I think I've done a few of these now..
This weekend I was blessed with 6 nights of freedom. Thursday at work I did my fair amount of chilaxin. I actually did a great deal of research regarding what agency I will volunteer with in Cambodia next year, but I will get into that another time. I left work shortly after 2pm for my "lunchbreak" which I did not return from, nor did I have any intentions upon returning. I went back to my crib and finished packing up for my big hike this weekend. Made my way to the Suwon bus terminal and headed south for Gwangju. I figured I would go here for a day since I haven't been yet and it is relatively close to the Jirisan mountain range. I arrived at the station around 8pm or so and went to the bus platform where I managed to find my way to Nam-Gu, which is where Natalie lived, my host for the weekend.
Once in Nam-gu, I wondered the streets, took a few snapshots of the local markets and wound up at a little quickie mart where I pounded a few tallboys waiting on Nat. When she got off of work and we met up, we found ourselves downtown at the wasabi bar taking down some brews and soju. We met with some of her friends and mad some more while we where there. The guys next to us spoke decent English so we hung out and they managed to teach me a traditional Korean drinking song which I have found fairly useful thus far.
The next day in Gwangju, Natalie and I managed to sleep pretty late, nursing away the previous evening's soju expedition. We meandered our way downtown to get some mango slushies and then went for some Oritanang, which is a delicious duck stew.
Afterward, we headed to a quaint little coffee shop. It was a 5,000Won cover charge with free coffee. The kicker was the animals that were there. They had all the cute little puppies and kittens running around freely with colored hair, nails and clothes..I took some funny photos while there too. Natalie had to go to work around 6pm so I was left to do what I do best...wander. I found my way to a small temple in the middle of the city where preperations were under way for the big celebration of Buddha's birthday which was the next day. From there to the coffee shop, Kenya's espresso, to the bus terminal to determine my departure time for the following day I got on the bus and headed back to Nam-gu. I managed not to screw up the first bus, but had no such luck with the transfer bus.
..but as they say, "All things work out the wa they do for a reason." I go off at a random stop and was directed to area I needed to be. Along the way, a gentleman on the street said Hi to me and asked where I was from, I obliged and 15minutes later he and I were sitting down to some black noodles and dumplings discussing why the hell old Asian men won't let whitey near their precious daughters. An interesting conversation indeed. Nonetheless, we managed to change neither's mind, but he picked up the check and I was back on the road again. I wandered into a hiking shop to check with the guy there on his thoughts for the weekend. His English is about as good as my Korean, so we were able to chat for about 30minutes till he gave me two free pairs of socks. ...Gotta love the Korean generosity :)