Monday, August 14, 2006

I am such a slacker!

I have spent the last couple of months exploring and enjoying life, and that is my excuse for the lack of writing. Well that and I am a total slacker.
In any case, as my memory is pure pooh pooh, I have no idea what to write, what to leave out...AAACCCKKK!! and so the cycle continues. So, I will just forge ahead and try and muddle through the murk. The most extraordinary event that occured of consequence was the world cup. Perhaps word of the events here in Korea made it to that end of the world? Perhaps not. In any event, though Korea had little chance of making it very far, the fans (better known as the Red Devils) were out in full force and with a vengeance. The first game, which due to time difference was at 4am, was attended by thousands of fans. Employers actually changed shifts and had their own showings of the games so that employees wouldn't come in to work inebriated. There were public venues across the country, in which thousands of fans would be found sitting, lying, standing...whatever position they could get in order to see the jumbo screens.Here in Ulsan, being awakened by a roar from a massive crowd blocks away at 5am was disconcerting to say the least, but when I finally went to Seoul to experience the only heard about frenzy I realised the intensity of the fanaticism. I have experienced Calgary in the 88' Stanley Cup (when they ACTUALLY won) and Scotland in the World Cup (the Tartan Army is world renowned for its fanatacism) and heard and saw the Red Mile. I have to say, unequivically, that the Red Devils blow that completely out of the water. Josh and I headed downtown at about 3am(when I arrived in Seoul) and with an hour to go before the game people were in a frenzy. People had been camped out in front of the 3 jumbo screens since 10 that morning. So, in a space about the size of the Saddledome, probably close to 500,000 people crowded and jostled for space to cheer on the team. The truly bizarre bit was literally a sea of red. I was hard pressed to find a single person not wearing red or the Korean flag. I have to say, watching the sun rise to the chants of "Taehan minguk" was something, I for one, will never forget.






After world cup things quieted down to a dull roar. Everyone started to prepare for the "changma" and as it was to be my first experience with typhoon season, I did my own preparing. Umbrella's were bought, footwear decided, and research done to discover how this funky season would truly affect me. I found tips about how to get through without the usual case of nasty funghi foot or having all my clothes mold. Though it took a few efforts to finally figure out why it was that directly after washing my clothes they smelt like they had been rotting in muck for 6 weeks. So, typhoon season came, and for the first time I experienced driving rain coming at me from every angle but unable to cover up because the heat was unbearable. So for like 18 days straight I was in a constant state of sopping wet heat. Interesting to say the least. I was told though, that this typhoon was the worst that Korea had endured in a very long time. OF COURSE!!! PFFT. The extraordinary thing was the flooding that occured. I live only a block from the major river here and witnessed some serious flooding...below are some pics that I took...note the sky, it looked like that for a very long time. Seoul suffered quite a bit more than most other places, but the small out of the way provinces were actually cut off from the rest of Korea and about 30 people were lost. But, eventually that came and went too!




Below are some of the wild flowers that began to bloom with the coming of the typhoon season. It is something else to see miles of these "wildflowers" on every street and walkway.





Josh and I have spent most of our weekends touring about trying to take in as many sites as we can, including many museums and art galleries. Those will have to wait till the next entry however, as this one is already overflowing...but just a few more pics and such. We went to the beach one slightly chilly day, but we lucked out by managing to get some nice pics and see the lighthouse etc. Rachael (she is working for EMI-a hogwan owned by my boss's exwife) and I went up to Ulgi park one fine day as well. With Rachael we managed to catch the infamous woman divers at their business and I got a couple snapshots of them. Those women are fit indeed and truly work hard, diving for the food which they then serve up hot to willing customers. Exchanging divesuit for apron in moments. They have outdoor resteraunts set up along the beach for the tourists who are hungry after a long hike to enjoy. So, included below are pics of me, Rachael, and Josh at Ulgi park...







So, with that long winded entry, I will end it here. There is of course more to come...much more unfortunately. And so, it will take some time for it to be written. Damn my slacking. but so it is.

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