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Here I go again, complaining about my health like an old man. I have a serious Seoul cough for the first time in two years. I could have sworn that I had beaten it. They must have changed the pollution composition recently. Actually, we had a small but severe spout of unseasonal yellow dust a couple of weeks ago, and my cough started after that. Yesterday, I had to clear my lungs every five minutes. It was hard to do anything, much less lecture.

A few of us headed to Yongsan and Insa-dong early yesterday morning to finish our Christmas shopping. Yongsan was a bust. We wanted to find a Nintendo Wii with a mod chip, but no one had any. The Korean launch of the Wii will be in March. We wandered through a lot of places, and it took up most of our time.

We gave up and took a train to Insa-dong after another delay of confusing exit platform numbers for subway line numbers. we got out the wrong exit, went down, came back out the right exit after one of us lagged behind because he was helping an old man who had fallen down the stairs (we were too far ahead and didn’t see it). I led us the long way around to Insa-dong because I still don’t know the alleys well enough yet, something I plan to remedy during vacation.

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We finished our shopping at one shop that we all like. It usually has what I’m looking for at decent prices.

We had a little time left, so we ducked down into a basement tea house/restaurant for lunch. It was a great lunch at just around 5,000-7,000 won per person. Eun Jeong was surprised I found food this cheap in Insa-dong. But really, it was just their lunch menu. I’ll have to remember this place. Their Galbi Jjim was the best I’ve tasted so far.

Our time ran out quickly. We kept missing the subway trains as they left the station, so we showed up at work ten minutes after class had started. Fortunately, it was spelling test day. So other staff could get that started until we showed up.

That night I had planned to meet a fellow blogger, Douglas from Through Whitey’s Eyes. I took a taxi from work to Beomgye, and I met him at a coffee shop. I had also found out that day that the very same evening was Chris’s little brother’s going away party at the Hi OB, along with Eric, another long-timer in Anyang.

We took that long walk from Beomgye to the Hi OB. We were some of the first to arrive, and Chris and his brother were already there. Chris was hooking a Playstation to the overhead projector.

We sat down and had a few beers. I ordered some food (Kimchi Jjigae and some Chicken Feet) because I hadn’t eaten dinner. I love the Kimchi Jjigae there.

I got tired very quickly. Doug had to go home early so he could catch the subway. Friend Lee was there, along with the Who’s Who of the Anyang foreigner community. I haven’t been drinking much these days, and my weight has actually gone down a good bit. So the beer was not having a good effect on me. I didn’t feel buzzed or drunk–just sick. I wanted to go home.

Then they started a drinking game, Submarine, and pressured me to participate. But that was it. After one round, I just put on my coat, gave Friend Lee money to pay my tab and went home.

Oh, and I remembered to say bye before leaving the Hi OB.

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