Subway – Eat Continuously!

 

The good news, is I think I am fully acclimated to the time change now. The bad news is, we head back to Portland on Sunday. Woke up at 6:30. We both have a mild cold but nothing we can’t vacation through.

Normally, and for the past 4 years, I have been gluten free.No,  I am not celiac. Yes, I have read the research about how people aren’t really sensitive to gluten unless they have celiac. But, I can tell you that my stomach doesn’t like it, and neither does my psoriasis and arthritis, nor my depression. But, being gluten free in a foreign country is pretty limiting – especially one that uses soy sauce in cooking. So, while in Korea I have just hung up my gluten free hat and crossed my fingers. And, for the past week I have had no noticeable issues. It turns out I have no sensitivity to Korean gluten!

After a slight argument about whether I should chance it, we rode the subway for about 35 minutes to an American breakfast house and I ordered a stack of poison pancakes. For the whole subway ride home I felt like I was going to die: with bad nausea, a sudden crashing headache and the spins. As it turns out, I am sensitive to Korean gluten when it’s in English.

We came home and napped it off.

I really like the apartment we are in, save for two things. The bed is slightly more firm than the floor (it seems like this is a running theme in Korea). I am not really sure why they go through the motions of having mattresses at all – it feels like false advertising.

The other issue with this apartment is the toilet, it’s not firmly mounted. I feel like I am in training to ride a bull in a bar that thinks peanut shells is floor decor. On the up side, I am getting a core workout even without going to CrossFit.

While Andrew has been sick, whenever I ask how he’s feeling he says “blugh.” Today however he upgraded that to “mlech.” So we went back to Myeong-dong for more foods on sticks and to buy cute socks.

Then this happened:

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Andrew really wanted this Shiba Inu’s attention, but the dog was a little snappy at him.

It’s a dog cafe. Like a cat cafe. Only with a lot more peeing on the floor.

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This little long haired dachshund came up to me and just curled onto my lap and took a nap – until my legs fell asleep and I had to kick him off.

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This is actual-Andrew petting an actual-dog. Like real petting too, not just the usual tentative finger prod Andrew usually calls dog-petting.

We hung out for a while then went to shop and eat some more.

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It probably seems like mostly what we are doing on this vacation is eating. That’s correct. But, I am pretty sure that I have not put on an ounce of weight and that is mostly because of the subway system. It’s the largest system (and most used) in the world. But it’s not just go downstairs and catch a train, it’s more go down several flights of stairs and walk for a quarter mile or three and then hop on a train and then walk back up those same amount of flights of stairs and also walk a quarter mile here and there to catch connections. Navigating the elaborate makeup of Seoul transit has helped me keep my girlish figure even as I stuff myself full of  “actual expenditure type of steak.”

So, we ate some more. And then this happened:

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “You guys went back to the cat cafe?” and you’d be wrong. Because this is a totally different cat cafe from the other one we went to. And now you’re probably thinking, “How many cat cafes can you go to?” And the answer is, “All of them.”

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Baller

Andrew was worried about getting to the airport on time what with potential rush hour traffic – Iceland as an entire country has 1/6th the population of Portland, I am pretty sure they don’t have rush hour unless sheep are crossing the road. And speaking of sheep that was another hazard that might delay us. As well as snow, or lava – he was prepared for both. Which is why we got up at 5:45 for a 9:50 flight at an airport that was 40 minutes away. And when I say “we got up” I mean I woke up and Andrew got up from almost no sleep as he was too busy worrying about how to navigate the morning apocalypse on the way to the airport.

With gassing up, dropping off the rental car, scooting across the parking lot to the airport on foot, going through Delta’s ticket counter line and a weird quiz about packing (who packed your bag? when did you pack it? where did you pack it? what was on TV at the time you packed? what were you wearing? For a minute I thought I was on the receiving end of a dirty phone call), exchanging leftover Icelandic monies, finding the departure gates, queuing for tax credit (they give tourists back their tax dollars spent) and walking over to the passport check before our gate, we were at the passport check line at 8AM.

Unfortunately, the passport check line didn’t open until 9 – because the first flight out to the states was not until 9:50(ish). Apparently today was the day when all the older tourists migrate back from Iceland – and sit next to me – so it took a little longer than normal to board the plane.

You know when a Buzzfeed listicle sums you up perfectly, you are probably the cause of your own issues.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/christianzamora/things-people-who-hate-people-know-to-be-true#.hnpVGYplZ

This message brought to you by flying next to old people from Iceland to New York. I thought that we’d seen all the geysers in Iceland, but old faithful was sitting next to me on the plane and had to get up for the bathroom every time I dozed off, without fail.

