Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Suji goes to Pohang

This past weekend I headed down to Pohang to visit Fred again. Some of my co-workers have chosen to come with me for the past few trips. Last weekend was no different. After work on Friday Christine, Shauna, Britney and I headed to the train station. The girls got to experience my usual travel itinerary as we had to take two trains and a bus to reach Pohang around 12:30am. We met Fred at his apartment and the girls checked into a love motel right across the street. We were all wide awake and ready to see the ocean. We decided to take a quick walk along the beach. We walked to the beach, about a three minute walk, and enjoyed the night lights from the steel mill. We then walked to a food tent and had some stuffed squid. Britney and Shauna enjoyed it however Fred and I had much better on our two trips to Sokcho. We all then headed to bed.

On Saturday we woke up to sunshine. This was a very welcome surprise as the forecast had called for a rainy weekend. We had a fast lunch before heading to the beach. We enjoyed the day as we talked, read and made numerous coffee/smoothie runs. After a few hours, and sunburned body parts, we all left to shower before dinner. Fred and I took the girls to our favorite restaurant in Pohang (and possibly in Korea) which is a clam place right on the beach. Christine does not enjoy seafood so she had a different meal before joining us. We had two orders of clams as we relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful weather. After dinner we walked on the beach and shot fireworks. This is how I really love spending my Saturday nights in Korea! We then decided to head to the local foreign bar, Tilt. We met up with a few of Fred's friends for a while before going home.


Enjoying our clam dinner


Fred and I with our fireworks on the beach


All of us after shooting fireworks on the beach

On Sunday we woke up to more sun. After lunch the girls headed to the beach and Fred and I went to get our bus tickets home. We then shopped around for a while in order to avoid the beach and worsening our sunburns. In the afternoon we met up with the girls and then sadly we had to leave. We took a 5:10pm bus back to our area. The bus takes about four and half hours with a little break at a rest stop about halfway through. I had a fantastic weekend and I hope the girls did as well. I can't wait to get to Pohang again!


Enjoying the beach on Sunday before coming back to Suji

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cheering on South Korea

Here are my students cheering on Korea the day they played Argentina. Too bad Korea got smashed, 4-1.
video

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tay-hahn-meen-guk

Tay-hahn-meen-guk! This roughly translates to Fighting Korea! We heard this a lot this past weekend as we prepared for Korea's first game in the World Cup. The entire country was decked out in Korea gear and covered in red from head to toe. Everyone was wearing red horns in support of the Fighting Red Devils. It is so exciting to be in a country that actually cares about soccer during the World Cup.

This past Friday, Steve, Josh and I headed down to Pohang to visit Fred and enjoy the game there. When we woke up on Saturday we headed straight to the beach. Most of the foreigners in Pohang came out to play beach softball. After hanging out on the beach for a while we headed back to Fred's apartment. On our way we stocked up on our Korean gear for the game. We got t-shirts, bandannas, red devil horns and tattoo stickers. We then headed to the favorite foreign bar called Tilt. As we walked cars and taxis were literally slowing down as we passed to shout Tay-hahn-meen-guk. We got numerous shouts and fist pumps for other street walkers as well. Tilt is owned by a Korean-American from WI who went to St. Cloud State. He had bought some American hot dogs and brats and made home-made potato salad for a grill out. The game was being shown on a jumbo screen on the beach but we thought that it might rain so we stayed at Tilt for the game. The bar was packed with foreigners and Koreans. Korea ended up beating Greece 2-0. It was so much fun!

We ended up staying for the middle game as well. We filled our time with the soccer game and our own card games as we waited until the 3:30am start time of the USA-England game. Finally, after hours of waiting, the game started. I didn't think that it was possible but more people had squeezed into Tilt. There were a handful of teachers from England thrown into the mix as well. This made it very fun. It turned out to be England and Canada vs. US, Ireland and Scotland. (There are foreigners from many more places in Pohang then in Suji. There are also many South Africans.) Our 'team' was elated with the tie and the English team was upset and shocked. Around 6am we finally went to bed! We woke for lunch then took a 3:30 bus back to Suji. Overall it was a great weekend and I cannot wait for the next Korea game on Thursday. I hate to say it, but I officially cheering for the Fighting Red Devils! Tay-hahn-meen-guk!!


Outside of Tilt during our BBQ before the Korea game


Fred and I waiting for the game to start


Fred and Steve

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Johnson's Birthday







On June 10th we celebrated Johnson's birthday. He turned Korean 6 which is US 5. It is crazy to think that I still have a few students who are US age 4. I still remind myself that even though they are in their second year of English they are still so young. Soon they will all have turned five. Johnson's mom showed up to LCI with a chocolate cake, candies, watermelon, Capri-Suns, bananas and cookies. We all sang happy birthday and took the usual pictures. After the students stuffed themselves with sugar we opened presents. Johnson's mom stayed for the entire party. They had lived in Texas for a few years so her English is very good. She would yell at the kids to speak in English and even answer their Korean questions in English. Usually during birthday parties the kids can speak Korean with the moms but not at this party. It was so funny to see the kids reactions when she spoke in English. I think they were very surprised!

The weekend before a bunch of us went into Seoul to celebrate Josh's birthday. We had Mexican for dinner then went to a few bars before coming back to Suji.