Sunday, May 3, 2009

Family Fun and Metal Bands?

Today Salsa boy and I went into Seoul to see some sort of festival. We weren't sure what it was exactly only that the adverts were shiny and it looked like fun. This is what happens when ADHD people choose what to go and see. Our friend J., had said to just get off at this one station and "follow the crowd." Pffffffffffffft. Wrong station! Oh well. Salsa boy had never been to Insadong-gil (a lovely tourist street in the area) so I decided to take detour and show him around. Insadong is great the first few times but I have to say, the 4th time I just wanted here. It doesn't help that it's a holiday weekend and it was so packed as to be difficult to move. I did finally get a picture of myself with the robot statue/sculpture/thingy that I always see people posing with. I was brilliant, I remembered to bring my camera! Less brilliant: forgetting to put the memory card back in after downloading pictures to my computer. Needless to say the pictures are all care of Salsa Boy's camera (he never forgets his, responsible person that he least with photo opportunities) but it I wanted my camera. It is shinier! Shiny seems to be a theme here...

Anyways, a couple of hours later (and 2 stops at tourist information booths) we manage to get to the "festival." The main attraction seemed to be cotton candy and mask making for kids (free) and live music. It was a hard core metal band. Okay, maybe not the hardest of hard core but it was metal music. The parents seemed a bit baffled by this too. In any case, I'm going to go ahead and say the festival was Not a raging success though the other foreigners seemed to be as amused as we were. On the plus side, they did give out free bottled water.
The festival!

In front of a pavilion thingy before the festival.

The Robot Statue!
What next? I dragged Salsa Boy shopping. To be fair I did appease him greatly with:
-a mint mocha latte
-coal fried squid (though I stole about half of this)
-freshly made strawberry smoothie (I stole a good 1/3 of this too)

I had heard that the Forever 21 in Myeongdong actually had cool clothing and wasn't as trashy as it's American counterpart. The best part: AMERICAN SIZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was not a size large or extra large! I got tshirts that were a SIZE SMALL! It was fantastic! The button down shirt I bought for work has DARTS IN IT for people who aren't completely flat chested! If only they sold bras! I know, this paragraph grossly overuses the exclamation point. Good thing my literature professors don't read my blog. I can just imagine Danny Kaiser ranting at me...only I won't dwell on this since it has been a good 2 weeks since I've had a college workload related nightmare. After that we headed back down south to go home.

A side note:

I finished the Jane Austen book. Loved rereading Northanger Abbey which made me extremely homesick for my home library where I already have duplicates of most of Austen's work. I just can't bring myself to buy it again here though if I find it used I may succumb to temptation. The unfinished novels were just that, unfinished, unpolished and only interesting to read from a literary fanatic's perspective. Her spelling is also atrocious, not just the words with 'period spelling.' It made me feel better about not mastering the apostrophe until my freshman year of college. I replenished my stock of novels at What the Book on Saturday and managed to score 3 books for only 20,000won (about 16 dollars). I am already 200 pages into Bluebeard by Vonnegut (I worship Vonnegut at the moment). It will probably be done by tomorrow. This is why I laughed when a friend asked me what book I bought. BOOK I say? I never buy just one. Well, I do in the states but America has ENGLISH libraries. I simply pay my library fines (and I always have, I used my allowance when I was a kid). Next up on the reading list The Mill on the Floss by George Elliot, Tess of the d'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy (how have I never read this?!) and a FRENCH BOOK. When we were changing subways today to go into Seoul we passed Bandi and Luni which has 2 shelves of French books! I squealed and danced and dragged/skipped/pulled Salsa Boy with me. He didn't really need to be dragged but I think my raging bibliophilia unnerves even him sometimes. Le pavillon des enfants fous, by Valerie Valere is about this girl who is sent to a mental asylum when she is 13. It sounds a bit 'Girl Interrupted' but I don't care. A French novel that isn't 19th century on the shelf! Fantastic! 19th century French novels are fine if I can sit in a quiet room and concentrate very hard but not for reading on the bus to school. I can think in French, I cannot however, think in 19th century vernacular which renders the text very difficult for me. I miss my personal collection. Right now I really want to read Vanity Fair but I have a perfectly good copy at home and I don't want another. Oh well.


Jessica said...

Metal Bands huh? Interesting, and quite neat timing as we went and saw Nightwish last night. Did you catch any names? Were they Korean? Also, I agree with you on multiple books.

Alex said...

Oh darling, to catch a band name I'd have to recognize it as something other than the rest of the Korean I hear around me. That is to say, no I have no idea who was playing. Definitely Korean and not very noteworthy.

Salsa Boy said...

Mmmmmm... Mint Squid Mocha with Strawberries...

Incidentally, I wasn't unnerved as much as overwhelmed by the massive amounts of books, let alone French novels.

Also, I removed J's tongue for being inexplicable in his directions to the festival. "Follow the crowd," he says. "THE CROWD WENT EVERYWHERE!" I tells him. "Which crowd?!?! I was left staring at a street map sign for nearly half an hour! Alex was ready to fight several innocent bystanders, burn down a few tourist booths, and decapitate a robot statue that gave her a 'look.'" Anyway, you'll find J's tongue in a bottle on the doorstep, a gift from me to you.

I may not be able to understand Korean, but I'm sure the death-metal electronica music was lyrically safe for the family oriented environment. After all, he was merely just screaming into the mic.

"Why did you swallow an entire bottle of Tylenol?" asked the psychiatric warden.
To which Wynona Ryder's character responds obviously, "I had a headache."

Alex said...

Mister Salsa,
Your comment made me have to stifle giggles at work!
My glares are lethal. Be frightened. Be Very Frightened.
-The Bibliophile

Josh said...


Dear Salsa Boy,

As the short one's older brother I must warn you that there is little that makes Alex happier than massive quantities of literature (i think more so even than ice cream she can eat) :)

I'm gonna have to get some more vonnegut books....

btw: Love the pictures, i dl'ed some of them for full screen enjoyment later

Alex said...

Josh-Vonnegut is fantastic. I recommend (thus far) Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse 5, and Bluebeard. I read Breakfast of Champions and was not impressed, despite critical acclaim. I also abandoned Hocus Pocus for reasons I don't recall but obviously, it wasn't That fantastic. I want to read everything else. It's SO GOOD. Also, glad you liked the pictures, I will endeavor to keep posting them.

Josh said...

of your recommendations the only one i haven't read is Bluebeard... must acquire....

Jessica said...

Psst. . .someone you know is in the New York Times. . .and it isn't me. . ..

Alex said...

OMG I CAN"T BELIEVE IEN MADE THE NEW YORK FRICKEN TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course, with her talent, I'm not surprised. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE