Sangsang madang and our friend, the waiter.

Sangsang madang today. Can't say I was impressed, overall, but it's a nice atmosphere in the galleries, where you feel like you can just walk in and look around and not be too conspicuous as a foreigner (or any other kind of person). Saw an exhibition by an artist named Na Hyun about seven French soldiers who went missing during the Korean War. Can't say I understood the overarching theme, but I thought the presentation was nice, and I like the idea of what he did -- seven paintings done on aluminum (not sure?) boxes through water. Kind of hard to explain. The actual method of the painting itself interested me more than the concept.

Wandered around for a bit in Hondae, after getting coffee, in search of the infamous Thai Restaurant of Mystery, which Mike spotted a couple of weeks back when he went to dinner with a coworker while I was away, to no avail. Returned to Mike's neighborhood after (Hongdae is a crowded mess and it was cold) to go back to the wang galbi restaurant we've been to three times now. Our friend who speaks English was there again, God bless him, and he made a little more small talk, remembered to bring the ashtray without us having to ask, and gave us a bottle of Coke on the house. We definitely got seated before a group who had been waiting in the cold for seemingly much longer than us (tables obseo).

It's weird. As much as we get gawked at in Incheon, and as many times as tough guy uni students try to start shit, we'll also get preferential treatment. I told Mike, the preferential treatment, in reality, is probably the reason for the tough guys trying to start shit. I'd be well pissed off if someone got a table before me just because they were white, as well. But we're just sort of highlighted extras in this whole big scheme of things -- nothing we can do about it, either way. If only the tough guys understood that.

Nonetheless, I quite like the friendly waiter. I tried to make Mike ask him to go out sometime (I can't do these things... I'm a girl -- sends the wrong message), but he wasn't having any of it. Anyway, we can add the place to our list of Safe Houses For the Idiot Waegookin Who Don't Speak Korean. Which is good, because the sea of men who gather in that little square in Mike's neighborhood are just too intimidating.

These days, I've been telling Mags more about my past, as there's very little to talk about in our daily lives, since work is such a crashing bore at the moment. That, and I've been missing my brother quite badly, which makes me think of home. I don't talk about home much to many people, or the past really. Don't think about it much. But Mags insists I have to start writing about some of the more ridiculous situations I've been in. I try to explain it's all more boring than it sounds, and there isn't much to tell. And I've no idea how to go about organizing it into any kind of cohesive form. Non-fiction keeps gnawing at the back of my mind, though. We'll see.

Tomorrow we've agreed to see how we're feeling, and I might head to Mike's for joint Korean studying time. Or we'll make it a writing day. Either way, we're bound to feel let down by ourselves at the end of the day. But, as in all things these days, at least we're trying.

A couple of photos, since I'm so rubbish about posting them most of the time:

Mags seconds away from wigging out at me for taking his photo in a coffee shop, like we see happening so often.

Mags's neighborhood at night. Neon.

Wang galbi. The happiest place on earth, on a cold February night: a table with hot coals, smoking meat and soju.

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