Thursday, September 27, 2012

Busan for a last Hurrah

So my co-foreign teacher decided to get on with his life and follow his dream; he went out and got a real job with a gaming company. You can only imagine the extent of my jealousy. Anyways, this last weekend was his last weekend here before he moved on to Paris, France. (yeah, jealous). And it was decided to that we would explore Busan, for a last hurrah.

Our plan was to get to the Nampo Dong market, which was supposed to be the largest market in the southern area of Korea; then get over to Centum City (the largest Department Store in Korea), and then end up at Haeundai Beach (best concentration of foreign resaurants). Naturally plans never really go through perfectly. o_O

First we left early and got their before noon with all the energy and determination of all great adventurers. We found the subway just fine and started looking for our stop on the map. While looking we were approached by a Korean guy whose english wasn't bad. He kindly pointed out what stop we needed to go to after we explained where we wanted to go. I thought I said Nampo, he thought I said Nopo. (Two very different places.)

Well, thirteen stops later we got off at the Nopo Dong stop and started looking for the famous 'huge' market. We did find a market but it wasn't that big and we were the only foreigners there. It felt like a black market really, there was a lady who waved us away when we tried to take pictures of her caged chickens and ducks. Probably because there were about thirty chickens and ducks in one cage.

After a while we figured that where we were wasn't really the area we needed to be or wanted to be. So we started exploring the area more and more to find the 'huge' market. We walked all around the station and even called a couple friends. Joel wanted to keep walking around but I knew we had to ask someone or we would be walking around for nothing. I found a tourist counter and the lady helped us realize our big mistake. The stop we wanted was in the opposite direction we originally came from. So we had to take the subway back and Joel was getting to the point where he didn't care. But we were stalwart and got to the market.

This place was huge! It was a few city blocks long and a few wide. Picture yourself in a small town of small markets and booth stacked up against each other. Shops everywhere and the free places filled with people  with tables and wares ready to smile and nod to whatever you say as long as your buying. It was intense and they had socks galore! I ended up buying like a dozen, they were cheep too! We spent a pretty good time there.

The rest of the day went as planned, ending the evening meeting up with the rest of the guys at Haundai beach. We had a burger all together and then I left them to catch a bus back to Masan. 

This last thursday, we had a party for Joel where we all went out and had sangipsa and then headed to a Noribong. Sangipsa is like roasted meat that you roast yourself at your table and a Noribong is basically like a Karaoke bar but you have your own room. Yes they even got me up to humiliate myself and sing, thankfully all of them were drinking.
That's all for this week, next week we have a five day break and I still have no plans to fill the time. I am sure I figure something out.

till next week

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

True Typhoon

Hey everyone!

So I finally got my wish! I experience a true typhoon/ hurricane!

Typhoon Sanben hit South Korea this last monday and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the streets outside had been flooded with water. And like any responsible logical and danger sensitive adult, I went out into it. :)

My friend Joel, who also lives in the same building as I do texted me while I was hanging halfway out my window (watching people getting blown this way and that, and cars backing up to get away from the really bad streets). Joel said he was going out because he needed food, so I quickly checked my fridge and decided I needed juice, you can't live without juice. So I met him at the entrance of our building. I was ready in shorts and a waterproof bag and my camera in hand. Joel showed up with his umbrella, that thing didn't last more than a minute in the wind. Heck! We were drench after the first few steps. While we were crossing the streets the water got all the way up to my thighs, it was intense. I think I scared Joel a little, because I was laughing and having the time of my life out there in the torrential rain.

The store owner wasn't too happy to see us, but we got what we 'needed' and met a friend on the way back. At least I wasn't as crazy as this friend, his plan was get to the beach. He ended up falling half way into an uncovered manwhole, scrapped up his leg pretty bad. I think his main concern would be bacteria and filth.

I mentioned before that I brought my camera with me before. Well, apparantly a camera and a typhoon (you know flooding water and rain everywhere) isn't a good mix. After the last picture of Joel in thigh deep water, my camera decided to die.
"You lost another camera?" said my friend David at work the next day. I think that sums up a little of my feelings there. But good news everyone! Rice really does work! My camera was put into intensive care for about three days. Thankfully, he was able to pull through. So no, I didn't lose another camera, HAH! And I got great pictures, so it was worth the risk.

When I got home I immediately took a shower, the streets on normal days are filthy; I can only imagine how dirty that water was. After cleaning up, I got about four texts from my coworkers telling me to stay inside and be safe, hah.

