A Travellerspoint blog

February 2006


you can see my friends and my apartment!

So folks, it's no longer a secret. Well..actually, I just bought a digital camera. And cleaned my apartment. REALLY cleaned it. Not just chucked my clothes in the closet because company was coming over. HA!

Had a nice week in South Bend last week. Ate lots of tasty food which, no offense, was a big highlight. I love you family and friends, but I took pictures of the food too. I'll admit it.

So while my body recovers from the hell that is jetlag, I have some fun pics for you all! Hoorah. Friends, apartment, assorted goodies scattered throughout Korea. Always have my eye out for Engrish. Friday night we went out with Jay, our former office assistant, along with Ye Sung, James, Scott and his friend Mi Hee, Paul and his gf Kyung Hi and friend Dave, and Isuck,...er..Isaac. We ate roasted squid, drank soju and sang karaoke. Good times had by all:

Paul and Kyung Hi.

L-R: Dave, Ye Sung, James, Jay, Me

All of the people mentioned above with Scott, Mi Hee, Kyung Hi and Paul.

Jay tries his hand at giving Paul the thrashing of his life. I can't remember how it ended, but we were out with Paul the next night and not Jay. Hmm.

We then went to Norae Bong (karaoke) to test our ear drums' strength. Aiyeeshee.

Mi Hee telling me a secret...Jay being Jay.

Me, Jay, Ye Sung. For those of you who know what Jay is "throwing down," quietly snicker and move on. If you don't, it's not important and you wouldn't want to know anyway.

Saturday night we went to Hongdae, a neighborhood of Seoul, for the ATC party. ATC was most of the teachers' recruiters. For about 15,000 won, we got a "free" t-shirt, 2 beers, and french fries, carrot sticks, and other assort hors d'ouevres. LAME. But it gave us something to poke fun at. Along the way, I found some sweet Engrish. One of them is very offensive, but it just goes to show the Korean mentality I think.

James trying to sell my $2 pizza in a cup! Now with more corn...

Foreigner party on the bus. There were 9 of us. Laughing pretty much the whole time. Needless to say, Koreans hate us.

I'm so confused...

there are obscenities ahead. Grandma, please scroll down past this!

This is less funny than jaw-dropping. Just on the street for everyone to see. Like I said, many Koreans dislike the Japanese.

Hongdae. This is the slow part of the night. Trust me.

Rebecca and Mike "keep it real" at the ATC party. HA!

We ended pretty early that night, around 1. Considering it's usually 5 am, it's way early.
And today while waiting for Walid to get back from skiing, I hardcore cleaned my apartment. It hasn't been this clean since I moved in. I SCRUBBED things. The closet's still a mess, but what are you going to do? Everyone? NOTHING! HA! So here's some pictures for you.

My bed and closets. On the West end.

Windows looking out onto the highway. East end.

My "kitchen". I don't cook very often. Heh.

Bathroom. Notice the glass box that's supposed to be my shower? Nice, eh?

Ok you wanted 'em you got 'em. Enjoy.

Posted by lrbergen 02:25 Archived in South Korea Comments (1)

Lunar New Year

from the oppressed to the oppressor...

So...I did it! Thursday was our last day of our crappy intensive session and we were taken out for Mexican food and karaoke, and informed that we were given a bonus for the session! Woopee!

But that's not the reason I'm writing. Friday-Monday was Lunar New Year vacation! Woopee again! So Friday morning I headed for Incheon pretty early and got to Osaka around 3:30, took the OCAT bus to Namba and waited around to meet my friend from SMC, Cassie and her boyfriend Giordan. They took me to Umeda to Hep Five department store to look around and shop while we waited for her Japanese friends. We got to ride the 20-minute long ferris wheel on top of the store that went mind-numbingly slow.


Then we went to one of the little side streets, a shopping street with restaurants, karaoke bars, and game rooms. I tried my hand at the claw machines, but about 1200 yen ($12) later, nothing so I quit. I was so close, I tell you!

We met Cassie's friends Yukari, Yuko, and Yuki (trust me, even more confusing than it looks) and went to a cool little restaurant for drinks and dinner. This restaurant was full of nooks and crannies and you sit on the floor but the space under the table is sunken so you have somewhere to put your legs.

We paid about 400 yen a person to reserve the table and we had a 2 hour time limit to drink as much as we could for 1500 yen a person, plus we got some little assorted appetizers such as takoyaki (balls of squid) and raw tuna. Delicious. Cassie's friends were really fun and funny and we drank and ate and laughed. We moved on to another bar after that because it was Yuko's boyfriend, Yoshi's birthday. Along the way, we passed strange and interesting sights.

Yukari and I really deep down feel sorry for this octopus, which will become takoyaki one day.

And I met some friends of my own. The drinking Japanese raccoon brought us together.

And a dragon invites passersby to come sing karaoke.

More to drink, more to eat, more craziness.
Cassie, Yuki, me, Yuko and Yukari at the second restaurant.

We called it a night around midnight because we needed to catch the subway. Also everyone was pretty tired.

Saturday Cassie decided to call off work and come with me to Kyoto. We first headed to Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Temple. Uh...it was nice. I wasn't really all that taken with it, but it was cool to see.

While we were there, it snowed a little bit. It was pretty warm in Osaka but colder in Kyoto. We then shopped for a minute and then got on a bus, crowded, nay packed with people to go to Gion.
I had wanted to go to Gion because of reading "Memoirs of a Geisha." Gion was historically the geisha district, but has dropped off quite a bit. Now it is very rare to see any geisha unless you shell out a few hundred dollars. I guess I was expecting rows of old teahouses, but Gion is actually very modern and full of shops.


Cassie and I eventually found a street full of old teahouses, but unfortunately we didn't see any geisha.

Cassie and I at one end of the street.

We were hungry so we wandered into a restaurant, thinking they actually had food. It was a teahouse, however, and so we split a dessert of green tea and vanilla ice cream, wafers, and a lot of other stuff we mostly didn't know what it was.
But our waitress was really sweet and spoke English. I told her she was very pretty and she said so was I. Awww.

We then headed back to Osaka where Giordan had dinner waiting for us. I taught Cassie how to play kongi (Korean jacks) and we just mostly hung around and went to bed early. I watched several episodes of "Desperate Housewives" because Cassie had a bunch of tapes and I couldn't sleep. So I got my fix of American TV for the weekend.

To be continued in the next...

Posted by lrbergen 17:57 Archived in Japan Comments (0)

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