Hey there APJ Crew,
WOW! Mongolia, South Korea and home. What a sensational wrap up to nearly six weeks of travel. Jin really outdid himself as Cruise Director, we saw more than I dreamed possible. The whole adventure was planned perfectly, we also had a few very lucky breaks and helpful friends along the way.
We were so busy and there was zero sit time so almost the whole week was blogged from the Asiana Lounge at Seoul Incheon Airport on Friday evening while waiting for my plane. VERY relaxing.
Scent Diary: 3.6 – 9.6.2019
Up early and down to breakfast where we met up with our next door neighbours from the Trans Siberian. A group of four 60+ girls who are travelling the world. They are fit, fun and fabulous. We are so happy they stayed in this hotel so we got to spend a little more time basking in their sunshine.
It felt like a perfect Mohur by Neela Vermeire Creations day. You can see that almost half my Take Two is gone from this adventure.
Our buddy and guide Tuvshin had recommended The Mongolian National Art Gallery as a place of interest. There was interesting changes as the regimes and rulers waxed and waned. My two favourite paintings are below.
Some governmental building with ENORMOUS statures of Chengiss Khaan.
We hit the State department store. I know you’ll think I’ve taken leave of my senses but these mirror, sideboard and chandelier combo in the gold with pink roses were the only things in the whole place that took my fancy. They are freaking epic. Remember I am a Drag Queen.
Jin had his heart set on Hot Pot. “BLEAUGH” said I but there was no getting around him. That’s what he wanted and that’s what we were having, or else. As it’s so rare for him to care that much about anything I let him have his way. #5 on Trip Advisor and well worth it. FREAKING DELICIOUS! We loved it so much.
My friend Karl Dunn put this up. It’s not new and hardly terrifically insightful but I do think it bears remembering.
We are leaving Mongolia. It’s 5am and freezing. The taxi is late and Jin has the shits.
Just so you can see the difference in air quality. First pic is Mongolia as we leave, second pic is South Korea as we land. There’s some dust and smoke in the air that has basically blotted out visibility.
First thing we do on arrival in South Korea is go to Lotteria. South Korea’s version of McDonalds. It is bloody yummy and they have Deep Fried Mozzarella Sticks that we both top WILD for. YUM!
Checking our baggage into the domestic flight to Jin’s hometown and he gets called back to the Border Security Room. A bloody battery, PHEW! No matter that Jin has never done drugs, owned a gun or made explosives it still gave us both a terrific shock. Look at the poor guys face, his heart is so obviously palpitating.
Realised I was fragrance less so grabbed out my GRAVEL and gave a few delightful spritzes. MMMMMM
Jin decided that we would get Home Delivered EVERYTHING for dinner. Mum was laughing so much. Delivery people arriving from all his favourite nearby restaurants. We ate well and there are leftovers for the next couple of days.
Mum is also really happy because Jin and I decided to stay in the spare room. It means we will see so much more of her and Dad.
Jin’s childhood photos came out. Isn’t he the cutest damn thing you ever saw? AWWWWWWWWWWW
We woke up and Jin decided we were going to the local baths. It’s a huge thing in South Korea and after years of pestering I finally gave in. We had a haircut, shave and used the baths for less than AUD$20. It was fun. Four pools ranging from 2C to 50C, wet & dry saunas, showers and walls of mirrors to make yourself presentable.
After we had ablated it was time to visit Grandma who has advanced Alzheimers Disease. In the two years since we saw her last she has deteriorated a lot. Most of her teeth have been pulled and she has nearly zero recognition until reminded. Fortunately she remains friendly and sweet. Jin, Mum and Aunty were all a bit sad after we visited.
In the evening a crew of Jin’s friends and their families had organised a dinner. I knew they had loads of catching up to do, and that it would be infinitely more fun in Korean so I brought along a book and let them have at it. I had secretly decided to treat them all for the evening and made sure the booze flowed freely.
First photo is as the food arrived. Everyone is sweet and upright.
As they finish the meal. Everyone is a bit more flamboyant and rowdy.
After dinner we moved onto a drinking house. You can’t really tell but everyone is shitfaced. There were play fun bickering, shouting, slurred words and the whole gamut of fabulous boozy fun. By this time they had all got the catching up out of the wayu and I was thoroughly involved with their fun, even though I couldn’t understand a word. It was a fabulous night out and Jin was in his element.
