Whirlwind Week: From Coffee Expo to Cat Cafe

Frozen Yogurt Machines

Frozen Yogurt Machines

Ice cream with honey comb

Ice cream with honey comb

Last weekend, Alex went to Osaka, Japan with his two buddies from Seoul, and met up with his college friend Paul. From what I hear, it was an awesome “bro” weekend, and of course, not much sightseeing was done. I asked Alex if he wanted to contribute to the blog, but he said there wasn’t much to say…

While Alex was in Osaka, I made myself busy so that I wouldn’t miss him (too much). 🙂

I went to the Seoul Coffee Expo at the COEX exhibition center, with Laura, whose fiance was in Osaka with Alex. This was a four day exhibit of everything coffee: coffee machines, coffee beans, syrups, desserts, teas, labels, pagers (when you’re waiting for your coffee order), and even music to play in coffee shops. There were also a bunch of franchise booths, from frozen yogurt to coffee to chicken and beer chains. Laura and I were at COEX when it opened, so the lines weren’t that bad. We got to go through the “foreigner only” line, so that made it even faster. We were first in line for the frozen yogurt samples (pretty good, but not the same fro-yo flavor from the U.S.) and then made our way through the exhibit, sampling coffees and espressos. The ice cream with honey comb was pretty tasty! And then, we went back to the frozen yogurt booth to eat more frozen yogurt…

Formal table setting

Formal table setting

The waitstaff

The waitstaff

The next day, I went to an urban farmer’s market near Hyewha station, with my friend Angela. It was smaller than I expected, but that’s probably because only local artisans are allowed (people can only sell what they themselves make). Angela and I shared a pork sandwich and walked around looking at handmade soaps, chocolates, and cookies. It was a beautiful day, so it was nice to be outside! After that, I went to my friend Renee’s to be a member of her “waitstaff” for a charity dinner she was holding. I felt very “Downton Abbey” as I donned black pants and a white collared shirt, and arranged a “formal” table setting (after googling how to arrange the various forks, as well as water goblet, rose, white wine, and red wine glasses). I resisted the urge to take out a tape measure to make sure all the silverware lined up (in reference to the intro in “Downton Abbey”). Renee’s English friend Edward actually came over to be the “butler.” I told him that the guests probably thought his accent was fake! It was actually really fun hanging out with the other waitstaff in the kitchen, plating meals and pouring drinks. I got to taste-test most of the courses, except for the steaks! After dinner, the men went outside to smoke cigars and drink scotch on the balcony, and the women stayed inside to chat. We female waitstaff sat down with the ladies (all from the U.S.) to chat. After that, I hopped in a cab to go home, because Alex was coming home from Osaka!

Succulent TerrariumTuesday night, I had dinner with Alex in the Samsung cafeteria (romantic date, I know) before heading over to the Yeoksam Center for a horticultural therapy class. It was around a dozen girls and just one guy- a PhD student from Pennsylvania. We learned about succulents and rosemary and Vick’s plant (smells exactly like Vick’s vapo-rub!), before planting our own succulents in a terrarium. We then planted rosemary and Vick’s plants (from cuttings) and made a homemade greenhouse. The class was really fun (and pretty relaxing too!). Let’s see how long I can keep these plants alive… And, let’s see how long before Noodles bites off all the leaves…

Cat cafe with Alia

Cat cafe with Alia (Photo credit: Alia A)

Hairless cat

Hairless cat

Thursday night, after my Kpop dance class (I AM THE WORST at learning choreography… I’m clumsy and I have a poor memory so I can’t remember any of the steps), I met my friend Alia for dinner and then we headed to a cat cafe in Gangnam. I thought this one was much better than the one I went to in Tokyo, because it a). smelled less bad, b). charged for drinks only, no hourly rate, c). had cuter cats. There were a bunch of Korean high school students studying with cats in their laps. Alia bought five bags of chicken treats, and we went around feeding the cats. There was one hairless cat that Alia really loved…and she kept calling the cat “chicken” because, well, he looked like a plucked chicken. Since he had no fur, he wore a little fleece jacket. His skin was really smooth… but I just didn’t like looking at a shriveled up, hairless cat! As I was posing for a picture with a piece of chicken treat in my hand, a cat jumped up and swiped at me!! I got a REALLY nasty cut on my pinky. The girl behind the counter put some iodine on it and gave me a bandage. When I came home, Noodles could smell the other cats on me… I think he knew I had betrayed him by spending time (and money) on other cats.

Mahjong ladies

Mahjong ladies

"Mahjong" men

“Mahjong” men

After a few drinks... (Photo credit: David C)

After a few drinks…
(Photo credit: David C)

Friday night, we had our second Mahjong Ladies Club dinner with spouses, at Renee’s apartment. We had a great time with our new friends, watching the sunset, and cooking homemade pizzas on the grill. Alex and I completely stuffed ourselves! Mozzarella! Pepperoni! Artichokes! Bratwursts! Ribs! Cake! I wanted to eat more, I REALLY did, but I couldn’t handle another bite. After that, the guys talked about … well, I have no idea, but the girls did our nails with Lee Ann’s new Chanel nail polish. It was past midnight before we even realized it! I’m really lucky to have found these ladies! Last Thursday, they made cupcakes and presented me with a brand new, “antique” (oh the oxymoron!) mahjong set, that came in it’s own wooden box, for my birthday. And then we went to a lovely French restaurant, Tavern 38, for dinner with our spouses. Renee knew the chef, so we had our picture taken with him. We were given complimentary French onion soup as well as a platter of desserts. The duck I ordered was DELICIOUS.

Well, I think after all this eating, I’m on a diet… maybe.

 

Mahjong birthday present and cupcakes

Mahjong birthday present and cupcakes

Dinner at Tavern 38

Dinner at Tavern 38

Chef of Tavern 38

Chef of Tavern 38

 

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: