Tuesday, September 14, 2010

10K, Foreigners Day, DMZ, No sleep

9-15 So, I figured it's time for another entry, what the heck. I do have some interesting stories from this past week, so let's go. Last week was a pretty calm week again at school as usual. I'm starting to get the hang of this teaching stuff a little bit and it's quite cool. It really leaves open the possibility of staying a second year here in the ROK but that is by no ways a definitely. It simply goes in the endless list with my other ideas. During the middle of the week last week I had to be in Seoul and had a really cool Indian food dinner with Krystal and some Baskin Robbins ice cream on a perfect evening with NO RAIN. It really was a nice break during the middle of the week.

Let's start now with the weekend. As usually I hopped on the 5:20ish bus to Donseoul Bus Terminal and grabbed a few Z's on the ride. I hopped on the subway, the bus and ended up in Hanama with the rain pouring down. Now I don't really mind rain but after a while I get tired of it. Anyway, I ended up meeting a group of people at the chicken HOF. We sat and chilled and talked while munching on the peanuts and downing a few beers. A few people were heading to Itaewon and I had planned on going but decided not to since I had to be up fairly early in the am and didn't want to spend a lot of money on cabs. Later on we decided to hit up the Noraebang again and ended up staying for a quite a while and had a blast. The best part of the whole night was when our friend from New Zealand got back from Itaewon and passed out in the Noraebang. So, we had to follow man law and mess with him, which meant drawing and writing on his face. Honestly I'm not sure how he didn't wake up!

On Saturday I met Krystal around Noonish to check out the Seodaemun prison which is on the 3 line in Seoul. I had visited the prison back when I first got here but definitely didn't mind checking it out again. The rain had stopped and it was a nice early afternoon. It's a very surreal feeling to be in a building where so many people were beaten, killed, etc by the Japanese not that many years ago. It was a great experience to gain a better understanding why Koreans typically do not care for the Japanese. Next, we headed over to Myeong-Dong to look for some lunch and ended up grabbing some Bipimbap which at first doesn't look all that great but once you stir it up it's an awesome dish, I enjoy it everytime. while in the area I also needed a belt and after giving up b/c I'm a a little bigger than the average Korean we found one that fits in the subway.

After finding my belt we were off to the World Cup Stadium as it was foreigner's night at the FC Seoul game. For 10,000 Won we got a ticket, a beer, and a hot dog. We picked up our tickets and decided to roam around for a while. We first hit up the starbucks and grabbed a drink as we both needed a jolt. Afterwards we stopped at the Home Plus, a retail store, to see if they had any bug killler to help with Krystal's bed bug problem. After getting ourselves lost a time or two, it happens a lot, we find the stuff and decided to check out the activities outside. Our friend Jackie arrived shortly there after and we chilled outside the conveinience store and played some drinking games while waiting for the game to start.

The game ended up being a blast. I ran into a lot of people I know from all over Korea. Now, my plan was to attend the game, then head to Uijeongbu to stay with my buddy Andrew so I could get plenty of sleep in order to be ready for my first 10k in the morning. Well, in traditional me style, I was around friends and couldn't bring myself to leave. So, after the game I ran into my Chingu's from Hanam and everyone was headed to Itaewon, which is near the army base and where a lot of Foreigner's hang out. So, our group planned to meet up with Terryance, Andy and the rest of the Hanam crew there. So, we ventured over to Itaewon and ended up at Sam Ryan's which is a pretty cool bar and hung there for a while. when everyone headed up around 2 am I decided I would try and go the station that I needed to be at for our bus to the DMZ, simple enough right?

I said goodbye to the girls and walked down to the atm to grab some cash for the cab and nothing came out; so I tried another, and another, and another, nothing. Now, I knew I had plenty of money so that wasn't the issue but I was stuck in Itaewon with no cash for a cab and my phone was dying. Luckily the boys were still at Scrooges and I mct up with them and hung out for a bit, while also getting to charge my phone for a bit. Luckily Andy let me borrow 50,000 won for the cab and Glendon gave the guy directions to the station. So, I got in the cab and it wasn't a couple minutes that the guy was stopping and on the phone trying to figure out where to go. So, after a while I told him to just take me to Uijeongbu station b/c Andrew lives near the station. Ok, we're getting a few miles to the station and he decides to stop. I have to look at him and tell him "NO, Uijeongbu STATION" and then he finally gets it. Finally, I make it took Uijeongbu Station and it's around 4am so I decided to just wait about 30 min b/c I knew Andrew would be getting up.

I get ahold of Andrew and he hops in a cab and swings by to pick me up and we head to Jihang Station to wait for our bus. We are joined by several others while waiting for the bus including several South Africans that brought their Ninja outfits and were dressing up (It was a Ninja vs. Pirates theme). After grabbing some gimbap and a drink we boarded the bus and headed for Cheorwon to run our DMZ race. I did sleep a few minutes on the bus and when we arrived at the town I felt like there was no way possible that I was going to race. Luckily we arrived about an hour or so before the race so I had time to get loose, grab a powerade, get pumped up, which was that hard after seeing all the other racers and having my competitive spirit kick in!

I knew that my ipod didn't have much of a charge left in it but I hoped that if I picked one band and just left it I'd be ok. I ended up picking MUSE's live at Wembly set so as to seem like the people screaming for them were doing so for me. Luckily the ipod lasted the whole race. So, we're waiting to get started and I'm standing beside my buddy Andrew and the Ninja's, of course. They too never slept, are wearing ninja outfits, and have mixes of Soju Cocktails. Of course I have a nice drink for courage to make it through the race. The race starts and I get a great start and run pretty fast for the first km or two and then I decided instead of running fast and having to stop a bunch I'd set a medium pace and have my goal to be, simply running the entire race without stopping except at the water stands b/c they're a great place to get hurt .

It ended up being a great race as I ran the entire time, the ipod never stopped, the weather was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL, and the mountains gorgeous. It felt a little like the scene in Forrest Gump when he's talking to Jenny when she's dying about all the places he ran and where it shows the lake with the sky reflecting off of it (Which happens to be Glacier National Park by the way). I even managed to finish under an hour an 55:56, which wasn't my original goal but not too shabby I think. Afterwards we chilled for a while and enjoyed North Korean beer which was actually quite delicious. Towards the end we took some pictures, played a little flip cup and walked around. On the bus ride back it was a party bus. We played drinking games with Soju and Makeli all the way back to the station. It was definitely an awesome day and weekend. I really enjoyed getting to hang out with so many of my friends from different groups also running into random people all weekend.

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed this entry. This weekend starts the Thanksgiving Holiday in Korea (Chuseok) and I'll be away from school all next week! I will be flying to the largest Island in Korea, Jeju, this weekend and will hike, sit on the beach, etc all next week. Can't wait to tell you about it. 'Til next time.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I'm exhausted after reading your adventures! Sounds so exciting! Have a blast next week and I look forward to your next post.