Monday, October 29, 2007

The Art Of Party

After not doing much, being ill and all, we made up for it this weekend. Saturday we went into Seoul with Sara teacher from school. She's an artist, so took us around some of the arty areas of Seoul that'd we'd never see if we didn't know about them.

So starting in Insadong we saw some little back street galleries, and then wandered over the Cheondong where there are many many small galleries. It was nice just milling about in a very chilled cultural rich area. We ended up coming back with loads of freebies. The best being a signed poster. We met an artist at one gallery, who happily gave us signed copies of her work.

Saturday night was a Halloween party at Psycho Bar in Anyang. So Dorothy and Samantha got all dressed up as Geishas, as they bought all the stuff when in Japan. Ian already had his Batman costume, and Jorge, well he just looked scary. I didn't know what to do, so a mask I'd bought did me.

We got some serious double takes traveling to Anyang on the subway. One particular child was stunned when he came across Batman stood on the subway platform. The party was great fun, particularly when Jorge and Brian got up and rocked the place.

Sunday was recovery day. We didn't do anything. Got up and crashed out watching TV and surfing the net all day. A perfect way to spend a Sunday.

This week we'll be doing Halloween stuff at school, so more dressing up and feeding the kids candy. Fun for all!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Picture Of Batman On His Bat Bike

Oooh! Scary red eyes. Ian outside our apartment, before we set off for our night out at Psycho Bar.

Picture Of A Geisha On A Subway

Samantha looking inconspicuous on the subway ride to Anyang.

Picture Of Us Arriving At Anyang

Scary aren't we? Psycho Bar here we come!

Picture Of Ben And Brian

No Ben! Wearing chapstick does not constitute a Halloween costume.

Picture Of Two Geishas

And one confused looking Batman!

Picture Of The Some Dodgy Glam Metal Band


Picture Of Jorge Rocking Out

Jorge showed his guitar skills, by playing up a storm.

Picture Of Jorge And Me

Jorge and me, just after he'd rocked the joint!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sick Of Being Sick

Well after all that, I didn't manage to do the half marathon. Samantha and I have been sick for going on a week now. Only a cold, but hell it has hung on in there.

This weekend, which was supposed to be the weekend of the run, we just hung out at home. We're pretty much over it now, which is good. Hopefully this weekend, we can make something of our time off.

It is Halloween weekend, and there are plans to dress up and do the whole thing. I do not have a clue what I'm going to do. Not a lot of stuff lying around to create a costume out of. I'm sure I'll come up with something at the last minute.

We're now starting to think about what we are going to do after this contract finishes. As we've mentioned before, we'd like to do university work. That means we have to put together a package of stuff for the application. Easier said than done, but I'm sure we'll get it sorted.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Picture Of Me With Dorothy And Ian

After the races, we hooked-up with the guys for food. The place gave them the aprons, so as not to spoil their lovely going-out-on-the-town clothes.

Picture From Saturday At The Races

We introduced Chris to horse racing. He was hooked right away. This was his first win!

Picture From Jenny's Leaving Do

I'd forgotten to mention this in my update. But we went out with all the staff from work, for Jenny Teacher's leaving do. Jenny is the one sat next to Samantha. It was a nice meal, and fun to spend time with them all, outside of work.

Picture Of Samantha With Her Crackers

Samantha went here specifically to get crackers for all the cheese she'd bought at Costco.

Picture Of Kenny

We found this shop down an alleyway, they sold loads of 'Western' food stuffs.

Okay So This Is Another Catch-Up Piece

I've just done a quick Japan catch-up piece. It's been going on 2 weeks since we came back. Time has slipped by. In that time, I've had my 38th birthday, bought a guitar, met a famous Korean clothes designer randomly, worked, been to the races (again), been down to Songtan to see Kenny, and hung around at home.

My birthday was fun. I didn't expect much, if anything. I mean when you reach my age, a birthday is just another day. Samantha and the guys made it a good one. And a long one. It started I suppose on the Friday after Japan. We went out as usual to Zapi's and met up with the gang. Birthday wishes started flowing in then. I had a bit of a skin full, but nothing so unusual for a Friday. We ended up back at ours, with Jorge, chatting and listening to music. This carried on into Saturday. Well into Saturday.

Saturday came, and a slight hangover, after some sleep. We were went to Seoul with Jorge, Dorothy and Ian, to Carne Station. This was part 2 of my birthday thing. We met Justin there. Carne Station, is an all you can eat and drink place. It's great! Well being my birthday, I partook of a couple of whiskeys, as its usually very expensive here in Korean. That set me up for the night. After Carne Station, we went to a traditional Bravarian hofbrauhaus, where you could buy a rack of beer. Literally a rack, of 10 pints of proper beer. Woo hoo!

Needless to say the trip back to Suwon in the taxi was a little hazy. Once again however we ended up in Zapi's with all the guys!

My actual birthday was on the Monday, buy we had Wednesday off. So it was back to Zapi's on Tuesday night for more birthday celebrations. Samantha had stashed a cake there, which was brought out at the appropriate time. The bar was full with everyone we know. So it was pretty hard to fit us all in. But we managed. Another good one, and finally an end to the birthday times.

So back to work, no more holidays until Christmas.

The next Saturday, this was the trip to Costco day, with Dorothy and Ian. It's a huge trade warehouse place in Seoul. An American company. This is where we stocked up with enough food to see us through the Apocalypse, and I picked up a guitar, a birthday treat to myself. This is where we met this bizarre clothes designer. A guy called Andrea Kim. Apparently very famous here. He reminded me of a bad drag queen.

Sunday we went to Kenny's stomping ground. Which made a nice change. Strange place though, hanging out in Osan, where the big American Airforce base is.

This weekend we just did the races again. But on a Saturday this time, just to be different. That was it really. A quiet one, which was good.

Well that's it. I could have expanded, but I can't be bothered. Update done. I will stick-up some pictures to illustrate. Oh there will not be any birthday pictures, they are all on facebook, for those who wish to see them. I wouldn't advise it, as I don't look so good in most of them.

Japan A Retrospective

I should have wrote this piece when Japan was still fresh. Just not had the time. Well with time now between Japan and I, I can look back in retrospect, and consider it from afar.

As I've said before, I enjoyed Japan. Despite that in reality I should say I enjoyed Tokyo, as that is where we were almost wholly. It would have had more impact had I not been living in Korea, which has many similarities. I fact, and I know the Korean's hate it said, but Korea is following Japan, but with far less flair and style.

That's the thing about Tokyo, it has style with more style on the side. The place, the buildings, the people. From the hardcore chic of Ginza to the down and dirty side of Shinjuku. The neon is even more stylish artistic than that of Korea. Seoul, tries to be one of the most happening world capitals, and believes that of itself. It is unfortunately sadly mistaken. They should take a leaf out of Tokyo's book, as how to really pull it off.

The same goes for the people in Japan, they are more friendly and out going. You do not feel like a freak in Tokyo, as you can so easily feel here in Korea. Also even if the people there couldn't speak English, they would really put themselves out there to help a lost and confused traveler. Not that Korean's are ignorant, but they are less inclined to approach you. Less inclined to help generally, and get mighty frustrated at the communication breakdown. They simply are not yet equipped to deal with foreigners, and don't understand us.

Anyway, as I have said before. Japan lived up to my expectations. Which after a lifetime of dreaming about, was a pretty tall order. I must, I will go again, and explore further. I take this trip as just a taster of the things yet to be revealed by Japan.