Monday, February 17, 2014


We are lucky, Jeremy and I.

Lucky to live in Korea.
Lucky to have each other.
Just plain blessed.

For Valentines day, Jeremy got me two incredibly thoughtful gifts. Gifts I love, but also gifts that made his younger cousin say (via Skype), "Huh? You got her what?"

Gift #1: He went to buy me flowers, but smartly realized flowers die. But a Christmas cactus? A Christmas cactus is forever.

Gift #2: Strawberries! That's right. The super rare, super extravagant splurge of fruit! We haven't eaten berries on this side of the world.

We aren't exactly diamond earring gift-giving people. However, we are chocolate and strawberry people so we made good use of both by having them on French toast.

Jerry was jealous.

And to top it all off, over the weekend, Jeremy took me on a date. We went to check out an art museum in town.

Now again, as I have before, I feel the strong desire to describe for you the ins and outs of this process because unlike simply hopping in a car and following your GPS, going on a date in Korea involves public transit and a different language. It's always an adventure.

So, first Jeremy had to look up where we were going and get a co-worker to write it in Hangul. So flagged down a taxi, showed him the paper, and went on our way. Where we were dropped was not quite where we wanted to go, however, we didn't know exactly what the place looked like anway. So we just started walking and looking for signs. 

We asked one man "Ow dee eesawyo shin mesool gwan?" ("Do you know where this museum is?") A definite and exhausted, "No" and what we interpreted to mean, "Please leave me alone." His crosswalk illuminated. He walked away from us, but upon walking by another Korean on the crosswalk he passed us off to the next pedestrian walking toward us. Poor guy. He looked at us in surprise and had no idea either. 

Then, a woman "Shilay homnida" ("Excuse me"). Her face lit up. She started speaking rapidly in Korean and pointing. We just smiled, nodded our heads, and started walking. Before we rounded the corner in the direction she had pointed, I looked back and she was waving and yelling something at us. We just kept walking.

Not seeing anything resembling a museum, I asked a pack of middle-school girls, "Do you know where this is?" (pointing to the name). Giggles. "Yes," they said. 

"Okay, where is it?"

They motioned for us to walk forward. They shuffled awkwardly behind us, "leading" us in the right direction giggling and asking, "Where you from?" Then giggling. Swiftly they pointed to the right and walked away. 

We made it! 
And it only took six Koreans to get us there!

The Shin Museum of Art was small, but neat. It even had a cute little coffee shop. There wasn't a menu posted anywhere, but a server motioned for us to sit down and handed us a menu that was all in Korean. We kinda, sorta just covered our eyes, pointed, and called it good. 

Lucky us: strawberry-yogurt smoothie! Score.

From here, we were were pretty sure we could catch a bus to our next stop: Taj Mahal, an Indian restaurant we surprisingly hadn't been to yet. And since neither of us have smart phones, getting around town is always extra fun. We picked the bus we assumed had the best chance of getting us there. And again--so lucky--we asked a friendly foreigner on-board if we were headed in the right direction and we were! "Are you new to Korea?" she asked innocently.

Six months, folks.
Six months.

But we made it. And our new friend, Omar, at the Taj Mahal hooked us up with coconut lassi's, curry, and milk tea. And all was well.

This morning, my co-teacher asked me what I did this weekend. "Jeremy took me on a date!" I said.

"Boring," she replied.

"What? No. It was great!"

"No, I mean, talk to me in ten years. He won't take you on dates then. You'll be bored like me."

I'm not going to lose to much sleep over it because this guy is just plain quality.
And until then, I am one lucky girl.