Monday, July 2, 2012

Korea Blog Week IV: Birthday, Meetings and Getting Used to Life in Seoul

Part of an ongoing series about my trip to and discovery of Seoul...

As I near the one-month mark in Korea I can definitely say that I've really begun to settle in and already things seem very familiar. I suppose that in some way this is a testament to my nomadic life up until this point. It was also my birthday this past week and as I reflected for a spell I realized that I have almost been in a different city for my last seven birthdays, going backwards the list goes: Seoul, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Fribourg, Los Angeles, New York, Dublin. Six places in seven years, that's a lot of ground covered and I know that I'm extremely fortunate to have lived and visited so many places and in the process meet such incredible people and have so many wonderful experiences. And yet, I'm tired and perhaps have been so for a while. I came to Korea with the intention of staying for some time and I aim to do just that, I would like to make it at home and so far I feel so welcome here that I don't why I shouldn't.

It has been an exhausting week though, (school) work is, bit by bit, getting longer but so far it's nothing I can't handle. Lots of other work in this period too with coverage of NYAFF and preparation and previewing underway for PiFan later this month, not to mention all the usual reviews and content but I'm feeling good about it all. I'm productive and I feel that the fruits of my labor are slowly surfacing.

I've had a few great opportunities to meet people this week starting on Monday when I went to Anyang to meet David who is the cousin of someone who I went to school with is actually also in Korea, down near Busan. I had my first taste of 감자탕 (Gamjatang) which is a Korean stew of meat and potatoes, I look forward to some more! Next we went to a 막걸리 (makkoli) bar for some 동동주 (dongdongjoo), creamy rice wine served in a big stone bowl, which was quite a treat. Probably had a little too much which made work a touch difficult the next day but it was more than worth it to David, who is a teacher at a university in Anyang and I look forward to seeing him again.

My next opportunity to head out came on Thursday when I was invited out by Zachary to join him and some colleagues from KOFIC (Korean Film Council) as they entertaining a special, a programmer for the Venice Film Festival. I met them after work in Hongdae and was treated to some great food and chestnut 막걸리 (makkoli). It was great to meet everyone and we had a fascinating talk about genre films, Korean cinema and much more!

I organized a dinner for my birthday on Saturday and was fortunate to have many people whom I know from different circles attend, as well as the opportunity to make some new friends. I went to 신사 (shinja) where Darcy Paquet helped me find a place and we then met up with other guests a short while later. Had a time and I'm so grateful to everybody who came and particularly to Darcy for going out and getting me a cake!Did some chores and writing on Sunday before heading out to Guro to catch Cabin in the Woods in the evening. Must say I really enjoyed it and it was a good way to close out the week. This week I'm getting my ARC (Alien Registration Card) which mean that I'll be able to open a bank account and finally get a new phone! I have one provided by the school but on a few occasions I've been tempted to throw it out the window. Pretty sure I'm going to go all out and treat myself to a Samsung Galaxy Note but the Galaxy SIII has also just been released so I'm not quite sure...Until next week!


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