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Published: August 16th 2010
Morocco # 204
Day Two at Gyeonggi English Village
If one word could describe an entire day then I would choose lackluster for this one... or would I?
Both Shauna and I woke up early in the morning around six, we looked at each other, rolled over to check the clock, jumped up out of bed, hit the Air Conditioner 'on button' turning the temperature to
twenty-two degrees Celsius (71.6f), climbing back into bed, kissing the other one and rolling over stuffing our heads into our pillows. A mere two hours later I steamrolled Shauna, as she slept in a deep dark sleep and fell through the bathroom door, jarring my knee against the toilet! I yelped several mumblings about not being awake enough for this, did my business and climbed slowly back into bed only after raising the AC temp to twenty-four degrees Celsius (75.2f)!
Somewhere between 8 o'clock in the morning and 10 o'clock, I was soundly asleep dreaming about fresh made waffles with whipping cream dipped into home made raspberry syrup topped with freshly sliced juicy organic strawberries... and this is the precise moment Shauna decides to interrupt an amazing mid-morning non-food induced napping dream, to arouse me into
helping out with the cleaning of our disgusting apartment!
To state, that the apartment was dirty, would be an understatement! The walls were covered in a shallow haze of dust, the floors were covered in a nice brown mucus coloring as if the floor was suppose to be dirt brown and their were several daddy long legs, calling the corners around our apartment sacred breeding grounds! But with will power, bleach and three buckets, we cleaned the apartment from top to bottom, thoroughly scrubbing, rescrubbing, cleansing, washing and wiping down until we found the white stucco walls below!
We pulled out the vacuum with its zero percent sucking power because the only bag in the apartment was in the vacuum and 93% full... to say the least, it spat out more than it sucked up. Therefore, we changed to sweeping the floors, walls, floors, walls, ceiling, bathroom, desk, table, couch and cupboards until we had purged each space of cobwebs and lingering dirt!
Then, if we hadn't cleaned enough after three hours of intense apartment "spring-like" cleaning, we pulled out the bucket of bleach and sanitizer and went over everything one last time! By this fourth hour
Knee deep in tub-scrub
of cleaning our apartment smelled better than we did but our stomachs were aching for something more than cup o'noodle soup?
We cleaned ourselves, unfolded some more of our clothes, and prepared ourselves for the afternoon. Our direct plan was go in search of food, near the Kim-bop place that Mike had taken us to for lunch the day before because everyone swore it was only a fifteen minute walk. Thankfully, Shauna is a time-piece essential kind of woman, and timed our journey out our apartment, down the stairs, through the front wooden gate, around immigration station, passing Stonehenge, down the hill, through the street lights, up past the Catholic church under construction, between the two hills, past the apartment building complex, down to the third light, turning left, up the block past the convenience shop, to the Kim-bop restaurant. Only it took both our long easy walking legs twenty-six minutes thirteen and a half seconds! Huh? "Perhaps we were walking slower than we thought, Shauna? Because we are both hungry and haven't had a lick to eat today?" Is what I said. Shauna laughed at me stating we were practically running down the hill because our stomachs were
Lunch... Kim-bop roll, Seafood & Cold Soup plus ban-chans
willing us towards the food. We both laughed some more. Then we walked around the block to check out what else we might consider to be "edible in the neighborhood?"
After looking through four shop windows, we turned around and went back to the Kim-bop place. Shauna ordered the same Kim-bop roll as the day before with no meat, a cold soup and some how we managed to order me something to do with seafood?
When our food arrived, my lunch looked like someone had just smuggled six squid and an octopus from the local river, smashing them through a grinder and dipping them into gochujang (red pepper paste) then smothering it in boiling hot water, served with rice! It was interesting, slightly rubbery and had the most amazing sauce which words don't do it justice. However, in less than twenty minutes it did give me the worst smelling farts on the planet! Thankfully, we were given ban-chans, little side dishes of food that come with every meal you order in South Korea. Today, we received kim-chi and pickled radish slices! We ate three bowls of pickled radishes!
Shauna's cold soup consisted of a dirt brown broth,
The cold-drink isle
long angel hair noodles called Vermicili (which I dislike from a bad puking incident about nine-months ago), egg, seaweed, mushroom and cabbage. Shauna insisted I try this soup, even though I am definitely afraid of the noodles. But like the gracious and curious person I am, I tried a bit. It was DISGUSTING!!! "Seriously, how do people like this?" I asked her while trying not to spew it across the table. Shauna wasn't at all surprised, that I wasn't fond of the cold nasty soup. She loved it! Not surprising either.
We have this thing... either we both love it 100%, we both dislike it 100% or we are completely opposite on the tastes! Usually, I'd say 44% of the time, we are on opposite sides in our tastes, the other 55% we are in agreeance and it is a rare 1% chance we both dislike something.