I did get to see Hot Pursuit which was fun. And Dog Day Afternoon which made me cry. The flight attendant also managed to find  a gluten free meal for me instead of the lunch tray they were serving everyone else which seemed to consist of bread served on bread with a side of bread and a wheat cracker. Andrew took one bite of his bread sandwich and pushed it to the side as though it was fish soup.

We landed and went through Global Entry lines while mocking the people waiting for immigration. Then we had to wait for our checked luggage like animals. I don’t really understand why we had to bring our luggage in from one flight to the other – is that more secure than just having the airlines move it? Once our luggage was collected we breezed through customs with no line and a smile – Global Entry is the only way to fly. Even though our layover is half a day it is so nice to not have to wait with people – they try to talk to you… ugh.

Speaking of which, Andrew has the cure for the lack of Karaoke in the airport. It’s called Priority Pass or Player’s Plus or Baller’s Gateway. It comes with one of his credit cards that is super fancy (so fancy that the stripe is on the front of the card and we frequently have to explain to people how to run it). We are currently sitting in a lounge with comfortable seats, speedy wifi, free food, free drinks and barely a person. When I first sat down I was fed grapes by a manservant (or maybe Andrew put a raisin in my mouth when I asked him for some snacks). I could take a nap here if I hadn’t just drank my weight in free cappuccino. At least if I don’t sleep now I should be able to get back on Portland time swiftly.

Or maybe I’ll just live in this lounge, the food is pretty good and I bet they have a conjugal visiting area.

Killing Me With Kindness

I should have probably been more cautious when my friend, upon hearing of my job loss, offered to pull me out of my misery with a visit to Chicago. But, timing was right and, after all, she is a “friend”.

Don’t get me wrong, Chicago was fantastic. I saw some good improv and got to perform as well. I really enjoy big cities and as soon as I got there I longed to stay for good. There is something comforting to me about the pace of the city and the coziness of the skyscrapers.

Next time I go, I will just have to be more cautious in my lodgings so as to prevent choosing accommodations where the host is actively trying to kill me.

It started relatively innocuously, an offer of bagels in the morning with a cheery, “Oh, I totally forgot that you are gluten intolerant! What does that do to you again? Oh, anaphylaxis! Mmmm, sorry.” But, after the 5th day of being offered wheat products (at almost every meal – followed by giggling), I had to reconsider whether this was a mistake or a mission. There was also the morning cup of coffee retrieved from the building lobby. Sure, at first blush, this seems a lovely gesture until I open it and see the cream inside – though, to be fair, me having milk is as bad to those around me, as it is on me.

Then there was the consistent feeling of pending asthma attacks as I slept. It wasn’t until the 4th day there it was divulged I was wrapping myself in, and resting my head upon, down. How could I possibly complain about going gently into that good night – it was a cozy burrito of death.

Finally, I came down with some massive cold on Sunday. I am certain my drinks were laced with rhinovirus and that this cold had nothing to do with the man sneezing on me on my flight in.

Alas, her dastardly plan to do me in was thwarted by an impenetrable shield of ladybug luck. On my walk to the grocery store to get fixin’s for reparative soup on Monday, I came under attack – the cutest attack ever – by swarms of ladybugs. It was like the Pixar version of a Hitchcock movie. And, thank goodness! With all those ladybug luck-juices (that sounds dirty when I say it) all over me, I made it through the rest of my trip without any further incidents.

Although, I do still have that cold. And, if I am being truthful, a little schadenfreude at being the one on the plane ride home spreading the germs instead of receiving them.

Cheaters Never Win

Andrew: You really should stop cheating.

Me: I know, and I am sorry, but I love cheating.

Andrew: But it makes you feel bad.

Me: Even when it feels sooooo good.

That was this morning after I was only able to run half of our planned 10-miler because, in homage to Easter my breakfast was trying to rise. I love the slow-carb diet. Not only because I have lost two inches on my waist, and not only because I love the diet food but because I also get to cheat one day a week. So, one day a week I get to eat whatever I want. I of course take this opportunity to eat things that are not only not on the diet, but that are bad for me. It’s as if I believe that because Timothy Ferriss says I can eat anything I want on my cheat day I am suddenly not gluten or lactose intolerant.

Last week I ended up thinking I was coming down with the cold Andrew had because I had a sore throat and a headache. It didn’t dawn on me that it was shortly after I’d eaten a cupcake (until the next morning when I was not actually sick).

This week my stomach has been all kinds of messed up. I couldn’t go do my workout, I couldn’t finish my run, I have had a really rumbly tummy. No gluten. But, I have had a handful of of breve lattes (that’s where the steamed milk is actually half & half).

So next week, when it is cheat day, if I cheat it will likely be with gluten-free, lactose-free items. Well, you know, not including fro-yo…