Adventures in 2007 Winding Down…

Happy New Year! Now that the festivities have fested, the celebrations have celebrated, and the brouhaha has brouhad, it’s time to sit down and fill y’all in on my holidays.

First, I’ve had a few spare minutes of reading, and have realized that I shouldn’t have treated the “Price of Honour” book so blithely in my last post. The book is actually deeply disturbing on a number of levels. I think it’s well worth the read though.

Next, let’s see…ah, yes. Christmas! Despite the increasing number of lights, tinsel and carols to be seen and heard here in Korea, Christmas still sneaked up with no snow and very little warning. Christmases for me in Korea have really been as good as a 2nd place Christmas can be. This year was no different. Christmas Eve is always the hardest time for me when I’m not home for the holidays, but good friends and good food at Tracy’s house made it comfortable and cheery. Christmas Day brought 8 friends into my tiny apartment for a buffet brunch and gift exchange. After the gift exchange, everyone left to prepare for dinner. Devon managed to get his hands on not one, but TWO turkeys. (A rarity in Korea, indeed!) Everyone pitched in and supplemented the turkeys with favourite tastes from home…but since ‘home’ was represented this year by at least 6 different countries, the flavours of home were wonderfully varied! Dinner lasted about 6 hours from start to finish (what better way to forget you’re not at home than to prolong the time you spend with friends). After dinner, in the quiet of the night, I got to speak with my parents, and wish my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew Merry Christmas via webcam. I love watching them on Christmas morning, and am thankful that my sister lets me.

Boxing Day was quiet and restful…as were the next several days. I don’t start work again until Monday afternoon, so I’m still on holiday.

Yesterday was a really great day, even though the primary goal was left unmet. Annelie needed to go to the Japanese Consulate in Pusan (about an hour away by train), so we planned to go to Pusan, drop off her application, troll around the city for the day, check in to a Yogwan for the night, pick up her visa the next day, and head for home. However, we didn’t double check that the embassy would be open. It wasn’t. We stood outside in the cold for a few minutes, staring blankly at our tourist map that didn’t tell us where we were. Eventually we headed back to the train station to get our bearings, and headed for Kebabistan- a Turkish restaurant in Pusan. It was delightful: excellent hummus, falafel, and lamb-thingies. After lunch, we made our way to the store. They carry my favourite brands at hugely discounted prices. I got a pair of bike shorts and a long-sleeve travel top in preparation for our trip to Cambodia. Both items were over 50% off the regular retail price. WooHoo! With good food and good deals, the day was a nice change from my sofa, even though Annelie didn’t get her visa.

I think that’s about all. I’m hoping everyone has a wonderful 2008!

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