Thursday, February 3, 2011

Whiplash - (Korea) Day 65

A random photo of a guard tower right outside my barracks.
It's not used and all fenced off, but ever since I arrived here
at Yongsan, I've had the desire to climb it and take pictures....
I wonder how much trouble I would get in....

Work call this morning was at 0800 for Korean Drivers Ed once again. The plan was to take another pre-test and then take the official test. However, because of the "Lunar New Year" holiday all the Koreans on post were off…including the building where we were going to take our test. So instead of testing we were going to go out driving again. I asked if I had to stay and was told yes, because today we were driving a stick shift van and they wanted to make sure everyone could drive a stick. No problem, my last truck was a stick. I would soon find out that there were plenty of others that had never driven a stick before and it turned out to be pretty funny.

*Side Note* Lunar New Year is a big deal here in Korea. The ROK and KATUSA end up getting a number of days off. This week the KATUSA were only here on Monday and then got the rest of the week off. We even get Friday off as well for it. Most of the post is shut down because of this on at least Thursday & Friday

All 14 of us piled into this van and the instructor drove us to the Dragon Hill Lodge where we took our first break. We went inside and a number of people went down to Subway and got some breakfast sandwiches. I used the facilities and then waited around with everyone else in the lobby. There were a number of Houston Texans cheerleaders walking around which caught everyone's eyes. They are here for the Superbowl and will perform during the show for the troops and their families. A similar event took place last month with the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, but I didn't make it to that show. I guess cheerleaders in Texas like Korea???

We started off with one of the girls in our class trying to back out of the parking spot. It was a mess! She would move about an inch and then kill it. It was pretty funny as we all started giving her 10 points every time the van would die. She had 70 points when the instructor finally took over. He drove out of the parking lot an onto a roadway where she could start over again. She ended up with 85 points. Surprisingly this was not the winner. The winner was a female sergeant who is a chaplain's assistant. I guess she needed to pray a little more because she ended up with 130 points! Everyone had a fun time, there was lots of laughter and whiplash for everyone. One girl was taking a drink out of her plastic bottle and the whole thing went into her mouth as the van lurched back and forth. I drove fine and got 0 points as well as two others in our van, everyone else got at least 30 points or so. The instructor at one point had to tell a driver to "keep your hands on the wheel at all times". The person would let go and put their hands in the air every time the van would die as if saying "it's not my fault".

After lunch I headed into the office and then went to the company to try and get my finances straightened out. After spending a good hour or two there and printing off multiple copies of everything, I think it's all good to go. The specialist helping me out was very nice and thorough, so I'm hoping it all goes through this time. I need to check back with her next week to make sure it's all good.

When I got back we setup for the last meeting of the day and then cleaned the office. We were out by 1600 and I left back to my barracks to video chat with my wife for a bit.

I borrowed a DVD from the guy on CQ shift which I had never heard of. It's called "The Great Raid" and is described as "The most daring rescue mission of our time is a story that has never been told". I had to check this thing out since I like war movies and it sounded pretty good. The movie was inspired by true events and at the end during the credits it showed a lot of real footage from what really happened which was pretty cool. It's a World War II movie that takes place in the Philippines. As US troops were advancing the Japanese would kill all the POWs they had instead of turning them over. Knowing this a group of rangers went out ahead of the force in the Philippines, planned and executed a rescue operation of over 511 POWs from the Japanese. It was a pretty cool flick, I'm really surprised that I never even heard of it before. It wasn't Oscar worthy or anything, but still worth seeing.

Overhear Quote: "When I start drinking I like to hit on black chicks" (one of the guys in the van talking about going drinking for the four day weekend coming up)

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