Friday, October 30, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Yesterday, on Friday we had a BBQ day. All the students still came but we had no regular classes. The Korean teachers prepared all the food and we were in charge of having games prepared to play with each of the classes, which of course she told us that we needed to prepare just the day before. So I came up with a few ideas and we ended up having a lot of fun. This was an all day thing with the students coming in waves.
Here I am teaching the younger kids how to play spoons. For some reason most of the Korean people are very camera shy and are very reluctant to let us get there picture.
This last Sunday it was our Branch's turn to be in charge of the Suday Meal for all the religious groups on the base. Liji volunteered us to plan the meal and decided on Pot Roast. We were told that there would be 120 people, so Liji did a great job calculating everything out and then there ended up only being about 40-50 people that showed up. It was sad because it was the best meal on the base yet and not everyone came to enjoy it. There was a lot of left over potatoes and even more salad.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Turns out that almost everyone decided that they had better things to do, but luckily one guy with a car still wanted to go, so we caught a ride with him. His name is Jay and he is actually a nonmember, we know him through a member friend of ours. The last time we went, we stayed the night in Seoul, but this time we decided that we needed to come home because today we were in charge of preparing the Sunday meal. We did pot roast for “120” people, but that is another story.
Because Christina and I could not stay the night, we were just going to go to the temple, and then to hit some Seoul tourist attractions. The game started at 8pm, and we didn’t think that we could catch a bus back to Gunsan that late at night. Jay needed to get something from the Osan base, so they stopped there, and Christina and I got on the subway to go to the temple.
On the way to the temple, Jeremy called us and told us that the game had been postponed until next Wednesday, we didn’t care that much except that people that we rode up with were planning on going to the game. The only problem was that my phone died while I was talking to Jeremy, and Christina didn’t have Jay’s number in her phone. Before we left, I had seen that my battery was getting low, so I switched to a spare battery that I thought was fully charged, but wasn’t.
We wanted to let them know that the game wasn’t going to be played so they could make other plans, but we had no way of getting the number out of my phone. While we were trying to figure out how to contact them, we got to the temple. When we walked through the parking lot, I thought it was really strange how empty it was, I started to say as much to Christina when a man came out of the little control booth (I can’t think of anything else to call it) and told us that the temple was closed!
So now we were in Seoul with a dead phone, and both of our big plans had fallen through. Luckily, Christina had a brilliant idea, we could go to a cell phone store and ask them to charge my phone, then we could get back in touch with our ride, and maybe salvage the day. Not too far from the temple we found a cell phone store and they charged my phone for free. We got back in touch with our ride and decided to meet up in Itaewon, a popular tourist attraction where they sell souvenirs.
To get to Itaewon, we had to make several transfers, but we had already figured out the subway system, shoot were considered ourselves pros at navigating the subway. The first transfer we needed to make, was only three stops away… if you went he right direction, which we didn’t. On the third stop we were surprised to find out that the name was not what we were expecting. After a couple more stops we figured out that we had gotten on the right train, but it was going the wrong way. I will spare you all of the details and just say that in scarcely less time than it takes to walk across Seoul, we arrived at our destination.
By this point in the day, we were in a great mood. Our plans had fallen through, and we were lost on the subway for 17 hours. By the way, the last time we went to Seoul, I observed that all 14 million inhabitants must own a car and be driving it, well, I changed my mind. All 14 million people decided to take the subway on Saturday, which is why we spent 4 hours standing a lot closer than we wanted to to a bunch of people that don’t wear deodorant. (this time I am not exaggerating, about the time, or the deodorant)
I was especially tired of the whole trip, and would have been happy to just get on a bus and go home, at least we would have been able to sit down, but Christina wanted to do some shopping. She did actually get something, and she talked the shop owner down 15,000won, I thought she did a good job on the bargaining. When Christina finally got tired of me sulking around behind her, she said we could go home.
Our trip on the subway to the bus terminal was uneventful, but once we got to the terminal, we were really lost. That place was huge, not only was it several acres in size, it had several floors. After ascending two floors without really having any idea where we were, we stopped. Usually when we stop, we look so confused that some kind Korean comes to our rescue and helps us find the way, not this time. But to our surprise, an American friend of ours that teaches English in a city not far from Gunsan just happened to walk by! We stopped her, and she helped us find the ticket counter, and get tickets. We had to wait an hour and a half for the next available bus, but I had a book and the time went by fast.
We got on the bus at 7:20pm expecting to be on the bus until 11 or maybe 12 before we got home. It was an “express bus” but we didn’t expect it to be any faster than the last bus that we took from Seoul which made the trip in just under four hours. We promptly fell asleep on the bus, and woke up an hour later when we made the mandatory 15 minute rest stop. We still don’t know why even the shortest trips require 15-20 minute rest stop, but it can be frustrating, especially if you got up at 6 in the morning and spent a good part of the day standing on a crowded subway. After the stop we went right back to sleep… and woke up just one hour later. What, I thought, another rest stop!?!?! When will we get home? But after looking more closely at my surroundings, I realized we were home. It barely took longer than two hours to get home! So I guess express buses are faster.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Saturday we went over to a small nearby city named Iksan to explore. We were worried that museums wouldn't be opened because of the holiday, but we ended up still finding plenty of things to entertain us. The first thing we ran into was a whole flood of cars at this one intersection and cops out patrolling the traffic, so we decided to turn down the small street and check it out. Turns out it was very large cemetary and there were many out taking flowers to pay tribute to their ancestors. It was neat to see.
About the video above, please don't judge me too harshly. I've always known I just didn't get the jumping high talent. Aparently Liji did:)
Sunday, October 4, 2009
On Thursday we had planned to go to this Aqua World Resort that was about an hour and a half away on the scooter, but when we got there the prices were twice what they had said on the internet and as you can see from the picture below the place was mostly for a hotel stay and the Swimming part wasn't that great to make it worth what the actual cost was. Though it was beautiful here, on the way over we had past many signs for fun outdoor places to go. We were surrounded by mountains in a National Park.
We went exploring a bit and found some beautiful places.
We ended up having I'm sure a lot more fun than we would have if we stayed at the Aqua World. Though Public Spas, Bath Houses and Swimming areas are really big here so I do hope to find a good place to go at some point.