Day six was a beautiful Monday in Gimpo. So of course I chose to do absolutely nothing. I didn't even eat. Well, I ate a LOT of starburst. I don't think that counts though. When I decided to put on pants, and by that I mean, when I was forced to put on pants, I walked Em home from work and we got a pre dinner pizza at Pizza Alvolo while waiting to Tim and Shelby to arrive from Seoul. Em only let us eat half of it though since we were about to go to dinner. The pizza was good. The crust was made out of black rice flour and it's soooo chewy and delicious. Why can't we make pizza crust like that here America????? Are you intimidated by purple crust?!?!? Lame. Moving on! When Tim and Shelby got there we went to this traditional korean restaurant called Guseok. Now, we are in Gimpo, population 6 caucasians and 1 african american, so we stood out. The menus were in hangul without pictures so I was pretty much screwed. Luckily, Shelby and Em can read them. I had Kalbitang, which is a beef rib soup of awesome.
(Courtesy of maangchi.com)
Unfortunately, the kimchi was rather off. I didn't like it much at all. They even served Radish Kimchi (if you know me well, you know this is my favorite food) and it wasn't very good either. I was heartbroken. The soup was boss though. Afterwards we went to Baskin Robbins where I ate ice cream with POP ROCKS in it. Sooooo gooooooood! After that, Shelby went home and Tim, Em, and I watched Faith until I fell asleep.
Day Seven (D-day)
This day was Em's day. And if you know my dearest friend Emily, you know that she is eons more in shape than lil' ol' chunktastic me. So, I was a little nervous about this day. It was the day where my fat was actually going to hold me back. I hate being right.
I woke up at 5:30 on this beautiful day. It was better than waking up at 3. I read on my kindle while I waited for people to get up and get ready. I don't really remember what we ate for breakfast. I actually don't think we ate anything. We started off with a long bus ride (1.5 hours?) to Ganghwa-do (do means island) to see North Korea. We got on this horrible bus that was obviously on it's death bed. The fumes inside the bus were enough to kill people. Also, there were only ajummas and ajusshis on this bus. There might have been 1 young guy but he got off at Gimpo university. About a half a mile away from the bus terminal we were supposed to go to, the bus stopped and we had to get off because it was almost dead. There was another bus we could have transferred to but we decided to just walk to the terminal. We didn't see ANY foreigners here. We stuck out like sore thumbs. We did charm some people though. Especially the tourist information guy. We asked him what time a bus left and he gave us this whole spiel about the Ganghwa Peace Observatory and ushered us onto a bus to go see it. He even told the driver where we were getting off since we don't speak korean. We drove deep into the countryside and got dropped off in the middle of nowhere. What awaited us was the bane of my existence. The mountain.
The red dot is our bus stop. The white building is our destination. (photo courtesy of bikerontheroad.com)
I laughed when I saw it. It's not like I could have said "Eff that! I'm not doing it." We had traveled a long time to get here and the bus wouldn't be back for another 2 hours or so. So we made our way (slowly) up this giant hill. I feel like I could write words about how I felt and how embarrassed I was that I couldn't make it up the hill like a normal person, but they wouldn't do my feelings justice. The important part is, I FREAKING MADE IT UP THERE WITHOUT DYING OR PASSING OUT! Fat Kid: 1 Mountain: 0.5
It was beautiful up there. I got a couple of pictures of the grounds and got some hazy pictures of North Korea. We paid 500 won to look in a telescope and saw the inhabitants of North Korea living their daily lives. There was lots of farming. Totally wasn't as cool as I thought it would be. Hahahaha. But I've still seen North Korea, so there's that. I was really freaking close to it too. Like 3ish miles away. There was lots of military and barbed wire fences. Here's some pictures!
The mountains are North Korea. Look at the fences!
The beginning of me conquering the mountain.
What I was about to conquer. Look at how steep! Tim looks thrilled.
I liked that there was a Korean flag in an empty field. Still trekking up.
At the top! Cool tanks.
2 more memorials with turtles!
North Korea from the 2nd floor of the Observatory
Another picture of North Korea.
A beautiful view from the top of the mountain.
This was just the beginning of our day. After we left Ganghwa-do we set out to Mapo, the home of YG Entertainment. YG is the home of korean superstars Big Bang, 2NE1, Psy, Winner, Lee Hi, Epik High, Akdong Musician, and many more. I needed to see my Oppa's home. When we found it, there were fan girls standing outside. Em asked if I wanted to go stand with them but I couldn't. Korean fangirls scare me. A lot. So I just fawned over the building for a few moments.
Me freaking out at YG
The Garden at YG that was in an episode of Running Man. My oppa has been in that garden.
G-Dragon on an ad outside of the GS across from YG. They've touched that convenient store. And now so have I.
After YG, we set off to find JYP and SM. After getting off at Gangnam-Gu office (which is the best subway station EVER. ESCALATORS ALL OF THE WAY OUT!!!!) we walked in the wrong direction for a while and then gave up on trying to find them. By this time, I was sore, hungry, cranky, tired, and just mad. But we still had more to do. We met Shelby at this Galbi restaurant by her house and I experienced my first grill at your table meal. IT WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOODDDDDD! Totally made my day. After that, Tim, Em, and I went back to Gimpo, watched Faith, and slept. The end. For now.