An Unexpected 4-Day Weekend and Random Vegan Eats

EDIT: I started this post yesterday but neglected to put it up, cuz, of course, food distracted me and I magically found myself back at Everest nomming on some samosas and curry with my coworkers…


What on Earth am I doing at home, in bed, blogging (and listening to The Darkness’s brilliant new album!) on an ordinary Thursday morning?!  Well, yesterday my school informed me that it would be closing down for two days, along with hundreds of other schools across Korea, due to the nationwide panic rising around the MERS virus.  I had NO IDEA about MERS, or why more people than usual were walking around wearing face masks, until yesterday.  I’m not really sure what difference two days will make (and kids are all running around playing with each other outside, anyway, so it’s not like they’re going to be spending the weekend in quarantine.)  But, anyway, that’s what’s going on here at the moment!  EDIT: Now I’ve come down with a cold, worst timing ever, right?!  So, I’ve been wearing my face mask everywhere.  Paranoia or precaution?  I dunno, but I’m scurred, yo 😷


In the midst of the MERS mayhem (it’s been going on since last month, apparently, but like I said I was blissfully ignorant to it all!), I’ve still been finding plenty of new yummy vegan food.  Along with my recent cravings for Indian food (check my previous post), I’ve been having hankerings for Mexican noms, too, which lead me to Dos Tacos, probably the best Mexican restaurant (chain) in Korea (though Gusto Taco‘s pretty awesome, too!)

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Shop ’til Ya Drop in Sinsa-dong!

Korea is globally renowned for its shopping.  Whether you’re into luxury goods, cosmetics, street fashion, or smartphones, you can find so many amazing bargains here.  The biggest mistake I made when we first moved here was shopping in the big department stores (Lotte, Hyundai, and Shinsegae) where clothes and cosmetics are stupidly expensive, even when they’re on sale.  The best places for clothes shopping here are actually usually in little boutiques or underground street fashion shops.  My all-time fave shopping streets in Seoul are Apgujeong-ro and Garosu-gil in Sinsa-dong, where funky, independent shops sit nestled in between luxury brands and chain stores.

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Children’s Day in Korea!

Last Monday was Children’s Day in Korea, which is a pretty self-explanatory holiday!  The holiday was founded in the 1920’s as a day to celebrate children; it’s basically an excuse for parents to spoil their kids for a day, and for over-schooled Korean kids to get a day off of studying!  Why don’t we have this in America, huh?!

Since we have our own furry child now, we decided to dress him up in a spiffy new outfit and take him out for a long walk and a trip to the puppy cafe!

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Duggie’s First Visit to a Puppy Cafe!

We’re still getting to know Duggie, but we came to realize pretty quickly that he LOVES people, especially children, and other dogs, so we felt pretty confident that he’d enjoy visiting a puppy cafe.  We decided to take him to Cafe Pawz in Gangnam, because it’s the closest puppy cafe to us, and because it also happens to be one of our favorites!

To get there, we had to hop on the subway for a 30 minute journey.  You’d think a crowded, noisy, smelly subway would be distracting and stressful to a tiny dog, but Duggie actually loves it!

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Adopting a Dog in South Korea: Meet Duggie!

Ever since I left my family and dogs in Virginia and moved to Belfast, I’ve been wanting to get a puppy of my own.  For the past five + years I’ve spent countless HOURS looking at animal rescue websites and dog breeder listings, but in Belfast we were earning just enough money to get by, and last year in Ulsan we were living in a no-pets-allowed villa.  Now that we’re living in a huge apartment building in Seoul, and now that money is no longer a worry, the time finally felt right to do some serious searching for my puppy!

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Hello Kitty in Hongdae and Puppies Galore!

PHEW!  Well, I’ve saved the best for last, folks.  Here’s the final post for this Seoul installment…

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OBVIOUSLY I had to go to a couple puppy cafes in Seoul.  The first one we went to was Cafe Pawz, in Gangnam, which is definitely THEE cleanest, poshest puppy cafe that probably exists.

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Vegan Eats and Treats in Seoul: Gangnam Garobee Wellbeing Buffet

For our next vegan foodie excursion, we headed out to Gangnam for the first time to try the highly-praised Garobee Wellbeing Buffet.

Traveling from Hongdae (the Hongik University area) to Gangnam was like entering a completely different city.  Whereas Hongdae is all about tiny streets and alleyways packed with teensy cafes and boutiques, Gangnam has some of the widest streets I’ve seen in Korea, with massive buildings and huge shopfronts.  The sewer system everywhere in Korea is usually quite bad (sometimes the smell is so overpowering I actually have to hold my breath), but Gangnam had no foul odor at all.

Garobee is a short walk from Gangnam subway exit 11, on the second floor of the Sohyun Building. [UPDATE: GAROBEE HAS CLOSED DOWN.]

It’s a self-serve, all-you-can-eat buffet, with a seriously wide array of dishes to choose from.

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It’s 15,000 won (around $15) for lunch and 17,000 won for dinner, which is SO reasonably priced for the quality of food that’s on offer: everything we ate was outstandingly scrumptious!

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