Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Pre-Christmas Weekend

I think I am still a little bitter that we have to work on Christmas Eve. I mean, not bitter... but, it makes Christmas not as exciting, I guess. I shouldn't let something like that affect how enjoyable my Christmas is, but knowing I still have another day to work before I am truly on vacation is really hard. It's been a good weekend, though.

Yesterday I got up early to get some things done. After a doctor's appointment, I went to an exotic pet vet that my local vet told me about in the Gangnam area. After walking around lost for 15 minutes (my fingers going numb from trying to figure out where to go from the notes on my phone), I asked a lady in a pharmacy, who looked it up online and told me basically keep going straight.

Once I got there, the woman helped me find some supplements to put in Rosie's food that should help her dry skin. Friday I had been snuggling with her (well, as snuggly as you can get with a hedgehog), and saw her poor skin was flaking between her quills. Since the vet had previously mentioned she had some dry skin but cleared her for mites, I knew it was just dry skin. But, since I could see it with the naked eye, I figured it was about time Mom did something (Mom being me...). I did my research and found out if you add some omega oils and other good stuff, it should help. So, I got a bottle of Omega 3 Oil to put in her food. Poor sweetie. I also got some shampoo to bathe her in that should help with the dry skin as well. And, of course, I got talked into buying the special brush for her baths. Geesh...

After that, I went to Myeongdong area to try to find some long sleeve shirts, since I basically don't have any. My school is quite stingy with the heating in the classrooms, so sometimes my fingers are literally numb after class. My current favorite t-shirt is actually a men's shirt I bought in a small from H&M when I first got here. It is so comfortable and not tight in the wrong places, like all my shirts that were actually designed for women I bought here are! I decided to hit Forever21 since I passed it before any of the other stores I was planning to check out. Well, of course it was packed (per usual) and they had a lot of clearance! I picked out some women's shirts (size Large. Thanks Korea...) and then headed upstairs to look at the men's stuff. I found Men's Clearance and had a field day. After the dressing room, I ended up with 3 women's shirts and 2 men's. When I went to the cashier, I realized all the clearance was an additional 50% off. So, for ~16,000W, I got 5 shirts I was happy with. So, budget not blown, I was satisfied and with the growing crowds in the area I decided to make my final stop and leave the area. I stopped by Clio makeup and got some mascara and eyeliner (I'm out of my Mac :( and it's soooo expensive here!) that were both on sale (score!).

As I was shamelessly charging my phone...
I talked to Heather and we decided to meet up that evening for pizza and the Hobbit. Of course, I've seen it but I was game to go again! I decided to wait where I was until we could meet, since I was on the right subway line to just make a straight shot. Since my phone battery was nearing death, I went to Tom&Toms Coffee and took up a table/outlet to charge my phone. I ended up sitting there around 2 hours, but it wasn't as bad as it sounds. I chose to play on my phone rather than people watch, because there are so many damn couples in Korea. Like, eveerrryyyythingggg is couple-y. And cute. And I just hate the cute little couples holding hands and sharing a drink with two straws and touching each other's faces and BLEH. Okay, maybe I'm a little jealous. I have been without Michael for 4.5 months, and our 1-year mark is coming up (Jan1). I miss him! So, basically, I hung out til it was time to meet up with Heather & Co.

The movie was really good, of course, but my eyes were KILLING me the entire time. Like, that stinging pain that you think closing your eyes will help, but ends up making it worse, so you squeeze your eyes shut tight for about 3 minutes before you can stand to open them again, and resolve not to close them again until absolutely necessary due to the terrible pain. Know what I'm talkin' about? So, unfortunately that distracted me from fully enjoying the movie. Also, about 30 minutes into the movie, the sound started to mess up in the theater. There was a terrible buzz, and since I'd already seen the movie, I decided to be a good samaritan and go tell the staff about the problem. As I was explaining to the manager I found, another guy came out of the theater and heard what I was saying and agreed that was what he was going to say as well. After about 10 minutes of audio-hell, it subsided and we could enjoy the movie.

