Today has been a sad day. I found out this morning that my friend passed away yesterday, she had cancer. She thought she had beaten it. It came back in full force, terminal. Yesterday, cancer won! The world lost. One of the good ones, gone. I’ll, be back to touch on this more on another day, but for now, that’s all I want to, all I can share about it.
I do have some other disappointing news I’m afraid, nothing compared to how I started this blog, but disappointing as far as this blog is concerned anyway. Given the circumstances surrounding my T25 beta selection, I’m going to have to end my T25 challenge early and start a new challenge; I’ve chosen Insanity! I’ve inspected the DVDs and all look good, though I think my pioneer DVD player that I bought in 2001, may be half the problem also. I’m looking for something to be able to clean it up – any suggestions would be appreciated. I don’t want to get rid of it because it’s dual voltage and worldwide region and I’m attached to it, but it surely needs a clean 15 years later…..
Well, what a day we had today. Our first experience at a South Korean IKEA! It was crazy! I thought Costco was bad but IKEA was a nightmare. I have never experienced anything quite like it. Koreans are a very kind people but they move like they drive, they will literally push you out of the way if they need to get somewhere. We find it rude, culturally, but to them, it’s just the way it is. I’m doing my best not to get offended and today was really good practice for that! Hunter did freak out a little bit because there were so many people but the good thing is we stand out, all of us with golden blonde hair and all, so there was never any danger of getting lost. But at times, it was standing room only in the biggest IKEA I’ve ever seen in my life. That place must trade in the millions (of Korean won of course) on a daily basis! We alone spent our fair share of money in there! It was great though. Crazy, but great. Anytime we needed anything, we just found a store worker who normally spoke enough English to put our Korean to shame. We bought a new, bigger and better kitchen island, so I now have the pleasure of returning the other one to Costco, because we just aren’t happy with it at all. Once again, I hope Costco is as understanding as they are in the States. We also bought some storage for the laundry as it’s driving me crazy in there. Nothing goes into the concrete walls and nothing sticks to them because of the humidity, we have very little storage in this house and the laundry has now had to become our pantry as well, because there wasn’t even a decent cupboard to hold food. When there’s five of you and a cat and a dog, you need to have somewhere to put all of your food. Hopefully, what I’ve bought will work and will clean it all up. I never feel like the house is clean because there’s clutter everywhere. I’ve gotten rid of so much since we arrived here yet still have too much junk! A planned yard sale at the end of April combined with more decluttering, should get me somewhere!
Everything else we bought was small or insignificant. One thing we did buy and I’m excited to start using, was a summer duvet. We use duvets or doonas (pronounced Doo-na) in Australia and they are used throughout Europe also. They are either feather and down quilts or wool or man made materials inside of a quilt type fabric. The difference is they are plain and you buy interchangeable covers for them as necessary to make your bed coverings the way you like them. It also means you don’t wash your duvet regularly, you just wash your cover, not ruining it like one does a quilt type spread whenever it needs to get washed (which is on a regular basis). My friend Trine who is Norwegian, introduced me to the idea of having both a Summer and a Winter duvet. Well, last night, and this may seem like TMI (too much information) but both hubby and I awoke absolutely saturated and no, not from anything fun! It is so humid here that one sweats immensely. I am not a sweater, yet I was drenched. It was disgusting! We talked this morning when he said he had woken up the same way and realized that the winter duvet we have is just too heavy and we need to do something about it. I told him about Trine and James and how they use both a Summer and Winter duvet and suggested we do the same. He was all about it. We both like to have a covering over us at night but this was just too heavy now and we also like to use the feather and down comforters, which actually offer a nice breathability, as does wool. IKEA was the perfect place to buy one, so we did. We thought about getting another cover but honestly, I’m still loving my white cover, especially as it is coming into Summer and I have my lovely blue accents to go with it, so I’m just going to stick with it for now and look next time we go (yes, we shall go again) for some new sheets as well.
