Thursday, April 21, 2011

Nanoomi Running and Cafe Monsieur

Running gear in backpack... check
Refillable bottle of Arisu*... check
Supportive wife cheersquad... check

*Delicious and safe Seoul city tap water

To run or not to run? That was the question eventually answered yes by a small slice of the Nanoomi blogging community half a moon ago.

How far did we run? Ten kilometres.
Where was the event? World Cup Stadium.
Why were we running? For a free* pair of socks and an excuse to wake up early.

*Free upon payment of the mandatory fee

I myself don't mind too much paying money to someone to do what can always be done alone for free. Was that an awkward sentence? I hope not. My grammar tends to funny up a bit when blogging in evening late. But let's not digress. What you're paying for when you pay for a run is the luxury of running with others along a predetermined track guaranteed to be free of bicycles approaching in the opposite direction.

Which you can only do by leaving Seoul, or simply wiring $30 to some guy somewhere who knows how to get permission from the city council to cordon off a portion of public space for a limited period of time.

Here's the World's Most Underappreciated Running Team, minus Keira who arrived shortly thereafter. This snap was photo'ed by my lovely wife, who hauled 2.6kg of baby all the way to World Cup Stadium just to show support. On the left is Hannah, then me, then Alice and on the right is Ed.

I like to think that we were all smiling in anticipation of this particular sentence.

Without so much as a starter's pistol, off we ran into the sunny unknown. I'd been jogging around campus as well as running various errands for Professor Tsang in the weeks leading up to the event, so was in fairly good shape.

Helium filled balloons are nice, although they're all destined to land as a potential traffic hazard or a miniscule component of the Pacific Trash Vortex.
What the world needs is some kind of alternative biodegradable balloon. Something that stretches, is natural, would normally be discarded, is opaque and can be filled with helium.

How about lamb stomachs?

If you leave a camera with your pregnant wife, it's possible to determine what she was up to in your absence by inspecting the photos left behind.
Using special powers of deductive reasoning, I can surmise a few things from this photo. At some point in time she was obviously inspecting the lens of my camera while holding it up in the air, and accidentally pressed the shutter button. She also looks a bit like a bug when wearing those sunglasses.

And from this photo I can see that she enjoyed a Vegemil A while sitting at a park bench.
Apparently she also knows how to read Korean.

This is me crossing the finishing line. I never realised my legs were so sinewy. They don't look like that when I'm sitting in a chair.

I just checked.

Post-race we were all feeling a little proud of ourselves, mostly for not bombing out halfway and dejectedly sauntering off to Dunkin' Donuts. Not that Nanoomites would consider such a thing. We all received a medallion for our efforts and the promise to one day partake in such an activity again.

It was a good time.

Now we're in the Gyodae area. The lady behind that counter is Taewon Seo's wife, busily making a green tea latte' for Heather and myself. Her coffees are among the best in the northern hemisphere. I'm also fond of the wine glasses on the shelf below, featuring sequential volumetric increments of coffee beans. It probably represents the shared linearity between consumption of mutually diuretic beverages.

This is how to get to Taewon's Cafe Monsieur. For some reason I have the Sesame Street song in my head now.

"Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?"

A few characters from Gyodae Toastmasters were also enjoying our favourite coffee retreat that day. In this photo you can see Trinity on the left, David Koch and good ol' Vronny Jentakis.

That's cream cheese in the middle there. I tend to avoid repeating myself on the blog wherever possible, but let me say once again with utmost conviction that while Taewon's wife's coffee is the best in the northern hemisphere, Taewon's bread is the most delicious bread south of the Han River. 

And I'm not just saying that because Taewon is a nice guy.
His bread really is delicious.

Mmm, here's our green tea latte'. Needless to say, deliciousness rarely appears in such a light shade of green. I myself prefer drinks more traditionally befitting of a masculine character, like ox blood or dragon tears, but every once in a while depart from my usual ungrantable requests.

If you're in the Gyodae area, pop over to Cafe Monsieur and order yourself a coffee and a baguette. And if you're familiar with the ever-widening sphere of Nanoomi influence, consider coming along for a 10km run sometime.

See you soon.


Ted said...

I've been reading your blog for a few weeks, and it is quite enjoyable to follow. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Mmmm that cafe food looks tasty :P