Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up (4-Day) - (Korea) Days 313 - 316

On the way up to Seoul Tower...me with a view of the city behind

Saturday: Woke up around 1000 and did my normal Saturday routine of laundry and video chatting with my wife. This weekend is a four day weekend, so I'm looking forward to relaxing and sleeping in each day. I ate lunch in my room and then met up with PV2 Charlie and PFC Pickle to hike up to Seoul Tower. PV2 Charlie hasn't left the post yet and wanted to visit the tower, so I figured I would count that as my cardio for the day.

Once we got back we split up and I met up with the young hawaiian to watch some fireworks. I'm not sure what the occasion was (either fall harvest season or the birth of the Korean nation), but there was supposed to be a big fireworks show along the river. The young hawaiian knew the park to go to and we boarded the subway and headed there. Once we made a transfer to another subway line the crowd started to gather. It was bigger than the crowd at the Linkin Park concert that boarded the subway earlier this year…and I thought that was a lot of people! There were a number of police everywhere for crowd control. It started to sink in that this was a big deal. The subway train arrived and people started to board, but they all couldn't fit and the doors would not shut, this is when the police got involved and forced the ones keeping the doors open to exit the train.

The next train came and the young hawaiian and I made it on…just barely. The subway train was so full! I've been in full subways here before, but this was unlike anything I've experienced yet. I couldn't move my arms…it was similar to being in a rock concert in the general admission section close to the stage. Just so many people squished into one place. It was pretty crazy!

A few stops later everyone departed the subway and we just followed the crowd. The streets were full of people. When I say full of people, I mean there were more people than I've ever seen in one place before…ever. In every direction I looked there were just crowds and crowds of people walking down the streets. When we made our way to the riverside park, the scene was more of the same…people everywhere you looked. We stood and watched the fireworks, which was a pretty impressive show for a little over an hour and then decided to head back. We weren't sure how long the show was going to last, but after a while it was all pretty similar stuff. We headed back and the crowd was still large, but not nearly as bad as when we came…..what an experience.

PFC Pickle, Me, and PV2 Charlie at Seoul Tower

A view down one of the streets full of people during the fireworks show

Some of the fireworks at the park on Hahn River

Sunday: The morning consisted of watching UFC 136 in the young hawaiian's room. His roommate is TDY until at least January, so he rearranged all his furniture. He now has quite the setup and it's all his room for a long time. He moved all the furniture to the outside walls and joined the two beds to make one big bed. He has a big screen TV in the middle which made a great setup for the show…which was great as always.

We then headed to Walker Hill's Paradise Casino and did the poker tournament. I have come to the conclusion that I'm not a very good poker player. I'm glad it's a free tournament. Granted I didn't get any good hands, but I lost pretty quick…it took the young hawaiian a bit longer, but he eventually lost as well. He came in about 18th place, while I was more like 50th or so. Unfortunately you have to be in the top 5 in order to win the 100,000 Won.

We headed back and got to our rooms about 1830. I watched TV shows (CSI, Falling Skies, & Survivor). Falling Skies is a new show (for me). I saw that it had Noah Wyle in it, whom I always liked in the show ER. The executive producer is also Seven Spielberg...plus it's about aliens invading earth, so I had to check it out. We'll see how it progresses.

Monday: I slept in until 1000 and video chatted with my wife for a while. The day was a pretty chill day consisting of watching TV shows, going to lunch with SPC Roy and then watching some more TV shows. I then then went to dinner with PFC Pickle and followed that up with even more TV shows. Not a lot to report on except it was a nice relaxing day.

Tuesday: I slept in until about 1000 again and video chatted with my wife for a while. I then cleaned up my room a bit, I'll save the more extensive cleaning until next weekend. I met up with the young hawaiian and we took the subway to Myeongdong. This is a shopping district that is pretty cool. There is a lot going on everywhere you look and they have a number of shops to check out. The young hawaiian wanted to do a little shopping, then we stopped and had lunch.

SPC Roy ended up calling and wondered what I was up to. He actually lives close by Myeongdong, so he ended up meeting up with us after a bit. We did a little more shopping and then had dinner together. We ate at one of SPC Roy's favorite spots and had makkoli (rice wine) with dinner. I enjoy drinking makkoli so much more than soju.

We then headed to a bar and had a couple beers. We discussed the current events with the US military and the couple of rapes that have happened. SPC Roy said the Korean news has been reporting about it a lot. What the news states though is that these guys were investigated and then the military just came in and took them away. SPC Roy said his family (all Korean) have been asking him what is going on. To the Korean's it looks like we're just taking these guys and protecting them from the Korean justice system. The news doesn't report on the trouble they are getting in with the military and the jail time they will be serving. Instead it just looks like they are being protected by the military. So of course there are a lot of Koreans that aren't too happy with the US military in Korea at the moment.

We called it a night early since it's a work night and headed back to post. The end of a nice 4-day weekend!!

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