HA! Let’s talk about Jin’s hangover remedy. Pork Bone Broth and assorted side dishes. He was so seedy I didn’t put him in the pic.
After breakfast we went back to the baths. The foggy goodness of Ashoka by Neela vermeire creations.
Our last mean in Yangsan with Umma & Appa. We went for Duck BarBQ. Another South Korean triumph. We rate SO MUCH. Jin and Appa cooked and Umma & I watched. After I’d finished and they were chewing the fat I went and started cutting up garlic for the woman in charge, she was laughing but admitted I was quick and good. YAY!
This is the Korean National Flower
Jin bought us Business Class tickets with opines for the return flight from Busan to Incheon. So wasteful but it was fun.
OK. There was only one thing on Jin’s Seoul Wishlist. The Meerkat Cafe. We went, we saw, they were gorgeous and we went away incredibly sad. The poor Meerkats live in their sterile pens 24/7. Nothing to burrow into, climb, chew or in any way act like Meerkats. When people come into the pens they are so excited to have something fun to do. They would grab our clothes, see if they could tunnel up our legs, chew our fingers and toes (in curiosity, not aggression) and wanted to look us straight in the eyes. It was magical, no doubt about it. They were bribed to run all over us with food, and obviously they loved that too. I’m 100% torn between telling you this is an experience not to be missed and being terribly sad about the lives they endure.
This morning dawned cool and cloudy. Jin and I wandered the streets of Jongno around our Ibis ambassador hotel to find ourselves some breakfast. well, Jin had breakfast and I had a coffee.
Then we headed off in search of the brand new Hermès Cafe in the rich part of town. Interestingly there’s a Byredo store directly across the road.
We might have done a little Hermès shopping before we got to the cafe, nearly purchasing but decided against.
The cafe is beautiful and you have your tea and TO DIE FOR Chocolate Cate off Hermès china. It’s freaking glam and we had the Msarco polo Marriage Frerres tea. The whole experience was super apish and next time I’m in Seoul will go solo and do my blogging from there.
I might have given myself 10 enormous spritzes of Eau des Marveilles. YUMMY!
Jin is sad because I’m going home and he’s spending four more nights in Seoul to catch up with friends.
Got here well ahead of time and my flight is cancelled. No sweat, Jin to the rescue. He and the China Southern guy get me a slightly later, non stop flight with Asiana/QANTAS instead. YAY!
Sitting in the lounge. I’ve done this while week of blogging up to now here.
On the plane. Asiana airlines was good.
Sydney really put on a fog show for my return.
Bag unpacked, clothes and linens washing done and hung, started cleaning the house.
Went to the local supermarket and got the makings of Beef, Barley & Vegetable Soup. Spent nearly 5 hours getting it just right and then ate three huge bowls of it. It’s basically my Mum’s recipe but she never wrote it down so I have to tweak it every time to make it smell and taste just right.
Slept late. Cleaned the house properly. The sun is shining but there’s not enough heat to really dry the clothes yet this morning, hopefully before I go to work.
SOTDay: Mitzah by Dior. It feels so good to be utterly engulfed in fragrance again. To wear it in “around the house” levels. I smell amazing and now I really feel like I’m home.
Aaaah! I love this beautiful apartment that feels like it’s been built around both of us, so comfortable and functional yet fully a home.
Netflix has loaded the first season of Tales of the City. WOW! It’s good. Really good.
Missing Jin and bit today. Nearly six weeks together non stop and now he”s still there and I’m here. Just a little bit glum without him, no biggie, wanted to share.
Trivia was so much fun tonight. I have really missed the crew and we had a ball. At the end of the night Charlie, our dogs trainer and babysitter while we are away, brought the boys and they were met enthusiastically by the Austral trivia crew in the carpark.
HOME! Got my dogs and a cuppa.
SOTBed: Myrrhiad by Huitieme Art. It’s bloody lovely to have so much fragrant choice again.
It’s YOUR turn. What’s happening in your world?
Did you do anything Fragrant, Fun, Friends, Family or even had some less than Fabulous news you want to share? Now’s the time, in the comments below.
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