Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend

Busan Fireworks Festival. Note the smartphone screens...
Highlights (and a lowlight) from an all-around great weekend:
  • Thanksgiving Dinner with Fulbright and the US Embassy was quite nice. I ate lots of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes with marshmallow, and pumpkin pie, and I caught up with friends and colleagues. I also performed a short demonstration of taekgyeon (right in front of the American ambassador!) and only endangered the life of an audience member one time. I'll post a video of my performance soon.
  • Celebrated a friend's birthday with cake and beer while a legit thunderstorm raged outside.
  • Caught up with a Swattie friend and talked extensively about books for our students. I love books, and last Friday I submitted an order for a few dozen more for my school's English library. Also, I baked snickerdoodles and the aforementioned friend got to try one for the very first time.
  • Walking around Seoul with my 장봉 felt only slightly incongruous. A lady mistook my stick for a handgrip and used it to steady herself as she took a seat on the subway.
  • Transportation fail: having left my wallet in a hostel, I had to borrow cash from a friend to take a taxi across the city, and I accidentally took a yellow cab, whose rates are twice as expensive as the normal taxis. I gave the driver all the money I had, apologizing profusely. Miraculously, I was only one dollar short of the fare.
  • Transportation win: I never book bus tickets in advance (I don't even know if it's possible), so sometimes earlier buses sell out. I arrived at the terminal at 5:30 and the next available ticket was for 8:15. I bought it but then went straight to the gate to see if I could snag an empty seat on an earlier bus. Just before the 6:00 bus left, I asked if there were any seats still available, and voila, I got right on.
  • I obtained the position of photography editor for Fulbright's literary magazine, Infusion! Our staff had its first meeting today at a cozy cafe in Hongdae. I'm very excited to work on the magazine this year.
Picture is unrelated: I took that at the Busan Fireworks Festival, which was a few weekends ago. I absolutely loved it. Despite the frighteningly large crowds, the beautiful, mesmerizing show really made my whole weekend.

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