Happy Independence Day!

Yesterday was my day off from my summer research internship.  Whenever you get a day off, the question is what am I going to do with it?  I could have just rolled around in bed all day, spend the day on my computer, do laundry and chores, or … study for USMLE Step 1.  But I’m happy to say I got none of those things done!  Instead of pursuing the mundane, I took a couple risks and ended up with an adventurous day.

Initially, I started the day off very unadventurously with a haircut.  The hair shop is 40 min away and only worth it because it’s attached to H-Mart, where I get my Korean groceries.  But I didn’t need any groceries, so it didn’t feel good driving so much just for a haircut.  But on my way out of H-Mart, I found the Koreans’ most-coveted Honey Butter Chips!

IMG_20150703_130118These limited-supply potato chips have been a craze in Korea and I didn’t know you could find them in the US.  It was ridiculously $4/bag, but I had to carpe diem, seize the day!  More on these chips later.

Next I walked over next door to a Korean book store that I’ve always wanted to check it out, but never had the gusto to try.  Was this finally the day I muster up the courage and the willpower to enter that book store?  But I just spent money on a haircut and a very expensive bag of potato chips, so there was no way I could buy a book now!  Besides, I have so many unread books at home already!  That was the timid and uninteresting Simeon talking in my head.  But today was the day for the courageous and interesting Simeon to say, “I may not have much money, but I must adventurously enter that book store and see for myself what lies inside!”

The first thing I run into in that book store was a pile of old Korean books and CDs on sale for $1 each.  Not only do I love CDs, I found old Korean albums that I used to love back in the dark ages when I used to illegally download music.  I abandoned piracy several years ago but I missed those songs, which is near impossible to find nowadays.  I would have bought like 10 CDs, but I limited myself to 5 albums… for only $5!!!  Imagine what I would have missed if I hadn’t followed my curiosity.


By this point something Tookish woke inside of me and I knew I couldn’t just go home yet.  I drove to a park that I have never heard of before, hungry for adventure… and Honey Butter Chips.

0703151413I went to Old School Forest Preserve and walked around, eating my Honey Butter Chips and falling in love with nature.  And oh my goodness these chips were SO good.  They were amazing.  I didn’t know potato chips could be like this.  It was a whole new world my friends.  Anyways, there were bugs after my Honey Butter Chips (or my blood (or my love and affection?)) but adventure always requires hostile antagonists.

Anyways, the trail I was on had these exercise stations.  It started off with things like “Jumping Jacks” or “Touch your toes.”  That was cute.  Then things got kind of difficult (see “Body Curl”) and just plain weird (“Leg Lifts”).

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Then things got intense.  This trail was a little bit of military bootcamp, gymnastics, Tough Mudder, and American Ninja Warrior.  But I did 1 rep of each exercise, and moved along like a trooper.

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Then I got to this thing and thought, oh my gosh, they’re gonna make me do the iron cross.


But it actually turned out it was just hip circles.  I was perfectly capable of swiveling my hips in the woods by myself (thank goodness no one was around to watch).


After my walk, I sat on a bench and did some drawing.  When I was young I wanted to be a cartoonist but somewhere along the way I stopped drawing as much.  It was nice to relax and draw something.  Now that I think of it, I don’t know why out of all the things in the park I picked a bathroom…


Afterwards, I felt like finishing off my adventures with ice cream.  I already had a bag of potato chips today, but I was like YOLO, let’s do it carpe diem, sieze the day!  It was so good.  And I felt very American.


After I got home, I did some reading and even went to the gym at night.  What a great day it was to have a day off.


Simeon Koh