We eventually finished up at IKEA with 400 won each, soft serve ice cream cones (well, the four members of my family did & they were terrific apparently, especially at the equivalent of less than 40c) and moved on to the outlets next door. These outlets are not really what we would consider outlets. Most of the items in there were overpriced as far as we were concerned, even the stuff that was 50% off. Hubby showed me a really nice light pink water resistant golfing jacket from Nike and it was on sale for Korean won 129,900, that’s about US $120.00. In the States at a Nike outlet store, I would have expected to pay about $80. The same went for most of the stores in this place. The only time we found a bargain was when we bought Ally a new pair of trainers (she has been complaining and looking for new trainers for the past 2-3months) finally, we found some. They’re a ladies size 6 mind you, the smallest size they had in the store, and they fit my 11 yo daughter who is one of the smallest (as far as height goes) in her grade. We always laugh because the running joke (pardon the pun) is that she needs to grow into her feet! Anyway, they fit her well when we put her inner soles in it (she has flat feet) and were 39,000 won, cheaper than all the shoes I was looking at online and she was able to try them on. Perfect. I’ve just bought new inserts for her too, so they’ll be great in her new shoes. That was literally the only thing in the 5 levels that worked out. Otherwise, I wouldn’t waste my time going there again. At the time of writing, this is the only IKEA in South Korea, (Gwangmyeong) so you’ll know where I’m talking about. Don’t bother with the outlets next door. It’s just not worth it.
We returned to our car and made our way back to Osan Airforce Base as the family had decided Chilis was on the menu (this is an American chain restaurant that has somehow made its way over here to a US Airforce base). I haven’t been all that impressed with it so far, but they all love it for some reason and tonight I finally found something on the menu I actually liked. Normally I’m a chicken kind of person at a restaurant, but all the chicken in this Chilis seems to have a lemon base in the cooking method and I don’t like lemon and chicken together unless it’s in a marinade and even then, I’m not the biggest fan. So it took me forever to decide on something and I was about to give dinner a miss altogether when I spotted something called the steak fajita quesadilla (I think). It was really good. No lemon in sight. It was just a very good meal. Far too much food for me, but good nonetheless. The steak was cooked well and was actually not very fatty, I got a blend of cheese rather than ‘jack’ cheese and it all worked well together. I highly recommend it if you’re heading to Chilis, Osan for dinner. We had some highly energetic kids still so we wandered over to the exchange store to look for some ‘slippers’ for Hunter for school on Monday. In Korean schools, you have to take your shoes off before entering the classroom, so you need some slipper type things to be able to wear inside there. I’m not really sure if I got him the right shoes, but we ended up getting a pair of adidas ‘flip flops/sandals’ and are hoping that not only will he be fine because of the little massaging pointy bits, but also that these will work as ‘slippers’.
I’m a tad nervous for him going to school on Monday. We keep talking about it but I’m just not sure how he’s going to do. I guess we’ll find out soon enough! Anyway, we found Madison a pair of trainers/runners as well and hubby found a lovely pair of dress shoes to match his new suit. All in all, a successful shopping trip. By the time we got home it was very late and dear son was sound asleep and we still hadn’t gone to visit the cats! We raced over there to find things a little amiss. Carpets moved, or rolled up. Different lights on. Weird stuff. The girls and I were a tad freaked out so I immediately sent my friend a message asking if anyone had come by today, thank god she answered almost immediately confirming someone had and apologizing for not letting me know. Then my phone died. We hung out with them for quite a while and when we finally got home I was able to get the full message about her friend stopping by and all being ok. Once home I did my nightly Rodan and Fields regimen followed by my AMP MD roller before sitting down to write my blog. And here I am. It’s almost 12:30am – I’ve missed my blog deadline. The girls are sitting up with hubby watching Harry Potter, and I am having a glass of wine or three and toasting my friend. I hope that you and yours are safe and well and you give all of your loves an extra squeeze tonight. Thanks for sticking with me and as always, pleas email me at:
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On a side note, I cannot take credit for the main image for this blog but I did find out as I was researching images for it, this is literally IKEA’s largest store in the world. Credit to ‘The National’ for their image.