Also work was canceled. Which was really nice, though by the time I would normally go to work the weather was back to normal and the water was gone. It is still nice to only have a four day week though.

Apart from the typhoon, this week was a good week. I went shopping with one of my Korean co-workers on Saturday in an underground mall. That was pretty awesome.

Well, everyone stay safe and don't go out into potentially dangerous storms unless you bring your camera.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

No Water

So I think Big Brother exists in South Korea. Yesterday I was woken up to a loud speaker in my ceiling. It was a woman's voice and as far as I know she was saying the world was about to end. Along with her insistent voice they added a loud buzzer to make sure their was no possible way for you to sleep any longer. I immediately checked outside to make sure it wasn't a evacuation drill and seeing that no one was rushing toward the stairs I shrugged and went about my business. Well it turns out that the in-home announcement was about the water was shut off. And I really needed to take a shower. :(
So I had an extra bottle of drinking water and therefore took my first shower with bottled water. I felt fresh and clean, like a mountain stream!
What really bothered me is that I have a speaker in my room that allowes the 'higher-ups' to wake me whenever they decide and there is also a light as well that I have no control over which has turned on randomly throughout the time I have been here too. I tell you it is a conspiracy.... I wonder if they have cameras too? hmm, note to self stop walking around in my underwear. ;) (like you wouldn't do it if you lived alone too!)

Anyways, this last week was a stresser for sure but despite how it turned out I was quite proud that I survived it. This last weekend, I was part of a talent show, I had a talk to give during sacrament meeting and I got to teach a lesson in my Young Womens group. A lot to prepare for, but I did it and though the talent show was an epic fail in performance on my part the rest of it went really well.

The talent show, I was kindly forced to dance a choreographed dance with the other single adults in my ward. We had practiced a lot except for the 'couples' dance that I was also elected for, I got to the church early to practice it with my partner. Well my partner didn't show up until like an hour before the show started and he decided to practice another dance with the young men. In other words we got to the stage, I knew what to do but he didn't and so it was a huge flop but I didn't really care, I am just happy it is over. The other dances went well and some of them were really fun. The missionaries dressed in traditional Korean style dress, one a man and the other in girl cloths and they sang this song that was two old couples argueing. It was hilarious. I'd have pictures but one of the elders needed an SD card so I lent him mine and he hasn't returned it yet.  So pictures to come :)

Besides that my talk went well and the lesson was a success as well.
This week as well, I hung out with a more variety of people. I went to a mexican..well korean/mexican resaurant and that was tasty. I also hung out with my fellow english teachers who are the koreans and that was fun:
The center is Jinny and the right side is Hannah. Super sweet girls :)

That is all for now! Have a great week everyone and go find some adventures!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Amazing I got this far, but I've hit the half-way point... well technically that was about a week ago. Anyways YAY for 6 months!

This week we had a typhoon, and when I say this week I mean last week, like last tuesday. I was so excited, I thought it would be cool to see a typhoon which is a hurricane basically with a different name. This one inparticular before it came everyone said it is one of the most powerful to hit us in like ten years. The last one of the same magnitude killed seven people, so naturally I was rearing for a fearsome storm that would scare me out of my witts and then give me a good story afterwards.

I took pictures of people's preparation for Bolaven (typhoons name) below:

So people taped up the windows.

And there were sandbags everywhere.

Multiple people told me not to go out the night before. ( Like I go out and stuff past 12 on daily basis )

Well. Bolaven hit around three in the morning and I was sure it would wake me but it didn't. And so I woke up to just a windy day, where I've experienced worse in Rexburg Idaho. Total disappointment! I was so excited and then the stupid storm couldn't muster enough power to wake me up. Maybe I really can sleep through anything.

I was able to take a picture of the aftermath, though really I think there was another problem with this roof and the typhoon just gave the extra push to make it collapse.
In the end I don't think that the Typhoon merited the hype that everyone gave it. There was another typhoon that hit this week but it was a weaker one, so it was just a day with sprinkling of rain and a little wind. Sheesh! Come to Washington, I can show you what a real rainstorm is like or come to Rexburg, there are great examples of wind there. Whatever, disappointing.

Besides that, I have been coned into doing a couple of dances for the Ward talent show and I have  a talk this coming sunday. So there is a lot on my plate right now but I thought I should update everyone before the week is out.

Everyone, smile more.