As a side note, related to the game. On the first day of classes,when I was going over the syllabus, I had mentioned that I went to The Ohio State University and made a joke about giving extra credit to students who could tell me the results of Ohio State games. This was not part of the syllabus, because I was kidding, but I saw kids all over the room quickly writing this down- so I had to stop them, let them know I was kidding. And now I know, grades and extra credit are not something to be joked about in South Korea.
The musical Wicked is in town. I bought tickets three weeks ago and we've really been looking forward to it. Our friends Jay and Nalisha agreed to babysit. I think Irish has already mentioned Jay and Nalisha (or Delicious or Malicious, more recently Nalicious which is getting closer) The girls love Jay and Nalisha. They have been waiting all week for them to come over. This morning first thing both Grace and Ruby told me it was going to be a good day because of the babysitting situation.
So we left the house at around 4:30 to get to Itaewon for dinner by 5:30. Everything needed to go smoothly to get there in time and pretty remarkably it did. We got to the bus stop and the red 5500 bus came just a few minutes later. It was standing room only, but still good that we didn't have to wait. Some of the buses don't allow you to stand and they will just drive by the stop if they are full. Traffic was heavy but moving. We got into Seoul, crossed the Han river and when we got off there was a cab waiting at the stop and that took us the rest of the way to Itaewon.
|Dressed up for our night out|
|Irish the straphanger.|
|Traffic in Seoul from the back of our taxi.|
Itaewon is near the Yongsan Garrison, so a lot of foreigners are there. It is the neighborhood where Irish got her hair done. We had reservations at a Bulgarian restaurant called Zelen. I don't think it's ever occurred to me to go to a Bulgarian restaurant, I don't think I have even heard of one, but a coworker had recommended the place, and the reviews I read were all outstanding.The new phones are incredibly helpful with finding our way. When traffic came to a halt we got out of the taxi and followed the map on my phone- went one block off the main street and then up a hill to the restaurant, just a few minutes late.
|The stairs up to Zelen.|
Dinner was outstanding. Peaceful with no children. And for desert, banana pancakes. On our honeymoon, ten short years ago, we ate banana pancakes at every guesthouse we stayed at. So as connoisseurs of banana pancakes we can say this was well above average.
Leaving the restaurant the neighborhood seemed to be coming to life. At a different point in my life I could see late nights in Itaewon being fun. But now, I am a grown man heading out for a night at the theater.
|The stage, taken right before I was asked not to take pictures. Subtitles in Korean||on either side.|
For a city that stays up late the trains close surprisingly early on a Saturday- midnight and the gates go down. Fortunately Irish and I have become proficient enough in saying our address that we can tell a taxi where we live and be understood. We can also say "turn left" "turn right" and "go straight" Pretty much fluent in Korean at this point.
A really nice night out. Now we can watch for the next typhoon working it's way up to Korea by tomorrow.