It feels a little bizarre to be reflecting on various expat holiday events in Korea now that it’s January 3rd, but that’s what happens from Christmas through the New Year. My gym trips have become less frequent (thank goodness my weight has not increased!), I’ve slept in later, spent much more time with friends, and have neglected blogging more than I’d like to admit. Christmas comes to Korea (Part 2) takes us back to December 19th, 2015. Since then, I’ve had Christmas Eve festivities at school, Christmas brunch (and post-brunch napping), Christmas Dinner (where we actually ended up at a club in Seomyeon, of all places…Happy Birthday, Jesus!), New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and the remaining 2 days rounding out my winter vacation. December was a complete and total blur, and thinking back on this year (it’s been 10 months in Korea – I can’t believe it) time has flown by far too quickly.
We all seem to have become accustomed to our tiny Korean kitchens. Some of my friends have toaster ovens and microwaves. I have neither. It’s tough to impress at a pot-luck dinner for foreigners with 2 hot plates and a blender. 10 girls from across Canada, the United States, and England filled Expat and the City’s villa-style (ie. not an apartment high-rise) suite bringing various hors d’oeuvres and desserts. I brought homemade hummus and crudites, while others made charcuterie platters, homemade cookies (pictured above – they were out of this world!), and vegetarian Vietnamese salad wraps. The people who opted for the traditional Korean custom of take-out brought chicken bites, Frasier bakery bread (blueberry “crack” bread), and ice cream cake. There was plenty of food (we were definitely dessert-heavy!), and we spread out across the living room and bedroom to nom out.
We had been assigned Secret Santa at our American Thanksgiving pot-luck dinner, but since there were more people joining us we turned it into a stealing game where everyone had a number (there are various names for this game) and, going in order, each person could either steal a gift or select a new one to open.
The favourite of the evening seemed to be a pair of fleece Canadiana-inspired Moose pajama pants (there were a couple of other things in the package but I don’t quite remember what). The second most stolen gift was a cozy package including a little lamb fleece hood (totally designed as a blanky or towel for little kids) with some hot chocolate, face masks, and Christmas-themed Krispy Kreme donuts.
The brigade of fleecy, soft PJ pants!
It took us 8 months (to the day, in fact) to finish the Absolut from Kudeta, but we did it! I had my gifts stolen twice (wahhhh!), had the opportunity to steal once, and ended the game by taking the last gift (PJ pants with cows jumping over moons and a wicked night-time face gel).
Sam’s place is really close to Seomyeon (a downtown area of Busan that’s not on a beach), so we piled into a couple of cabs and headed over to Thursday Party. If you live in Korea and have never been to Thursday Party (an American-themed bar franchise with cheap-ish drinks by Korean standards, darts, beer pong, and sticky floors), I would be very surprised. We sang a combination of Korean, Canadian (Canadians are ruling the Billboard top 10 and top 100 right now), and American pop tunes, met some Korean girls (usually it’s just the guys who want to chat so that was new), and boogied in our self-made dance-floor (there was an actual dance-floor, we just couldn’t get over to it!). Between Seoul and Busan, the Christmas season was shaping up well!