This was my wolverine look after watching the new X-Men movie
Ahh, at last a weekend away from the drunken haze that has become Hongdae and Itaewon of Seoul
. I've been enjoying my time with endless drunken shananagins, but I was ready for a change of pace. Lets' start at the beginning...Friday was my birthday and coincidentally enough, it was the school's as well. I had the day off!!! So I celebrated my birthday at work all week. For my conversation classes I brought donuts from Dunken Donuts, juice and watermelons and we watched cartoons. With my lower level class, they were so shy that half of the kids did not drink any juice or opt for a delicious donut and the watermelon when untouched. I let them watch some bugs bunny cartoons.
me and the VP
Oh, and no gifts :(...not that I asked for any, but they still knew what was goin on. Now, for my more advanced class. We ran out of juice, donuts were gone before I knew it and I was left with 2 slices of watermelon. I let them watch some family guy cartoons as long as they promised not to tell their parents or any adults I let that go down. Oh and I got gifts!! I received some cards, which all read "Congratulation" <---these kinda things make me feel like all of us esl teachers here are a waste of time. I was given a coffee mug with some absolutely terrible grammar, but it has a lid. I got a bad-ass pen, a pen case. One student gave me some soap his mother made and I also received a cd case...Oh yeah, some handkerchiefs....Okay, so I went to the office after class and waiting for me there was a cheesecake with candles.
in infamous art teacher
Everyone from the office came and sang happy birthday in English, but when it got to the part with my name, there was a lot of mumbling and laughter :)) Oh Korea! We munched out and then I received yet another cake from my mainman, Park, the art teacher I engage in a daily wrestling match with. He gave me a nice chocolate cake from tour De Jois, but the hilarious part is that he bought a 2, a 5 and a 6 candle because he was unsure how old I turned...it was 24!!! haha, so he proceeded to grab some post-it strips and rig one for me, hahaha..We didn't eat that cake though cause we were stuffed, nor could I talk anyone into eating it after lunch. After work, the science teacher and I grabbed some beers and she read my fortune. Too bad, her English is terrible, so I still don't know what lies ahead for me.
it was 24 Park
Went out for drinks Thursday night and ended having of good time...go figure. Ended up sleeping outside my apartment door while waiting on Mya to return cause she had the key. Oh yeah, Mya lived with me for a week. She had an unfortunate situation with her job with ultimately lead to her needing a place to crash for a week till she found a new gig, which luckily is even closer. I opened up to my place to her immediately and am lucky to have done so. She great, she cleaned my place...who knew my bathroom floor actually is not a shady grey/brownish type hue, but rather a simple light brown.
So, Friday afternoon I went to the hospital to make sure my ribs weren't cracked from the soccer game last week. Good news, not cracked! Just some swollen cartridge.
I was given medical approval for my adventure for the weekend, which included but was not limited to jumping off a mountain.
Friday night, I packed my things and headed to the bar for a birthday Guinness and a feq quick rounds of darts, which I dominated for round2!! I hopped on the bus and headed for Bundang where I as to meet Becky. We waited there for our ride to the event for the weekend. While I waited for her, I went and grabbed a beer for us to drink. We chilled for a bit, cause our ride was busy getting lost. In the mean time, we got to know each other and I even tried to talk and unbelievably drunk old Korean guy out of his shirt. It was a sweet Hawaiian shirt and I could use a new one. Unfortunately I was unsuccessful, instead, he tried to give me 7,000Won.
Finally Richard arrived with Trisha and Sookhi. We got in the car around 11:30pm or so and wound up at our destination around 4am or later. After a few unsuccessful attempts of finding a place to crash, I ran off cause I saw some lights and bartered with the cute little Asian girl there to hook us up with a place to lay our head. The place smelled like a cesspool, but it had a roof and a plethora of blankets and one crusty old pillow. After a quick round of soju and a cigarette for Becky, we crashed. Woke up the next morning to my phone ringing from a fellow couchsurfer asking how to get to the place we didn't know how to get to. Some how or another, everyone found it!
when we first arrived, we were the only ones there. The lady was trying to speak to us and she knew nothing of the English language and all of our Korean was far from good enough to have any constructive communication with her about whatever the hell she wouldn't shut up about.
If I had to guess, it was probably something along the lines of "where the hell is the money?, there are 50 people coming and I have no money yet!" I was planning on camping so I ignored that situation. Everyone decided to roll into town for rations. I didn't feel like cramming back into the car quite yet, so I opted to kick it by the site. I ended up walking around and found a little hill to climb for a view and picked some berries for everyone. Once, there was about 12 people there and 12pm rolled around, the consensus was to stop the get to know your fellow couchsurfer conversations and begin getting into some activities. I was able to procure 8 others to join suite in the adventurous sport of paragliding. We waited forever for the guy...3 hours!!! I ended calling up a friend in Seoul to call the guy so they could speak in Korea since none of us could.