We ate our food, silently chewing and trying to decipher other items on the meal. Our total bill was 8,500 won or just around $8.50! We wondered back to the convenience store, checking it out. Then walked back to our apartment so Shauna could change clothes then we were heading across
the street to the Heyri Arti Gallery campus.
Prior to coming to the English Village, I had begun to read about two very unique areas within the Gyeonggi-do province. First, is a place called Paju Book City, where literature and novels are published, produced and sold within a community less than twenty minutes by bus from the English Village. Second, and much much closer is the village of Heyri Arti. What many people do not know is that this particular village is more like a cooperative area for artists of ever discipline to come and acknowledge their talents. Some of these people are actors, writers, painters, architects, musicians and much much more.
Heyri Art Valley was constructed to blend in with the surrounding structures and landscape. The local construction regulations require all buildings to be no more than three stories tall. Just by glancing at these buildings you will admire their artistry since architects constructed each building with its own unique characteristics.
The artists living within the area have opened up their homes to become galleries, cafes or a combination of both. They have literally let the public come into their home and view their artwork, or
Heyri Arti Valley
enjoy the private collections adorning their walls, letting viewers enjoy gorgeous collections of artwork by various Korean and International artists. Currently, there are more than 40 museums, exhibitions, concert halls, bookstores and cafes/restaurants you can enjoy within the Art Valley!
Heyri Arti ( http://www.www.heyri.net )
What we didn't understand until wandering through roughly a third of the art valley was the abundance of art within each home, surrounding each home and the distinct design of each home! We had only managed to touch the tip of the ice berg when we spotted, "The Chocolate Design Gallery." Our mouths started salivating the closer we walked towards this structure. We didn't know the lure of what would become our favorite place to go and the once place we wanted to take everyone we would meet!
The Chocolate Design Gallery http://www.chocolategallery.co.kr
The Chocolate Design Gallery, was just that. A small cafe where creations of chocolate morsels were made from scratch. They had truffles, cakes, pies, pies of chocolate, ice cream, coffee, coffee with ice cream, chocolate sauce, chocolate spoons, chocolate hearts... there were over fifty different kinds of chocolate things stated on the menu! Our
eyes began to bug-out when a large delicious bowl with fruit, shaved ice, nuts, chocolate cubes and chocolate sauce went by. We looked at each other, then back at the bowl... we had no idea what we wanted or what we should get ourselves but then we caught a glimpse of this immense treat and pointed with googling eyes. We mumbled to the propreitor, something about chocolate ice cream thingy in giant bowl lOOks awesome, can we please have one, two spoons, and we'd be outside over in that direction - - - >
She smiled at our dumb founded jibber while we handed over the 9,000 won for the desert! Seriously, it was $9.00 CAD for this desert. Shauna and I walked outside with our little number, sat down, looked around and smiled at everyone else enjoying their chocolate desert treats. We spoke briefly about the chocolate things we were seeing until one lost looking female waitress spotted us at the end of a very long wooden table. She approached us and set down the most amazing, astonishing, eye-appealing piece of gorgeous bowl of loveliness, I had ever gazed upon. We both picked up our spoons and instead
A patron walks into the gallery/cafe
snapped off a half dozen pictures to keep this one in our heads. We slowly picked through each layer of chocolate goodness, smothering the pieces of fruit we had been given with chocolate sauce! We admired the desert makers beautiful sweet touch of adding red bean paste on top of the shaved ice just below the scoop of chocolate ice cream! I wanted to dance on the table my taste buds were erupting! I wanted to kiss the proprietor and do the hali-galli dance in the middle of the backyard for all to see! This was astonishing my tongue, tantalizing my eyes and engrossing my stomach with delicious flavors!
Shauna say with a wicked daze of what could only be... "Love" in her eyes for this beautiful desert treasure. We decided right then and there, if anyone ever came to visit, we MUST bring them to this deliciously amazing chocolate shop to tempt their taste buds along with our own!
However, we did decide we were only going to indulge at the Chocolate Design Gallery once a month because there are many other galleries and cafes we have yet to try and do not want to limit ourselves
to only stuffing ourselves and our faces with chocolate goodness!!!
I believe... and I might be somewhat wrong but I do think the following were ALL the wonderful items in this deliciously amazing treat;
Chocolate Ice Cream on top of Red Bean Paste, Corn Flakes, Almonds, Chocolate Sauce, Pineapple slices, Melon Slices, Cubes of Chocolate, Shaved Ice mixed with Shaved Chocolate pieces
After gorging ourselves on this wonderful treat we slowly retreated through the structures checking out a couple of other galleries, wondering into a few shops and taking a few more pictures. Then we headed back to our apartment to gaze into each others eyes, finish unpacking our bags, hanging up our clothes and spend a relaxing evening in our new apartment together because we had finally made it, to Paju City (or at least we thought) and the English Village.
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