Sunday, September 9, 2012

Afrikaans and DVD방s

It was raining when I woke up this morning. It was also already 11:00am when I woke up, meaning that I was late to church! But I'm glad I decided to go anyway, one hour late as I'd be, because Elani had mentioned that her birthday is today and she wanted to go out to lunch with friends from church.

Due to the rain and its associated problems (I couldn't find my 우산 (umbrella), there was a lot of 교통 (traffic), the bus driver was, as usual, insane and pulled into the wrong lane to make a left turn rather than wait for the light, etc.), I arrived at church at around noon. I was just in time to catch the last fifteen minutes of the strangest sermon I've ever heard. But anyway...

After church, Elani and the cohort of South African expats that I've been hanging out with went to her favorite eatery in Changwon, which was a burger joint! It's called Sangnam Burger, in 상남동 (the Sangnam-dong neighborhood). I was hesitant at first, because I don't know if I want to get into "fast food" at all while in Korea. But I couldn't have under-estimated the quality of these burgers more. My burger was small, but made with love, and had some magical sweet sauce on it that made every bite absolutely amazing. With the meal set came crispy fries and a soda that I decided not to drink. All of it was less than $4.50; a good deal in my book. Service was slow; there's only one guy working there, but he makes each burger, as I said, with love. It shows! Super-맛있어요! I'll be back soon to try their potato burger, tonkatsu burger, and more.
Sangnam Burger! Though small, it was the best burger I've had in a long time, which includes the two years during which I didn't eat any meat at all.
During lunch, I realized that I was the only American sitting at a table with five South Africans. I decided that it might do me good to learn a bit of Afrikaans! Though most all South Africans can speak English fluently, the portion of the population with Dutch ancestry speaks Afrikaans, as well. It could be loosely described as a mix of Dutch and English. "Hallo, hoe gaan dit met jou? Ek is goed, baie dankie!" It was fun; looks like I might be dabbling in more than just Korean while I'm here!

Then, the group joined up with some Americans and we went to a DVD방 together. A "DVD room" seems to be a Korea-specific or Asia-specific thing. Similar to the 노래방 ("singing rooms") that are plentiful all over the country, a DVD방 is like a mini-cinema with hundreds of DVDs, where you can hang out with friends in a comfortable private room to watch any movie you choose on a huge screen! The selection was vast, with lots of recent American titles as well as Korean and other Asian movies. For our group of eight, the price came out to 4,000 Won each. 와우! That was cheaper than my lunch!
Church friends having a movie afternoon! I admit the photo's of pretty poor quality, but I took it on my phone (and I've only just figured out how to transfer photos from phone to computer via Google+).
We decided to watch a movie that Elani really likes, called We Bought A Zoo (2011), starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. I'd never even heard of it before, but it was a good movie! The cinematography in particular was just beautiful, and the soundtrack (composed by Jónsi!) was fantastic.

I'm pleased that I've found two great new things in Changwon: burgers and DVD방s! As they say in Korean: 짱! And as they say in Afrikaans: Lekker!

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