Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekend Bliss:

Lately I have really lived for my weekends. With the pressures of work always on the rise and the fact that I haven't had any vacation time since December; it is essential to take full advantage of the 2 days I have to myself. 

For quite a while you could say I was a hermit. Friday nights were full of pizza and movies, while Saturday and Sundays were usually filled with coffee, blogs, and reruns of TV shows. However, now that I'm out of that funk, I'm back to enjoying Seoul and all that it has to offer. 

Friday night I enjoyed Shabu Shabu with Jin. Shabu Shabu is one of my favorite Korean meals: it's a bubbling, boiling pot of delicious spicy broth and vegetables. After you eat all the vegetables, you then can add in the meat, which cooks almost instantly. The thinly sliced beef is dipped into a sweet soy and lemon mixture and could please any palate. After the meat is finished, udong noodles are usually added to the remaining broth. Udong is a thick type of noodle and even though you may be stuffed; you'll still want to indulge. After dinner we enjoyed ice cream, which was a great way to end the night. 

Saturday after a delicious thai food lunch and lounging, we headed to the opera. I saw Madame Butterfly for the first time and loved it. Although it was a bit slow at points, I thought it was sung beautifully. I wasn't sure how well the Koreans were going to sing in Italian, but considering they are classically trained, I should have expected it to be amazing. (which it was!) 

Madame Butterfly is staged in Japan in the early 20th century. The US Navy has docked in Japan and Pinkerton, the main male character, has just procured three servants and a geisha wife. Cio-Cio-San, known as Madame Butterfly, shares her life with Pinkerton and explains to him how she had to help her family with money and therefore earned the money by being a geisha. Her family is unhappy with the marriage to Pinkerton and at the end of Act 1 he leaves to go back to America. 

Three years later and in Act 2, Pinkerton finally comes back to Japan. However, he has not only come back, but he has brought his new American wife-Kate. What he doesn't know is that Madame Butterfly bared his child while he was away. She is convinced that once Pinkerton knows of their son, Dolore, that he surely will come back. 

Unfortunately in the end Pinkerton says goodbye to Madame Butterfly and his life in Japan. Cio-Cio-San, unable to live with the pain, decides to take her own life. It was a sad ending, but a beautiful opera overall. 

After the opera, we made our way to Myeong-dong to pick up some new kicks for me to wear to Cambodia and enjoyed a scrumptious dinner at California Pizza Kitchen

Today, I slept until 12. I cannot even remember a time in the past 6 months were I have even slept until 10- it was a surprising treat and a great way to start the day. After a few hours of emails, TV watching, and lounging- I finally got out of my apartment for the day. After Jin and I made our way Itaewon via subway, we enjoyed stuffed pitas from Pita Time (imagine subway, but replace the bread with pitas :)) After our late lunch, I bought some new books for my trip to Cambodia and ran into an old friend. We indulged on delicious iced coffees from Coffee Bean and I made it home in time to get a hair cut at my favorite salon. 

It's always fun to reflect on a busy weekend.. especially my last one before vacation. Next Saturday it's off to Cambodia! The adventures await me. 

New haircut, what do you think? 

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