Returning to the regular

It’s funny how many of the small things in Korea that I had forgotten about in our five-month sabbatical in the states.

Here are a few small things that I was excited about in the past day or two:

Randomly-placed exercise equipment on the trails. Whit and I now live about 10 strides away from our favorite Kumdang Mountain trails. Yesterday morning, while we were still taking advantage of feeling good in the early morning, we headed out on a trail run. Just as I jogged up the steps to the trail, I saw it. A whole mini-gym of gleaming silver exercise equipment. I had totally forgotten how I used to do my 15 crunches on the sit-up benches and 30 twisties on the twistie-turnie thing. (I’m such a one for words). I was overly excited to see my old gym along my favorite trail.

Triangle gimbap. These sushi-like sandwiches in a triangle shape are the best 70-cent lunch (or breakfast) on the market. Made with seaweed, rice, red pepper sauce, and your choice of tuna or beef, they are  melt-in-your-mouth good.

Taxi honks. Need a taxi? You don’t have to look far, or at all. They will find you. If a taxi is driving by, unoccupied, they will let you know, even if you don’t need one at all.

PC bongs (rooms). Since we won’t have the internet in our apartment until Tuesday, we have to go elsewhere. But, we don’t have to walk far. These infamous PC bongs are on every corner where children drink grape juice and fight fictional foes. We, on the other hand, simply surf the web for about $1, drinking our complimentary nok cha (green tea) and coffee.

Keyless entry: Keys are so 1995. If only somebody would tell America this. Here, there is no ferreting for lost keys. Simply punch in your code and you’re in. You can even lock it on top of that, if you are actually worried that someone will learn your code.

Being the regulars: Sometimes it’s nice to stick out, and we always do. This comes in handy when we become regulars at restaurants, where they always greet us with a smile and free Coca-Cola. When we went back to one of our favorite restaurants on the first night, we were greeted with all this and a deep bow, excitement that we were back in their world and restaurant, even for a night.