Thanksgiving this year was unconventional, to say the least. On the actual day, I went to work as usual. I baked a few desserts to share with my co-workers but that was it. One of my students (shout out to Aileen in Junior Master2!) surprised me with an unnecessary amount of kimchi that her family made for 김장 this year. I always joke with my students by telling them to bring me delicious homemade food. Well, homegirl followed through and I appreciate every bit of it. I now have enough 총각김치, 파김치, and 포기김치 to last me for most of 2016. After work on Thursday, I hopped on over to Homeplus and bought some pork shoulder to make my version of 보쌈. I have no sense when it comes to cooking, so by the time I sat down to eat, it was about 11:30pm. It was a satisfying Thanksgiving dinner… though not traditional, it was lovely:
On Saturday, I woke up at the crack of dawn (in my world, anything before 8am is the crack of dawn) to take the KTX to Seoul. My train apparently broke down when it stopped in Gwangmyeong (about 15 minutes from the main part of Seoul). I heard muffled announcements in Korean but assumed that they were just waiting for people to load their luggage. It’s a good thing I decided to wake up and follow the mass across to the replacement train… otherwise, I’d still be napping on that broken train right now. I arrived in Seoul a bit after 10am and took the subway to Shinsaegae Department Store at 회현 Station. I browsed around the food court and grocery store until it was time to meet up with my friend Martha for brunch.
We settled into a cozy (and extremely tall) booth at Little Papa Pho Express. I’ve eaten at the Hapjeong location a couple of times before so I know the food is good. I ordered the beef banh mi and Martha ordered pho tai. The beef banh mi is somewhat unauthentic and yet delicious at the same time. They got one of cold cuts right, but the beef had a bulgogi vibe to it.
After lunch, we strolled around looking at various things we could not afford. It was the perfect opportunity for us to scheme and plot. We walked over to Myeongdong for a bit of shopping and snacking afterwards. Forever 21 and H&M had so many shiny and sequiny items out for the holiday. I feel like the holiday season is the perfect time for me to stock up on my go-to items for the whole year. I believe in wearing sparkles all year long so this holiday season is the perfect time for me to stock up. For snack time, we opted for street kebabs & consumed them in the classiest joint possible – Seven Eleven.
After Myeongdong, we traveled to Kyobo in Gwanghwamun to find Christmas cards. That was place super crowded since it was the weekend. Shit went down when I found the Christmas aisle(s). The sad thing is that I can’t even find 10 people I know to write Christmas cards to… But I bought a bunch of themed cards for Kristina as well some with fabulous Konglish phrases. I’m not sure how it happened but we ended up spending about 2 hours browsing Christmas cards.
For dinner, we went to Wang Thai in Itaewon. So you can technically say that we celebrated Thanksgiving with Asian food all day. Not only that, we had Vietnamese and Thai while located in South Korea. It works. I do what I want. The food was fabulous as usual. The tom yum was perfect for a chilly winter evening.
Overall, it was a very nice Thanksgiving this year. It’s really all about the company you keep. I had a great time at the potluck two weeks ago with my Poly friends. I spent Thanksgiving day teaching kids who don’t annoy me too much. I spent Saturday wandering Seoul with my good friend eating everything in sight. Could not have asked for a better Thanksgiving 🙂