“When you're traveling, you are what you are, right there and then. People don't have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.” ~ William Least Heat-Moon
3.1.14 - 3.31.14
Here's another attempt at getting back on track with what my life has been like the past few months. In my last post I went over the month of February, so logically the next step is March! Woot woot.
Thankfully there was a bit more actual travel during the month of March.
First it started with some celebrations of my favorite fake holidays. Pi Day and the Ides of March. Pi Day (for those non-geeks out there) is a random day for pie! Inspired by the number (3.1415........) it is celebrated on... (duhn duh du duhn) March 14th, aka 3-14. All you do is eat pie. Any kind of pie. Pizza pie, shepherd's pie, dessert pies, chicken pot pie. The world is your oyster, as long as it comes in the form of pie on Pi Day. This year I ended up having dinner with friends and then eating pie from Tintin's Bakery in Itaewon. They have delicious pies, one aptly named Crack pie. Imagine a pie filling of pecan pie (without the pecans), sugar cookies, and butter. That is crack pie. One bite will send you into a diabetic coma but it is worth it.
I'm actually pretty disappointed in myself. I completely forgot about the Ides of March this year. I only got a quick message in because of the time difference.., and not once did I say it on the actual day. The Shakespearean in me is is very sad. Alas... next year I shall have to make up for it tenfold.
I was able to explore a bit more of Seoul during the month of March. I went with a few friends and walked around a cute folk flea market. It's pretty big and cool to see all the local antiques but if you are just visiting it is not worth the time or effort to go see. We walked around for a bit and saw some cool things (mostly the antiques) but it is pretty much like any other flea market.
I spent a little time finding some new and different hang outs. There is a new coffee shop that opened up near me that specializes in being an English cafe. As in, they speak English. It is co-owned by a Korean man and his partner who is Scottish. They set it up to help fund Teen Challenge in Korea. I don't really know much about teen challenge but theoretically that is a good organization. I just like going for the company (yay English speaking people) and the hazelnut lattes. I love hazelnut lattes and they are pretty much non-existent except for at this place. The second new destination for random evenings is a pub/bar like place in Sinchon (which is in Seoul, so not close but it is worth the drive). They play classic rock and you can request any song you want. They won't necessarily play it, but it is worth going to hear the awesome music. The interior is mostly wooden benches and tables but there is writing all over the walls from previous patrons. I love those kind of small holes in the wall because the people that go pretty much go for the same reason you are there. To enjoy the music and to have a good night. It's nice to know those kinds of places are all over the world.
But on to the actual travel parts of my month. And by travel I mean one trip... but still! I went with some friends to the Suwon Toilet Museum. Yes, you read that correctly. A museum dedicated to toilets. More importantly it is the history of the toilet in Korea. A man , nicknamed Mr. Toilet, made it his life's mission to upgrade the toilets in Korea. He succeeded and then built his house to look like a toilet. Later they made a park showing the evolution of the toilet in Korea.
My thoughts on what the museum shows: ew. Some of the older toilets were disgusting little holes in the ground and some of the jobs people used to have, like having to carry barrels of excrement to proper disposal sites,... yeah, I'll pass thank you very much. Or how they used to tie a rope outside the bathroom to wipe your business when you were done. Um, ouch? Although I would not have minded the royal toilets. Man, just sitting on the replicas at the museum was comfortable, I can't imagine what the real one would have been like.
After we spent some time sitting on all the various commodes we headed to the Suwon Fortress and palace inside. I had been to the fortress wall before but hadn't actually made it to the palace. Now I hate to be that traveler but once you've seen one palace in Korea the others all tend to start to look the same. Don't get me wrong they're beautiful and worth the trip but nothing new really to report on that front. Oh! Except we did play some old games. There is one where you toss an arrow into these metal quivers for points, and a horseshoe type one. We also wrote down our wishes and tied them next to an old tree that is supposed to be good luck. We also saw some sort of old warrior exhibition outside of the palace. That was pretty cool. The people reenacted all sorts of different fighting techniques from back in the day.
The rest of the month was pretty much same old same old. I know.. pretty boring for a supposed travel blog. My bad.
The last remaining ray of awesomeness that is blog worthy... duhn du du duhh! Going to stake out one of the sets for the filming of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. The second team spent about two weeks filming around Seoul for one of the scenes in the upcoming movie. I went with a friend and we totally fangirled ourselves crazy with a ton of other people. Mostly we just saw the extras and stunt doubles, did see some pretty cool footage of Black Widow's bike (or Captain America's bike that Black Widow was using?) Who knows.
I have to say though, after watching them film a chase scene for about two hours it makes the movie magic a little less magical. The following week I went to see Captain America in theatres. Seeing the chase scene in that movie and then realizing a lot of the same techniques would have been used in that movie as the ones I saw on the streets of Gangnam. Yup... lost its magic. So it was a cool experience but I don't think I will ever go to a film shooting again. Unless Joss Whedon would actually be there instead of Italy (grumble grumble grumble) then I will be there in a heartbeat!
So sorry, my March was not that fantastic but the tidbits make up the journey.
Until the next time!