Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas, Vivaldi Park, and New Years

Tara demonstrating how Koreans feel like lumberjacks in the small chairs....

Drinking on the subway

New Years Eve. Same Same

This asshole Taxi driver took us to BomBay instead of HungDae on New Years eve.... We didn't pay him.

Getting Day Drunk

This is the man from the hotel who drove us back and forth from the mountain.

Our room

Our room

Janique and I shared a bed, and when I say bed I mean a thick blanket used as a mattress...

I was surprised how many foreigners we shoved into one minivan!

The mirrors all over the mountain.

Gondola ride to the top

The ski mountain was also a golf course!

On the mountain!


It was pretty crowded!

Hanging out in our room

Early in the morning, getting ready to go skiing!

So it's been awhile since I've posted, and I do apologize for that. I will have to start all the way back at Christmas! On Christmas Eve we all went to one girls apartment and we had breakfast and hung out. It was a great time, although it did not feel like Christmas at all. It was a fun day, and we did have a gift exchange, and were all wearing our best Christmas pajamas, but it just felt like a normal day. Also, things were not closed, like they would be in America. When I was outside walking around, people seemed to be going about there business like it was a normal day. After breakfast, Jenn, who works at a different school, came to my house and we hung out, some other people came over, we ate dinner, and everyone came to my apartment and we watched movies and drank wine, and called it a night early.

Nine of my coworkers and I went on a ski trip to a place called Vivaldi Park, which is about 2 hours outside of Seoul. We left our apartments at 8:15am and took cabs to a bus stop, and then took a bus to the resort. Tara's boyfriend, Hojin, was with us, so he was able to call the hotel we were staying at and they came and picked us up. They came with a mini van and a truck, the truck was for our stuff and the van was for us. The men from the hotel brought us to a place for us to rent our equipment and snow clothes. Luckily we were able to pay for two days at once, so we were able to keep all of our stuff for the whole trip. It took quite awhile for everyone to get what they needed, and we went right back to the resort to ski before going to our hotel. The mountain was pretty big, there were about 9 chair lifts. There were mirrors all over the mountain so Koreans could check themselves out. The staff was extremely friendly. We went back to the hotel around 10pm.

The hotel was nicer than I expected. It was just a big empty room with a small little kitchen area, and a TV and a cabinet for the bedding. It had heat and although the bathroom was shifty, it had hot water!

At night we were pretty lame, because we were so tired from the day/night of skiing. We drank a little and played some Apples to Apples, a wicked fun card game. The next day we didn't go to the mountain until about 3 because we were going to be there all night. They close the mountain from 5-6 so they can re-groom and do whatever it was they did, so we ate dinner. The only places we could find to eat was BurgerKing and this cafeteria filled with kids. Everyone went to BK except Jenn and I, who decided to eat in the cafeteria. There was nowhere to pay, it was more of a buffet line than a cafeteria, and we weren't sure what to do, so we got in line and decided we would pretend to be the English teachers who were chaperoning the school trip! It didn't work, and they made us pay when we got to the front of the line, but it was a good try! The second half of the second day was the most fun, because I went with the boys, and I was able to ski on the harder trails and not have to wait for anyone, so it was a ton more fun. We also rode in the gondola to the top, and I was able to sneak a beer into it! I was looking for beer on the mountain the whole time, and at one point I asked at the cafeteria and she said they had beer, but then gave me coffee. I was very disappointed.

On the last day, we had to wait until 5pm for our bus back to Seoul, so we hung out at the resort all day. We found a bar and got a little day drunk, and then we stumbled on an underground mall. It had a bowling alley and I pool hall and an arcade. We were able to kill some time there before our bus came back. It was a fantastic, fun ski trip, Thanks Omma and Appa!

On New Years we went to Ho Bar, we usual, but they had a different menu because it was New Years, so we had to buy expensive bottles for the table, and it came with all this fruit and sliced meat. We all ended up spending a ton of money, but it was a fun night. We went shopping the afternoon before, and Janique and I bought the same dress in different colors. At midnight only the foreigners were counting down, and then they played the Korean version of Happy Birthday. I guess they don't know the New Years song... Again, it didn't really seem like New Years, except for the expensive drinks.

This weekend was our last weekend before the end of our vacation. On Friday we went to Itaewon, the part of the city with a large Foreign population. We went to a Canadian bar that had tiny chairs and tables, and Tara, who is Canadian, thinks it is so that when the small Koreans sit at the tables, they feel big like real life Canadian lumberjacks!

After the Canadian bar, we went to a bar called The Loft, where ladies drink for free all night. If it's free, it's for me! We had a bangin time there for awhile, although it was pretty empty. Later we went to Hungdae to Ho Bar, which was also very empty! We met up with some boys from SLP, and then we went home. On Saturday I slept most of the day, and then at about 8 we went to Fish and Grill and played Jenga. While we were there we saw a famous Korean comedian, who's nickname is Big Head. He is on TV all of the time. Tara recognized him, and later when our Korean friend showed up, he told the owner of Fish and Grill that we wanted to meet him. I don't think he spoke English, because he didn't come and talk to us, but when he left he looked over, smiled, and waved!!!

We went to Ho Bar, and ended up meeting some Korean friends of Tara's boyfriend. Tara's boyfriend is also friends with our boss, Danny, so the Koreans all new Danny is well. They spoke English very well, so it was easy to hang out with them. At about 2am most of the SLP girls left, but Jenn was staying out, as were some of the SLP boys, so we all went with the Korean boys to "drink Soju." That means go to a restaurant, order a bunch of soju and strange Korean food. It was a ton of fun, and at 7am they told us the restaurant was closing, so we had to go home. We went home at about 7:30, and it was a ton of fun! I slept almost allll day Sunday, until I woke up, bought some bleach, and scrubbed the crap out of my apartment! Now my apartment smells bleachy clean!

You can check out some old pictures from my last post by clicking this link: