Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up - (Korea) Days 74 & 75

A photo from the back seat of the taxi I was riding in. Most cars have a big
screen GPS unit that can also be switched to watch TV here in Korea, but this
guy had two units. One on the right had the GPS and the one on the left had
a TV show playing the entire time. Not sure if that is very safe!

Saturday: I have been looking forward to this day all week, why…cause I got to sleep in and it felt so right! I did my normal Saturday ritual of laundry and cleaning up the room a bit. I then proceeded to download and watch a bunch of TV Shows. I then watched a documentary my wife told me about. It's called Restrepo. A very sobering documentary that shows what life is really like at OP Restrepo, an outpost in Afghanistan. I really feel for those guys that are out there doing what their doing. I joined as a 25B to serve and support the troops, so I shouldn't be anywhere near that kind of situation. Watching the entire film I just felt sad for all the guys there. Personally I don't care for even doing an FTX. I'm not all Hooah Hooah and I don't care to gear up and play soldier. I would rather do the job I'm trained for and fix computers for the army. Maybe if I was a bit younger I may think differently, but I have no desire to be out there in the field. It just sucks big time all around. During the time of the filming the folks out there were deployed for a 15 month tour. I can't imagine being away from my family for longer than I already am. At least now I get to video chat, these guys in the film are very limited in how they can contact their loved ones. They suffer losses and you can see the raw emotion that comes out. It just really sucks. The documentary was awesome, a lot of it was just raw footage of everything going on over there. Just seeing real life of these soldiers doing their jobs. I couldn't stop watching it and I would recommend anyone who is curious what life is like for soldiers serving on the front lines of Afghanistan.

SPC Roy called and asked if I wanted to do a little recon. It's his birthday today and after spending the day with his family, he wanted to check out the casino. He'd never been to one here in Korea and wanted to check them out for a future time when we can go out and gamble. The first one was not our style. Many tables had a 50,000 Won minimum bet (around $50) which is just too much for me. There were also basically only blackjack, roulette, & baccarat. We ended up heading south for a bit to another casino which turned out to be a lot better. It had more tables and some with much lower limits. These casinos are for foreigners only which I thought was a little strange, but no worries…I'm a foreigner!

On the way to the casino we ran into a DUI checkpoint. I've heard about these in the past, but never actually seen them in progress. They just setup a cop car on the street and start checking cars at random. They didn't stop us most likely because we were riding in a taxi. After the casino we headed to Itaewon so I could buy SPC Roy a drink for his birthday before heading back for the night.

My roommate took me out for some Korean BBQ.
This is him cooking our food and getting it ready for us to eat at our table.

Sunday: The morning was pretty slow, just slept in and then cleaned the room a bit more. I did some school work, then headed over to the other barracks to watch the Strikeforce fights. It was a pretty good card and surprisingly Fedor "The Last Emperor" got the crap beat out of him. After that it was video chatting with my wife and then some more shows and school.

My roommate came back and offered to take me out to a Korean barbecue restaurant. It was right outside of the post and was absolutely delicious. They serve some side dishes and then some raw meat which you cook yourself in the middle of the table. There were small dishes with seasoning that you could dip it into and then eat it. One other thing I've noticed about Koreans and eating out is that they eat "family style". I've gone out a few times with SPC Roy and such and he said it's normal here, but it freaks out some Americans at times. When I say family style I mean a lot of times there are dishes that are in the middle of the table and multiple people will use their spoon or chopsticks to grab the food. They will then eat with those chopsticks or spoon and repeat the process. (kind of like double dipping your chip in the dipping sauce). It doesn't bother me, but I can imagine some folks getting grossed out with that.

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