After the movie, Heather gave me the heating pad I had ordered for Rosie, and I hit the last subway home. Besides my eyes hurting so bad, I was really fairly awake. But, I resolved to sleep as late as possible to give them time to heal or whatever.

Today has been productive and nice. I got up late and showered, but ended up staying in most of the day. I cleaned and organized Rosie's cage, and got her heating pad set up. I had to be inventive trying to get it to work with the plugs, but I eventually got it to work. I also went to the store around the corner and bought Rosie a little tub so I can bathe her, and got some tape so I can put up the canvas art that my friend Izzy sent me. My room looks about a million times better.

Oh, I totally forgot! Friday night, I am looking for something in my freezer and I realize that my food is not frozen. Nothing has frost on it, and in fact, it's not even cold. I checked the fridge part, and no cold air there either. Crap! It was Friday, so I wouldn't see Jackie soon to let her know that it needed fixing or changing, plus I had fresh milk and meat and cheese etc that would go bad if it sat much longer. I called Erin and asked what I should do. She advised me to go bang on Mr. Kim's door (my landlord). Erin met me downstairs to provide moral support. Mr. Kim came up and I showed him the freezer and said "not cold" with an x-sign with my hands. He pokes around, kicks it, examines the plug, pokes around some more, another kick for good measure, then turns and says "No working". Well, DUH! He proceeds to say "change-y" which is just "change" with a Korean accent.

We headed up to the recently vacated room of the teacher who left last week. We carried her fridge out of her room (Mr. Kim, Erin, and myself), down the hall, into the elevator, down to my floor, down the hall and to my room. Once it was outside, we had to take everything out of and off of my fridge, and drag it outside. Then we pulled in the new one, and Mr. Kim smiles and says Bye! Um, okay?!

So, I am the white-trash of the apartment building with an old broken fridge sitting outside my door. It's actually pretty funny. But then, I had the task of cleaning out the "new" fridge. Thankfully, not much had been left in it, but there was, of course, just general grossness (dirt, spilled liquid of some sort, hairs, etc). I got out my kitchen all-purpose cleaner (well, I assume that's what it is from the picture of a kitchen in all white on the bottle. I can't actually read the label). It only took me about 30 minutes to get it scrubbed clean. When all was said and done, it was actually nice. It's newer than my fridge was, and actually white rather than yellowed-used-to-be-white. Since I was at it, I threw out some old stuff that Maggie had left me when she moved out (mustard, dijonase, thousand island dressing, etc). I'd kept them "just in case" for months, and no one at work has expressed any interest in getting any of these things, so into the trash they went. It feels good to have a cleaned out fridge. I guess this inspired me to clean up today.

All in all, Korea is making an effort at being in the spirit of Christmas, but it certainly falls short of my usual Christmas overload in America. I miss America. I am excited for winter vacation, but not like I would be if I was home. I mostly just want to sleep. Haha! Man, I sound reclusive. I actually have a list of things I want to do over the break, but my key intention is to relax. When school starts back up, I will have a lot of work waiting for me, so I intend to forget about that as much as possible for a week.

Rosie says Hi!
I wish I was going somewhere for break, particularly somewhere with a beach. Funny because I'm sure a lot of people with they were some where with snow and cold weather. But, I'd gratefully leave this to lay on a beach and leave my cares behind. Vacation is in order when I come home!

I am hoping that my winter break has some blog-worthy adventures to write about. I'm sure there will be something! For now, I'm warm in my little apartment, Rosie is warm with her heating pad, and I think it's time to watch Lord of the Rings again!


  1. Turns out you had a "not-so-bad" experience! Congratulations on a 'new' fridge and the effort you put in to clean it. mmm, I'm thinking you did a Good Thing by tossing the stuff the previous tenant left for you; no doubt she meant well. Little Rosie is awesome - she is SOOO cute! Love the pics. Plus it's good to know what's going on with you. (there's no place like america, but you seem to be coping quite well! Know you miss your family and your boyfriend-nice to be an Apple Person, so technology can keep you in touch - something to be grateful for, huh!) Thanks again for your Blog, it's AMAZINGLY AWESOME and I'm really happy to learn about Korea. Have a great Christmas and enjoy your little roommate.


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