Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up - (Korea) Days 201 & 202

Part of the folk instrument and dance performance near the Chun-Cheon dam

Saturday: I slept in until about 0800 and then did my usual weekend routine (laundry and video chatted with my wife). I then did my schoolwork before taking a nap. I had plans on attending a Latin American festival here in Korea. Big plans of eating some good Mexican food and perhaps even some beer.

I got a call from the air force master sergeant in our office and we met up at a subway entrance near one of the gates. I am slowly getting used to the subway system here…lol. We took it and made one transfer before arriving at our destination where Ms. Q and a friend of hers were waiting for us. The festival wasn't exactly what I had hoped for. It was basically a few tents and a ton of people crowded into a very small area. There was hardly any food and the live band didn't even play the whole time we were there. We only stayed for about a half hour before deciding to leave and eat some Indian food at a place that Ms. Q liked.

The food was good, then we went to have dessert in Itaewon before calling it a night. I headed over to PFC Pickle's room where we watched "Black Snake Moan". I had seen it before of course. It's a great movie, Samuel L. Jackson had me laughing and any movie where Christina Ricci is half naked you can't complain about. PFC Pickle was drinking quite a bit. I told him to slow down because we had plans tomorrow, but he said he had youth on his side and there would be no problems….lol

The entrance to the Latin American festival in Seoul

This is the entire festival...quite a bit smaller than I had envisioned
before heading here...also too crowded to enjoy yourself.

The subways can get a little crowded at times!

Sunday: I woke up a bit early today so I could video chat with my wife and kids for a bit before taking off. I then get a message from PFC Pickle saying that blood is shooting out of his nose as he's throwing up, so he will not be coming…so much for youth. I played it a bit smarter last night and only had a couple beers. Today I am going on a free cultural tour offered by the ROKs to folks in our office. I think sometimes I get some advantages over the others stationed here because it seems like we get a lot of these types of trips offered to us working in the headquarters, while others don't. I try to take advantage of any that I can because it sure beats just staying in your room all weekend.

I headed down near my office where the bus picked everyone up. We left a little after 1000 and went for quite a long ride. I should have went pee before leaving because by the time we hit the rest area my eyes were yellow! After getting lost once our two busses turned around and finally found the place we were heading….Chun-Cheon Dam. We were all let off and then proceeded to board a boat that transported us across the reservoir to a secluded area where we enjoyed a folk instrument and dance performance. The show was great and the whole time we were offered rice cakes and either makkoli or water…It was pretty hot, so I only drank water with my rice cakes.

We then ate lunch inside some buildings located nearby. Lunch was traditional style where you take off your shoes at the door and sit on the floor. I quickly sat at a table that was next to a wall, so I could use it to lean against. I don't care for the whole no shoes…no seat deal too much, but the food was good. We then headed back across the reservoir and onto the bus. The bus drivers started up this tiny little road that kept getting smaller and smaller the farther we went. As I was looking around there were not even many houses nearby, and the ones that were there had people looking out wondering why there are two big buses heading up their driveway. At one point there was a corner that was a little to sharp and the first bus scratched up the side of the bus on a rock wall. It was after this that we knew we were lost yet again. The bus drivers found a field and were able to turn the buses around, then carefully guided each other around the sharp corner avoiding any more damage.

We finally made it to dinner which was yet again traditional style. We cooked our food on the table in front of us and wrapped it all up in lettuce to eat it. I'm not sure exactly what all was in it, but I do know some of it was chicken…at least I think it was chicken. I had to get up shortly after I finished and waited outside until everyone finished. I just couldn't sit on the floor anymore. The food was good though.

We headed back and hit traffic, so the ride seemed to take forever. We didn't get back to the post until after 2200. I hit my bed and went to sleep right away!

A short video I took of the Korean folk performance

The scratches on the bus from the rock wall incident.

The bus drivers futilely trying to fix the scratches with wax and 

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