He finally made it up there after we literally got into the car to leave, but then realized he was at the bottom of the mountain and thought we should invest 15 more minutes of waiting since we were already 3 hours in. I went with the first round of jumpers. I believe I will describe the thrill in another blog when I get some pics from the jump cause I didn't really take any. But this Friday I'm making a video with Shaun so I'll try to post that as well.
Once at the bottom, Derrick, Micheal and myself indulged in some cold refreshments. Had some conversation and kicked it while we waited for the rest of the crew to jump. There was only three jumpers so we had to go in 3 different groups. The cost of about 70,000Won seemed easily justifiable for my birthday.
..but doesn't everything around that time! After the jump, we went for dinner which consisted of rounds upon rounds of cold beer, meat and soju. Front here the party moved back to the car, where we were able to pack in copious amounts of flesh and determined that the only way more would be able to fit was if we stacked babies in there. We couldn't find any babies to test this theory so the nine of us just rolled out...While in the rolling process, someone had an amazing idea, "Let's see how many of us can stick our head out of the windows and sunroof. This made the already fun ride just downright amazing!...We arrived back at the pension, to find a drunken slew of couchsurfers. Good times good times! Some things are fuzzy, some things are inappropriate for this journal, some things are you had to be there situations, like Derrick drunk in his underwear falling in the river BEFORE THE SUN WENT DOWN and telling us that he doesn't like islands because they killed his mother.
stairway to heaven aka my pad
There was some sojo, meakju, someak, just to name a few. I gave a group of everyone my birthday cake that I brought cause it seemed like the right time. I gave some to the group of Koreans too for my random act of kindness for the day. They responded with some watermelon for us. Then as the night progressed, one came to hang out. He was drunk and complaining that I couldn't speak Korean and I should because I was in Korea. He said in American he would speak English, I thought to myself that he was absolutely right and have been saying that since I have been here and that is why I am taking my time to attempt to learn the language. However, I have been here about 4 months now and can read and write and know all the important stuff, like "beer please" and "I think you are beautiful.
takin the cake
" :) I asked him how long he has been studying English and he said 10 years, I then determined he was an idiot and left the poor attempt at a conversation cause anyone with half a brain would be a wee bit better with English given 10 full years to learn. I have students who speak better and have not been studying that length of time.
After a while, Sookhi and I took a stumble through the river/stream along the rocks. I say river/stream cause at the time it was a stream, but I believe after the rain season it is more of a river, but it does not rain a whole whole lot here, although it seems to have been doing that a bit here lately, but I think we are coming upon the rainy season :(. She drug me into that cold water, a sobering feeling, quickly relieved by soju.
Mya, the neighbor I met at 10am and myself
We ended the night by getting a lift to the camp site from Richard, our more than gracious transporter. Sookhi took blood from Derrick when he would not let go of her hand. We landed at the site and Sookhi and I pitched the tent which the art teacher lent to me. Woke up the next morning with a smile on my face cause the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. We went to the pension to meetup with the crew and proceeded to dick around for a bit, then headed to the downtown area to see what we could see. We discovered two of the eight wonders of Danyang. One is in the pics with the three rocks in the middle of the river and the other is a rock ledge connecting two mountains. I will post some pics from that wonder on my paragliding blog cause I am waiting for my friends to send them to me.
I'm sad she's leaving
I thought it would be a good idea to get a photo of my up there, and it was :)...We went from the wonders to the pension to recover Alejandro's pants since they were 25% of his collection. We pretty much just chilled there and layed around and joked for a few hours. Richard and I made a highly inappropriate cup of coffee, which involved me wearing protection to protect me from his juice, but it was okay because his end fit perfectly into mine. Basically we cut the bottom of bottle a, and poured hot water into bottle b which had the coffee in it. Just call me McGiver.
We left from there and just headed back to Suwon
, where I met up with Mya in her new crib to get my key back cause she moved out on Saturday.
Kids playing with trash in Danyang
She was so great to have around. She got me some wine, some meat, grapes and some plates for my birthday. when I returned home, my place was spotless!! I miss her already. She is the good-looking tall dark skinned girl in the pictures.
Back to work for me this week...I'll probably come back and edit this later, but I've been at the coffee shop too long at this point...Cheers!! Next weekend I am going to Muuido Island for a trip involving bon fires, bbq, maekju (beer), my guitar and a sleeping bag, oh yeah...it's an island so there's water and sand haha:))) I love Korea!