. She told me she’d be wearing matching outfits with two other friends, Lisa and Courtney, and wanted to take pictures together – a photoshoot of sorts.