It's 11.15pm, Sunday evening and I feel like I should only be halfway through my weekend. This is entirely my fault as I spent all of yesterday in bed with the worst hangover I have had since I got here, and missed a halloween party as a result. I wound up staying in with a friend and eating lots of ice cream and watching Empire Records. It was a lot like being 15 again.
Friday night was fun though. We stupidly began playing a drinking game called 'Never Have I Ever' - basically truth or dare with drinking. So there is lots of information suitable for blackmailing people with around at the moment.
This week's great news is that I have booked my tickets for my xmas holiday.... to Vietnam!! We fly out to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in the south, on 23rd December and back again on the 30th. I have already bought my Lonely Planet guide and have been planning all the things I want to see. I am a little bit concerned though - although we made reservations with an english-speaking travel agent, we don't have to pay until 2 weeks before we go. We clarified this several times and the agent assured us it was fine. So in theory our flights are reserved although we are yet to pay a penny. Its costing us 750,000W for the flight - about £420. Which isn't as cheap as I'd hoped, but trying to book it on the internet was proving to be a real nightmare. However, the accommodation in Vietnam should be cheap. We should be able to get a budget hotel for less than $25 a night. We are thinking about spending our first night in luxury though -so we might book a posh hotel somewhere.
I've had a really lazy day today. I got up at 11am and went to JRs, a bar, for a cooked breakfast, where I chatted to everyone who had been to the halloween party the night before. Half the boys still had black eyeliner and nail varnish on, which was amusing. After breakfast - consisting of weird mini sausages, french toast (which I don't like, so I gave it to my friend Jim) and the oddest looking hash browns I have ever seen - Nicky and I went home to do some cleaning and emailing with the plan of going to the cinema that afternoon. We met up at 3pm and got a taxi to Lotte Department Store. Lotte is a huge store that has 9 floors, with a cinema taking up the 7/8 floors. However, my one experience of going to Lotte had previously been in my first week, when I wanted to buy some summer clothes. I was followed around by hyper-efficient sales clerks the whole time and it freaked me out, so i haven't been back since. This time the sales clerks were not the problem, but the lifts were. Nicky is somewhat claustrophobic and this apparently not a problem for Koreans, as they crammed as many people as physically possible into the lift as we went up the 7 floors to the cinema.
We finally got to the top, only to find out that they were showing only 2 english films, DOA and The Devil Wears Prada, and neither were the film we'd been planning on seeing. So we picked another film, though neither were hugely appealing, and went to the counter, where it said our film was on at half four. But when we tried to buy tickets, we were told that it had in fact finished at 2pm. So we gave up on that and decided we would go for a coffee and then go to a dvdbang. However, it took us another 15 mins to get back to the ground floor because every lift was full.
We eventually left and went for a coffee in a bar called Mango, which is very trendy, with comfy sofas and a Spanish owner (its incredibly odd listening to the Korean staff speaking Spanish!). We text our friends who said they'd come and join us for a coffee and maybe a dvd and waited for them. In the mean time we sat and read our Vietnam guides and planned the things we wanted to see. A good hour later, we got a message saying that half our friends had already gone to a dvdbang without us! I was not very impressed at this point, as they knew I wanted to go to a dvdbang, and was a bit annoyed that they hadn't invited Nicky and I. Instead, we arranged to meet another friend for dinner downtown, but he wasn't ready yet. So where did we go? Firstly, for a burger in the korean equivalent of McDonalds. Then, to another posh coffee shop, this time in Gaeksa - the downtown shopping area. James arrived a bit later and we headed off for dinner - you guessed it - Vietnamese! I had chilli rice topped with pork, and it was delicious, but easily the spiciest meal i have had since getting to Korean. Which is odd, considering the koreans claim that Korean food is too spicy for westerners, but i have yet to eat any Korean food that spicy.
After dinner, the plan was to finally go to a dvdbang, but then we heard that some other friends, who'd been away for the weekend, wanted to join us. So we had to wait for their bus to get in. And where did we go? Another posh coffee shop. Our third that day. We eventually got to a dvdbang at about 8.30pm, where we watched Donnie Darko - a film I have seen several times. However, I love it, and most of the others hadn't seen it, so I didn't mind. It was a good day - but just a bit too much faffing around for my liking! A good example of a fairly typical sunday at the moment though - I've spent the last three sundays in coffee shops. And they do make amazing iced cafe mochas with loads of whipped cream here