Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Floods In Hull (Welcome To Hellville)

Jeez! I never thought my predictions in Hellville would come true so soon. Hull is under water, just as I described in my serialisation, 'Welcome To Hellville'.

Check it out...

As The Days Float By

Another Wednesday, mid-week already, soon be the weekend. The days fly by here. We are fully settled into the routine of school life, so just get on with it now. The weekends are often the same. Trips up to Seoul, relaxing at home or doing the routine of housework and shopping.

We are looking forward to July as we get time off. There is another mid-week bank holiday in July, but the main thing is our summer break. End of July, we get four days of work. This means we can travel somewhere. I think we are looking at going across to the east coast. There we can do some trekking around the mountains and ancient temples around there, and then hop across to the coast to get in some beach time.

It'll be good to get away. We like it here, but like everyone you need your breaks. Especially in the work we do, it is really full-on. The work isn't hard, but we do long days. There is a lot to think about and plan for, just that it has now become routine to us. So some time away will let us recharge our batteries.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Rainy Season Starts On Schedule

Would you credit it! Mr. Oh said that Rainy Season started today. We took the accuracy of his prediction with a pinch of salt. Well we woke this morning to the start of the rains.

Apparently this will last for around a month and a half. So it's on and off rains for a while then. Looking forward to proper rain, rather than slightly dizzley British style stuff we have at the moment.

It's come at a good time in a way. We need to be staying in more, in order to save for out Japan trip. This will give us that opportunity.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Picture Sam And I

This was taken by Kristin on our visit to the Palace in Suwon.

Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon

Not done anything today, just chilled at home. Somewhat tired after yesterday. Went into Suwon early, to do some shopping. Then later met up with Kristin and Mike for food. We'd arranged to go into Seoul, to Itaewon, to meet up with everyone at a place called The Bungalow.

So that's what we did. The Bungalow was a nice place, but the service was painfully slow. Which resulted in people going off to other bars for a drink and then coming back to socialise with everyone. Making for a bit of a strange night all-round.

Anyway, the night ended in good style with a kebab. We grabbed to express train home, but overshot our stop. The express doesn't stop at every station, so we had to travel miles until the next station when we could get off and get a train back to Suwon. It was all a bit of a cock-up really, which is one of the reason why we can't be bothered with doing anything today.

Back to work tomorrow. We have a new Korean teacher, James. It'll be interesting to have another male teacher in the school. We are trying to teach the kids songs, for a Song Festival Mr. Oh wants to have in July. It's all good fun, singing Beatles songs with them. The Beatles are good for teaching English, particularly songs like Hello Goodbye, Yellow Submarine and Here Comes The Sun.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Samantha's Birthday

Samantha's actual birthday was on Sunday, a day we actualy didn't do much more than chill-out at home. The birthday celebrations had started on the Friday night however.

We'd decided ages before to have a Mexican night, as Kristin had got a load of food stuffs sent over from the States. The weekend of Samantha's birthday sounded perfect. So Kristin grabbed our keys before we finished work and started on the preparations. We got home, and gradually over the course of the evening people started to arrive.

There was just a nice number, as we didn't know who was coming. We'd randomly invited all sorts of people. Ben was first, as expected, followed by Amy a Korean teacher we work with. Jorge then hobbled in, his back still playing up. Then I had to go meet with Dot and Ian, who turned up with friends of theirs, Chris, Alan and his wife Wahrena.

So the party got going with really good Mexican food, thanks to Kristin and Dot who also brought stuff. They'd both also made Pinatas, which went down a storm. Whacking things with big sticks always seems to hit the mark. The night ended in the very early hours. Well it was daylight when I and Ben walked Amy back home.

Needless to say we slept until midday. Got up sort ourselves out and grabbed a Metro up to Seoul to pick-up Samantha's main present. A smoky topaz pendant, that we'd had set in silver on a silver chain. So Ben, Samantha and I went up, followed not far behind by Jorge, to Itaewon. Where without any planning bumped into John and Jo by sheer accident, stood at a crossing. I mean what are the chances in a city the size of Seoul, to just happen to be crossing a road at the same time as your friends.

We had a couple of beers with them, before they went, and we tucked into a curry at the 15,000 all-you-can-eat buffet Indian place we'd found. That was us done, stuffed on good food we headed home.

