Random on the Rocks

by sebastien on March 8, 2009

As a quick way to catch up, I figured I'd talk about my last week in one post.. It'll probably end up being a pretty big mess by the time I'm done, but whatever.. haha.

Improvised Fish Transportation

While here I've learned that the most efficient way to transport small fish is to just dump them with a chute onto the back of a pick up truck... haha, even if a few fall off the sides, whatever! Just throw them back on top of the pile and move on. Five second rule! This picture was actually from a few weeks ago, on the way home from work on the bus. None of us on the bus could believe it.


Gyeongju Hilton

Last Saturday was our Project Directors' retirement party at the Hilton in Gyeongju. It was such an awesome time. Everyone from the project was there, including all the families; it was great to meet everyone. The food was great, the entertainment was fun, and afterward hanging out in the lounge was a lot of fun too. Lots of good company!

I won't talk too much about the party as it doesn't have too much to do with the Korea culture, but if you're interested you can see all the pictures I took here.

Nurrae Bong

A lot of us rented rooms at the Hilton that night so we wouldn't have to head back to our apartments too early, which would be no fun. I booked a room because I love staying in hotels :) and I figured it would be fun to hang around that region of Korea for a night. After the party a group of 7 of us decided to head out to a local Nurrae Bong (Karaoke, or more literally, Singing Room). The group was JR and his wife Noelyn, Kevin and his girlfriend Cat, Brian who's just staying with us a short time and Darrin who worked with me in Saint John while preparing for this project.

I should probably mention this if you didn't already know this about me, but I absolutely loath the concept of karaoke, and I've voiced that a few times I'm sure. But I kept an open mind, and I was with some good people, and no more than 30 minutes into it I was already ripping the microphone out of peoples hands to sing some songs.. hahaha. I won't admit to liking karaoke now, but I can totally see the fascination people have with it, especially in the asian culture.

Anyway, this is how the Nurrae Bong works.. It's not like a North American karaoke bar where there is only one karaoke setup in a big room. A Korean karaoke bar has many smaller rooms that you can rent a period of time. The Hilton had one on the top floor and it was about 150,000KRW which included 7 beer.. we didn't want to go for that so we went to one down the road that was only 20 bucks, and you bought your own beer after that for 3 or 4 bucks. You get what you pay for though, as this bar was completely empty except for us, and it was particularly dirty.. oh well, we still had a lot of fun! We stayed until we could barely talk from singing so much, then we walked back to the hotel.

The entrance to the bar, which was in the basement of a little plaza:

Here's a shot of me rockin' that mic:

On The Rocks

The next day Sean and I had a good breakfast at the Hilton and then headed back out to the complex in the car. It was a gorgeous day and I didn't feel like wasting it writing on my blog (sorry, haha) so I hung out with Bert and made some plans to go up on the mountain and sit on some rocks he had found earlier that day and chill.

Before leaving we met up with Cat, Kevin's girlfriend, and we invited them to come up to the rocks with us. Kevin wasn't exactly feeling 100% but that was no excuse so we dragged him off the couch by his legs and off we went. The rocks aren't too far up the mountain, but I was still huffin' and puffin' by the time I got up to the top.. I'll eventually get used to it I swear!

We hung out up there catching some rays and enjoying the cool breeze while drinking some Hite beer and chatting. We spent over an hour there just hanging out, and I took some pictures too. The first off-camera lighting portraits I've taken since I got here! (other than at work).

(Kevin and Cat in a Hite advertisement)

(Camille on the left, who joined us for a little while, then Kevin, Cat, Bert and myself)

That little trip was great, It was so beautiful up there. I'll remember that for a long while I think :) Check out the other picture here.

Korean Gift

In Korea it's customary and quite common to give gifts to friends or new coworkers, etc. I hadn't experienced that until yesterday when one of the KPS employees I work with gave me a sweet gift. Mr. Heo, Joon Gil (Heo is pronounced similar to just Ho, I guess you could call it a silent 'e') is an electrician for KPS and he and I work very closely together. He's a very nice man and we get along great, we also work well together and have similar quality standards; he's been a big help so far with the project. Yesterday while we were on break outside enjoying the nice weather he gave me two walnuts and he said to rub them in my hands and he motioned and made a rattling noise as to say that I should keep them with me and rub them together so they rattle and it should massage the hands. I thought it was so sweet of him and I'm very thankful. It's a very simple gift but it meant a lot to me. Remember the small plate I got from Dab Gallery in Victoria that I took a picture of in my Seoul hotel? I think that's what I intend to give him; a little something I picked up in my travels that's from back home.

Here's a picture I took of the two gifts together (I'd like to thank Arif and his wife for lending me their awesome Manfrotto tripod that helped make this shot possible):

And here is Mr. Heo himself, a picture I took while I had my gear set up for some AECL headshots:

Thank you Mr. Heo for being so kind!

I think that's it for now... I'll try to stay more current with some smaller posts as things happen, but it is a challenge to find time between work and trying to experience this culture fully :) I'll keep you posted anyway..

Take care for now!

(Note: This blog post was imported from my old blogger site to this new WordPress blog.)