Why yes, it was me! This past Tuesday marked my entry into the second half of my third decade of life. As I get older I’ve found that I truly enjoy this whole aging thing-I’ve never been one to lie about my age in hopes of having people think I’m younger, I’ve never claimed to be turning “21 for the third time” or any of that nonsense (nonsense in my opinion anyway, no offense meant!) and because of this I get a little rowdy at birthday time. Anyone in a 5 mile radius knows when my birthday’s a-comin, ya know what I mean? I do love the attention, and I love celebrating my life, however weird and wandering and strange it may be at times-it’s mine and I’ve made it this far, so let’s party!
With the hallowed day of my birth falling on a Tuesday this year, Jon, Marisa and I decided to celebrate with a low-key and lovely cruise on the Han River in Seoul. We made it in time for the 9pm boat, had a few beers, ate some ramyeon and enjoyed the scenery as the boat made it’s way to the Banpo Bridge, which is fitted with 10,000 nozzles on both sides that shoot water into the river. There are multi-colored, changing lights as well, so it’s quite a sight to see a night. After our return to dock an hour late, Marisa purchased some sparklers from a street lady and we had some fun frolicking on the boardwalk, amusing Jon with our antics and attempts to write things in sparkle-light.
The real birthday celebration was held last night. We started out at dinner in Itaewon at a darling and delicious little Egyptian place I’d read about in the guidebook called Ali Baba. It ended up being a fantastic find-our party of 10 basically had the place to ourselves, and were seated in cozy little corner, partitioned off from the main floor (which was small anyway). I stuffed myself with falafel balls, a falafel sandwich (can you tell I enjoy falafel?), baba ghanoush, pita, and hummous, all while drinking a good ol American Budweiser. The place was great, and it was about as perfect as a birthday dinner could be.
Jon and I waiting for the train to head to dinner.
Lyd and I-waiting for the train is perfect photo time!
Ah yes, and I purchsed very shiny, fabulous, snakey tights for the occasion.
Post-dinner, some of our crew sadly departed back to the Pyeongnae homestead, but the intrepid celebrationists headed to Hongdae-which has arguably become my favorite part of Seoul, night or day-for drinks and dancing. The park, my party-starting venue of choice which is generally filled on any Friday night with young people, guitar circles, and a duo who sell vodka-spiked slushies from a machine they cart around, was strangely devoid of the regular crowd. This may or may not be due to the fact that Seoul officially started feeling the autumn weather this week and last night was the first cold night of the season. Ah well. Moving on, we went straight to my favorite club in Seoul, Jane’s Groove, to get our dance party on. What started out as a slow night (I’ve never been to JG with a nearly empty floor as it was when we headed it at 11:30pm-it was strange, but we managed to bring our own party and I was not disappointed). The staff was great and immediately brought over a platter of jager shots for everyone in honor of my birthday-what sweethearts! Marisa, Diane and I owned the dance floor, and made many a requests to the very helpful dj. Around 1am Jon surprised me by showing up-he’d had to leave dinner early to make the trek all the way to Incheon airport to pick up his friend Dave, who will now be teaching at his hagwon as well. Because of Dave’s last minute flight change which put him landing in Korea smack-dab in the middle of party time, I was incredibly sad to hear that Jon wasn’t going to be around, but he managed to score a huge surprise by waltzing in the club, Dave in tow. A very pleasant surprise, and a hilariously wild way for Dave to meet most of our crew-welcome to Korea Dave!
Around 4 am we took our leave, I wandered across the street to buy some gyros from a vendor-and ate two on my own, perhaps not the best choice, but they were delicious! Grabbed a cab, which I promptly fell asleep in, and 45 minutes later I fell into my bed. Slept till 1, and I am now in hardcore lounge mode. I’m all over the smoothie maker in my kitchen, trust. Tonight there will be a bit of a welcome dinner for Dave, introducing him to the wonder that is Korean galbi. He will be enthralled, I’m sure. And now, I will commence the reading of the newest Time and The Economist that I picked up when Jon and I stayed in the Shilla last weekend-eeeeeeee I love English magazines!