Forgive my feeble attempt at a pun. Although I’m certain that in some circles I’m very funny… My friends, Joe and Emily, and I had a few days off between Christmas and New Year’s, so we decided to spend them in Seoul. We booked a private hostel room for three, only to find when we arrived that we actually had a private room for two, and that Joe was going to have to sleep on a bunk in the hallway. But wait! The plot thickens! The attendant opened the door to our private room, and someone else’s belongings were strewn about the room. Turns out they overbooked (and also have some serious communication issues). At this point, the attendant offered to let us sleep at her apartment on traditional Korean style bedding (which is basically sleeping on the floor). Generous as it was, we said thanks but no thanks. She did, however, help us find another hostel nearby where we were to stay for the first three nights, and then go back to our original hostel for the last night. These types of shenanigans happen to me often when I travel. This one time, on the way to Paris, we were a full day late arriving! But I digress… While in Seoul, we ate copious amounts of Western food, visited one of the royal palaces (they have 5 – no big deal), walked around a Buddhist temple and shopped til we dropped. The first night we met our friend, Scott, and his family for dinner. Scott’s family was visiting from Scotland. After dinner, we went out for a few drinks (sans parents) and then out to the noraebang to get our sing on. That night, I’m pretty sure I heard the greatest version of “I Kissed a Girl” ever sung. Sorry Katy Perry. The next day we met Scott (sans family) at Gyeongbuk Palace to watch the changing of the guards. I’m not sure why, but it never occurred to me that this happens at palaces other than Buckingham. After the changing of the guards, we wandered around the vast labyrinth of buildings that make up the palace for awhile. Then we popped into The National Folk Museum of Korea to warm up – 15 minutes before they closed. Shortest. Museum tour. Ever. Later that night we met my Korean friend for dinner and drinks. We had the best burgers I’ve eaten thus far in Korea, and learned that my Korean friend occasionally gets drunk and wakes up in foreign countries. See mom, it could be worse. On day 3, we wandered around a Buddhist temple on a mountainside for a bit. We didn’t get many pictures, or explore as much as we wanted, because we kept encountering people performing rituals and we didn’t want to be disrespectful. Then we headed to Cheonggyecheon Stream to watch a light show of epic epicness. At least that’s how the guide book made it sound. We walked with great anticipation until we found some weird flowers projected on a wall. Suffice it to say, it was a bit of a let down. However, in my research to find the name of the stream, it appears as though there is a distinct possibility we were in the wrong spot. C’est la vie. Then we went out to try and find some people who knew what the what was for New Year’s Eve. We made some new friends and had a great night, right up until Joe lost his wallet on the cab ride home. Also, I had a kebab for the first time ever. It was delicious. On New Year’s Eve, we started our day shopping. I made Joe and Emily let me stop at Starbuck’s, we shopped, ate lunch at an American style buffet, then shopped some more. It was exhilarating. Then Emily and I spent an obscene amount of time on hair, make-up and wardrobe changes while Joe, well, I have no recollection of what Joe was doing because I was busy being pretty. We met up with our friends from the night before, and made some really interesting new ones. Including one girl that we saw the next day around noon, in the same outfit, her black eye shadow now located on her under eye, and her hair weave falling out. She had only just concluded her drinking and wondered should she go home, or go back out again and get REALLY crazy. But here I go, getting ahead of myself. We spent most of the evening at a bar called The Wolfhound, where there was great music, great conversation, some dancing on chairs, and a couple of guys who seemed to think they were Zach Galifianakis in The Hangover. At midnight, I got the new year started off right with a friendly peck. HOORAY! Shortly thereafter, we relocated to the noraebang from Wednesday night. I met a guy there that told me I had the voice of an angel. He was drunk, but I feel like that doesn’t make him any less credible. Then, in an effort to really get 2012 started off with a bang, I lost my entire purse somewhere between the noraebang and the next bar. But I didn’t realize it until Joe and I were walking to the subway at 5 am. We spent several hours the next day attempting to recover the purse, but in the end, we left empty handed. This is now the second time I’ve lost my wallet since coming to Korea. I’ve also lost 6 half pairs of earrings. Next paycheck I think I am going to invest in one of those leash backpacks that lazy parents put on their children. My friends can take turns holding the leash. Clearly I am not to be trusted. Over all we had a really great time, and Joe and I will be investing in the wallets you can chain to your pants.