TravellingMarc

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone...
Spent Christmas Eve with some Friends. Jennifer put it best when she said someone had wished her an Unusual, but fun Christmas. Well, that's what we had. Several of us, Evil Marc, Jaelee, Dale, Brandon, Jennifer, Jeffrey, HyeKyeong (Jeff's wife) and Hana (Jeff and HyeKyeong's daughter) went to the Yeosimcheon JimJilBang. It's a nice jimJilBang, with several hot rooms(suanas), hot tubs, massage chairs, sleeping areas, movie screens, and other "family" entertainment things. It was pretty full, but we found our own little spot. We played a few games, Jenga, Settlement and Trivial pursuit. It was definitely a different was to spend Chrtistmas Eve, and it was definitely fun too.
Tonight... it's off to Outback in Suncheon for Christmas Eve dinner.
Cheers,
Marc

Thursday, December 22, 2005

More Snow

OK... Last week we had a huge dump of snow. It was insane, because we got about 20cm of snow. Yes, by Canadian standards that's not that much, but think of it like Victoria getting hit... Yoesu is lucky to get snbow, and it "never" stays on the ground. The city doesn't have any plows. I had to walk home from school, because I wasn't going to drive my motorbike. THe bikes were the only things moving that didn't have chains. Cars, trucks and buses were abandonned on the side of the roads. People put on chain kits, and accidents happened. IT was wild. It took me about 1 and a 1/2 hours to walk home. We had a snow day the next day. No school, because the buses weren't running properly, and taxis were hard to come by. I went to school, finding the first buses running over the "Highroad" which gets me to school. I was the only one there. I went home. Actually I drove my motorbike home. (Mom, it was safe). The roads had been sanded, and there were no cars driving, it was the perfect chance to get my car home, because I was worried I'd have to abandone it until February... not good.
Anyway, the snow has mostly melted, and I saw the street cleaners out sweeping up the sand. In Canada, or the States, a street cleaner would mean a big truck-like machine with a bike rotating bruch on the front, and a tank of water or stuff to wash the road down... here it means a guy with a broom... wow... fun job.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Of Busan and Snow

Had this finished a few weeks ago... just forgot to add pictures and post it. hehee.

So, this weekend Jaelee, Brandon and I trucked on up to Busan to see the big city. Busan is the 2nd largest Korean city, about 3.5 million people. We hopped on a bus, and made it to Busan in about 3 hours. As soon as we "landed" we phoned up my little brother, Henry, who lives in town. He was studying for the final final of his University career,but was more than happy to meet up with us. We were accosted by a drunk old man who was none to happy to have wei-guks (foreigners) in Korea. Possibly a sign that APEC had been in Busan the week before, and 2 or 3 suicides occurred in protest of their policies.
We wound up going to the UN Memorial cemetery in Busan, which commemorates UN soldiers who died in the Korean War. It was pretty bizarre, as one of the Canadian sections was all Princess Patricia's Light Infantry, which use to be a Calgary Regiment before it was moved up to Edmonton in the 90's. The cemetery was really well maintained and the public washroom there looked like it should be in a 4-star hotel. It was a nice little history lesson, a reminder of what people will do in the name of freedom.
After, we went shopping for a bit, and then out for some micro-brewed beer... hmmmm good beer!!! After we went to meet Henry's parents. It was really nice to meet them, and they were really generous with us. They treated us to a JimJilBang (kinda a spa where you can sleep.) The JimJilBang was packed, and there wasn't a whole lot of room for us to sleep, so the manager, happy to have a few wei-guks in his establishment, let us sleep in a DVD room which didn't have a working projector. It was great. We enjoyed the Saunas, hot tubs, and the "Drum Kit" massage chair. I love JimJilBangs.
The next morning, we went back to Henry's house. Jae and I got our NFL fix, as we were able to watch the end of last week's Seattle Seahawks vs the NewYork Giants game. After, we had a cool lunch in a little semi-outdoor restaurant, and a tour of Henry's hometown, Changwon which is about 30 minutes away from Busan. It's a cool little city, with a Daewoo factory. It also has the longest straight road in Korea, a stretch that is 13km long, and can act as an emergency runway in a crisis (war) situation.
Afterwards, we came home via Masan. When we hit Suncheon country, we also hit the snow storm that Eunji and Michelle had told me hit Kwangju and Seoul. It was cool... the first snowfall. It was sorta snowing here in Yeosu, but no where near that of elsewhere. Busan and Yeosu both are different weather than other parts of Korea. Yeosu's weather is different than that of Suncheon, which is 20 minutes away. One of my co-teachers, Sunny, felt strange using the excuse that the snow caused her to be late, when there was barely any snow here in Yeosu. She commutes from Suncheon every day, and the roads were an icy nightmare this morning in Suncheon.
Hope all is well by everyone...