January 12, 2003
The Joy of the Loop

Tonight we had dinner with Al's two uncles and one aunt, their spouses, their children, and one grandchild (Ming-ki, who was an amazingly cute 4 year-old). It was a really fun dinner, during which Uncle Dae Hyung told us about the family history and Al's aunt's husband told us stories about his time in the KATUSA, where he worked with munitions and explosives. Meanwhile, I worked on gaining Ming-ki's trust without being able to communicate with him in Korean; it took longer than it would have if we spoke the same language, but eventually I got him. :)

We had a Chinese buffet for dinner, and after the (really wonderful) buffet brunch we had this morning with Peter, Katelyn, and several of the wedding party and guests, we were stuffed. Up until today Al & I had managed to eat well but fairly light, but the two buffets did us in. Bleah. Yum, but bleah nonetheless.

We had intended to hook up with Peter et. al. for more wedding weekend-related activities after dinner, but we were tired and overfull and didn't feel like interacting anymore. As it turned out, there were no messages for us telling us where everyone would be, so we had no apologies to make. As tired as we were, however, we felt like we needed to have a little exercise before we hit the sack. We decided to go down to the swimming pool.

With the sun down, the room was a bit cooler, and the water a bit cooler than the air temperature. We swam a few laps and then sat in the warm tub for a while (the hot tub was too hot) and talked about our impressions of the visit. It's always nice to have an interesting, animated discussion with your husband when there are no distractions, such as TV or a computer, around.

When we got back to the room, Al announced that he kinda felt like going for a walk. I said I'd go with him, so I put a hat on over my wet head, grabbed my digital camera and the room key, and we headed out. We walked over to the palace next to City Hall, using several underground shopping areas and a subway station to traverse the large traffic circle in front of the Seoul Plaza Hotel, and then up the street that the palace was on. We crossed it via another subway station (the larger streets don't have crosswalks), and then cut over to a parallel street and made our way back.

We found another (huge) Starbucks behind City Hall, but it had closed at 10pm. Maybe we'll go over and see if they can make Decaf Soy Lattes in the morning. We searched a couple 7-11s in vain for postcards, and then we walked back to the hotel. "You have just experienced the joy of the loop," I said to Al. He busted out laughing. "Why is that so funny?" I asked. He said he didn't know, it just was. He supposed that he found it amusing that I was so enamored of "the loop." I replied that the joy comes from seeing something different each moment, rather than the same things twice, and there is a small triumph to be had in figuring out a route without having to backtrack, without having to follow breadcrumbs. "I can see that," said Al. It's the joy of the loop.

Posted by Lori at January 12, 2003 07:31 AM