Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Gangneung Coffee Festival

Wednesday, October 9th was Hangeul Proclamation Day (according to my calendar) which basically meant I had a free day in the middle of the week to celebrate the creation/invention of the Korean alphabet by the illustrious King Sejong (who I'm quite fond of through portrayals in Korean dramas).

I know there were celebrations around the country, but I actually went and explored the Gangneung Coffee Festival with Elizabeth and her friend who came up on Tuesday night.

This has become a bigger festival in recent years and we had a good time exploring at the indoor sports stadium where it was held:


Outdoor booths.  You could roast coffee beans and purchase an
assortment of coffee-related craft items.

 All the coffee places in Gangneung.  Not sure if I could hit them all in a year.  Just based on
how much it might cost me...

Want to buy a coffee plant?  They had them!
He looks so professional...
Friendly owls from coffee grounds that you could make if you wanted!  It seemed
like they had a variety of uses aside from being decorative?

I did make one craft while I was there: a cute little fish key chain with coffee beans inside.  The ladies helped me make it with really broken English, but since everyone tends to be super helpful here we managed.  It smells like coffee...

Of course they had baked goods to go with all of the free coffee samples.
Elizabeth's friend was/is obsessed with pastries, but this was so good I
can totally understand.
Cute cookies for your coffee at another baked goods place!
(P.S. Sorry my finger somehow made this shot.  Proof I was there?)

They also had a random table for antiques.  And they had our Oreo container for sale!  I couldn't believe it!  I doubt we paid that much.  And I love the sign.  That seems like a great thing to hang in your house...




Then we headed over to Anmok, the Coffee Beach (as I've taken to calling it), but they were really hungry so we actually ended up walking all the way to Beach to get burgers at Cafe Paul & Mary which they had heard about.  I had thought Cafe Paul & Mary was at Anmok, but remembered once we walked a while that it was actually at Gangmun beach to the north.  Last time I made that walk it took me around 20 minutes - though I'm thinking maybe 30-40 would be a better estimate now... I have learned I really suck at time estimation.  But I do walk very fast too.

And there, again, is the one Starbucks in Gangneung.
They did not have seasonal lattes.
Either way, we made it.  We ran into several other EPIKs from our orientation and talked for a while.  Then we had our burgers (mine: Mexican Burger) and some coffee-related beverages before hitching a ride back to Anmok.  We met up with some more EPIKs and went on a search for the elusive Sweet Potato Coffee I have heard so much about.  We finally found it, but then my stomach got really upset and I ended up just heading home.  Perhaps next time we can have a meeting, but the stomach said, "No."

Mexican Burger!  No idea why I thought it might be a good idea.
Still annoying.  I've actually been pretty careful with what I eat here and have had fewer problems, but not this time.  I've even had some ice cream-like foods here and been okay.  I think it was the burger...  I'll save my burger-eating for when I'm back in the States unless it comes from McDonald's here.

Finally, here are some other random pictures I've taken of everyday things that have just kind of struck me:

I made Monkey Bread in my toaster oven and took two plates in to school
(after eating the muffins for myself).  One plate was for the Administration Office
who helped buy said toaster oven and the other was for my office.  Eun Shin really liked
it a lot.  John is still pushing for homemade brownies.
On my way to work, right next to my apartment.
The spiders here are everywhere and they are HUGE.  We're talking two
quarter's size.
It was colorful and the lighting was nice.  I have prepped and froze so
many veggies I don't think I need to buy anymore for the rest of the year
(I kid not).
On the way to work, near my apartment.
On the way to work one morning...



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