1. Riding my bike at 1:30am with the Transformer’s soundtrack. (An excellent piece of music, I must say.) Seeing tiny little buildings heaped up on each other, and tiny little roads that climb up hills, and things that look, smell, and feel like countryside right in the middle of a city.
2. The Jimjilbang and the sauna.
The Jimjilbang is a Korean spa. Many are open 24 hours, and they have one co-ed sauna area where you wear uniforms, and then a gender separate bath. There are different tubs with jets and different sauna style rooms. I laid in one of the tubs last night, in a steam room. The room is full of water vapor, and it is really-really-really hot–probably like 120 or 140, and when you walk in you can barely breath. But then there is a pool of cool water. And, best yet, the walls are decorated with shining rocks, crystals and river stones in different colors, that make pictures of waves and trees. It’s nice because you are alone in there, usually. Outside in the bathes, all the Korean women stare at me. For a couple reasons, I guess–one because I’m a foreigner, and two because I’m alone, since I usually go to the Jimjilbang with my male coworkers. (We chill in the saunas and then split up to go to the spa part, of course.) I haven’t met any girls that seem to like it yet.
3. The badass female bartender at Sponge
The most famous bar in Daejeon, where all the foreigners go, is called “Western Bar Sponge.” It’s a lot of fun most of the time, but it’s the place where you are guaranteed to see just about everybody teaching/studying on this side of the city. And there is this bar tender, who looks like she could break me in half, with this epic mop of curly hair, an amazing smile, and hugs for everybody. Her english is minimal, so I can’t really tell her that I think she is the coolest person ever. But she did give me a hug last night.
4. Kimbap, Donkasu, and–well–most Korean food.
I say this all the time, but man do I love the food here. It’s just all so good. Spectacularly good!
5. Feeling awesome when I say something in Korean, and somebody understands.
I am pretty proud of myself for being able to chug out a few sentences and read at 2 months. I am not really confident, and I wish that I knew more, but I do feel pretty awesome when the light goes on in my head, and I actually communicate with someone–no matter how halting and choppy it is.
6. Laughing hysterically with my good classes.
Some classes are just adorable. Some classes just rock, and they make me laugh so much that I just break down with them. When I have enough energy, these are the best classes, and I just love it.