Like I say, Sunday was sedate. As we wanted it. We'd done the partying, and it was nice just to chill at home. Besides Monday is always an early start for us, so we have to be sensible.

A Picture That Says, Let's Get This Party Started

The beginning of the night, everyone had arrived, the food was served and the booze was starting to flow.

A Picture Of Amy And Dot

Chillin' on our cushions. Luck that we had just about enough room for everyone to sit.

A Picture Of Kristin

We've all got into the habit of doing the Asian pose.

Picture Of Jorge And His Cake

He brought the ice cream cake, as Samantha's present, and seemed to enjoy sharing it.

Picture Of Pinatas And People

Amy, Samantha and Ian. Kristin is dangling her pinata overhead. This was just before the violence towards these poor objects began.

Picture Of Samantha Letting Loose

The pinyana was gonna get it big time. Everyone else ducks for cover.

A Picture Of The Birthday Girl

Samantha with what's left of the pinata.

Picture Of Ben And His Monkey

Such a happy boy!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

South Korea Vs Holland

When Ben mentioned that Holland were playing a friendly against South Korea, we took the opportunity to do two things. One, see our first international football match, and two, to go and see the Seoul World Cup Stadium.

We went up to Seoul early, as Sam wanted to shop for her birthday present. So we went up to Itaewon and had a wander around the shops there. Jorge was already there, and Ben soon arrived. So we made them trawl from one jewelry shop to another, as Sam searched for a smoky topaz pendent that she'd set her heart on.

None of them had what she wanted, so we eventually found a place that would make up what she was after. So we put down a deposit, and arranged to pick it up the next Saturday. Job done, we shot over to Seoul Station for some food before the match.

Full tummies, we started to make our way to the part of Seoul where the stadium was. Ben wanted to stop off to get a smoothie, so we waited outside Seoul Station for him. There was some bible-bashers prancing around and playing a sax. I was sort of watching them, slightly phased-out, as I didn't see the trouble start.

When I'd focused I realised that there among them some guy was been given the beating of his life. Some bloke was stood over him, literally pounding his head into the pavement with his foot. This went on and on. No one stopped, no one even batted an eyelid. It was as if nothing was happening. We stood stunned. I've seen fights. After all I am from Hull. But this was vicious and unrelenting.

What did we do? Nothing! That's what. As a stranger in a strange land, there is a rule that you must stick to, despite your better instincts. Do not get involved in situations that do not concern you, particularly if the natives around you are not getting involved. That way you are more likely to stay alive. The guy wasn't dead as the other was pulled off him eventually. He seemed just about with us, though he must have had the most painful headache known to man.

Anyway, violence over we went to the football. We met up with John and Jo there. The match was okay, Holland won two-nil. The stadium is really nice, and so, so big! It was definitely an experience worth seeing.

After the football we met up with some more people. The other Ben and two of his friends. The rest of the night was spent drinking cheap beer, and singing rock songs at the top of our voices in a variety of Korean rock bars. Pretty good fun, it has to be said.

A Picture Of Us Getting Our Western Food Fix

Before we went over to the stadium, we went to Seoul Station. They have this American chain place, Bennigan's, so we had a western food fix to set us up for the evening ahead.

They do good food, but it just doesn't sit well to go to places like this. As you can see Jorge got in the mood, and had already changed into his Holland shirt ready for the match.

A Picture Inside The Stadium

The Seoul World Cup Stadium is an impressive piece. I think there around 65,000 people there, the place was almost full. My first international football match.

A Picture Of A Big Bloody Flag

This thing appeared as by magic as they played the Korean national anthem.

We were very impressed.

A Picture Of Ben With His New Best Friend

It's the one in the middle!

A Picture Of Peace Dude!

Inside The Doors bar, looking out into the neon streets of Seoul.

A Picture Of Us All With Jim Morrison

Well not the Jim Morrison obviously... Well in fact it's a painting of Val Kilmer playing Jim.

Here we all are at The Doors bar in Sinchon, after the footie match. I decline showing any of the later photos, as we pretty much look like a bunch of drunken singing and dancing fools.

If you want to see those photos, then you'll have to visit our shutterfly gallery.