Disclaimer: I have no idea why I can not rotate my pictures. Sorry.
Well this weekend was pretty sweet. Seemed like everything went my way. Friday night started out with a good badminton session and then I got to hang out w/ all the local English teachers in my town, (there’s about 18 of them I think) but we don’t see each other much b/c we’ve all got other friends across Korea that we seem to go and see. Yes I am playing against a 3rd grade girl in the badminton pictures. And yes she beats adults. Saturday I didn’t have football because my team went to a tournament in another city and because of my eligibility (foreigner) issue I'm not allowed to play. So I finally found time to go to the roof and get a suntan.
Saturday afternoon, I got a call from one of the other Korean football players that didn’t go to the game, saying he’d come pick me up and we’d go to an auto show. Both Vipers in attendance donned twin turbos, with the Hennessey having the exhaust exit out the back. I thought that was a nice touch. Unfortunately Dodge forgot that deceleration is just as important as the inverse, and failed to be a braking contender at the show. Not only were they small, they didn’t even bother to cross drill them. Disappointing. The Italian livestock made a very fine showing, as did German trio. The Nissan and Toyota were both right hand drive, which made them extra cool.
For some reason I was all about the brake inspection at this show, and the centerpiece of the show, the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG took the cake. The 183,000 USD car has 15.8” ceramic front rotors. These things would stop a Peterbilt. MB had the SLR McLaren there as well, and I loved staring at the floor shifter that had the start button under the flip up cover. Yum. There was also a CLS 550 there, which I still think has one of the best, most fluid, speed inspiring body lines I’ve ever seen. It leaves me speechless. Before we left the city that the show was in we went to visit one of my friends friends, where he had a scrumptious snack platter awaiting us. I was feeling pretty high up haha. On the way back from the show, my friend got a call saying the team lost and they were on their way back. The friend I was with had dinner plans but another teammate would be by to pick me up so I could go eat with everybody.
I had a good game today, Sunday, sinking 2 more goals and 2 more (one being a HEADER from a corner kick) hitting the crossbar. My accuracy is improving. We went to eat lunch today after soccer and then I came home. A bit later, I got a call from one of the guys so I came downstairs where I was rewarded with some new football warm-up clothes. Apparently because of a job well done at the game. They just went to the store and bought me clothes haha. Korea is awesome.
Well lately, despite feeling incredibly busy, I’ve been delaying an entry because I haven’t felt any inspiration to write. This past weekend was a holiday weekend, Monday being Korean Memorial Day. So on Saturday I went to the southern costal city of Busan. Its typically regarded as the tropical hangout for Koreans and it showed. The beach was as crowded as a subway car. There was also a sandcastle festival that was being held on the beach complete with an aerial acrobatic show put on by fighter jets. Both ended up being pretty cool. I came home Saturday night so I could play soccer Sunday morning, and my decision proved to be a good one because I was able to sink 2 more goals for my team.
My school gives me $100 (equivalent) to be used on a Korean “cultural” experience, which is really inappropriately named, given your trip really doesn’t require you to do anything Korean. Or cultural. I’ve decided to use mine to fund a trip to the Busan Aquarium, where I’ll receive SCUBA training and then be given time to swim in their huge salt water sting ray/shark/giant grouper fish tank. There’s no cage or anything. Just a wetsuit and a tank. Apparently they feed the sharks first, and then I don’t look as appetizing.
For my summer vaca, I think I will be going to Vietnam for a few days, then take a bus to Cambodia for a few more days, and then catching a plane back to KR. The trip should be around 10 days, so I’m looking forward to the break.
At church Sunday I found out one of the guys is an eagle scout and runs the BSA troop for all the military brats in Daegu. I told him that I’m an Eagle Scout as well and volunteered to help if/when he needed it. He seemed excited. His wife is Pilipino and after mentioning that they were taking a vaca to see her family, I asked him for some travel tips. I told him about my upcoming aquarium experience and he said I needed to go to the Philippines’ and dive there. So sometime around Christmas, I’ll be escaping the frigid Korean temperatures, and heading back down to the tropics for some R&R. Apparently the Philippine islands are home to some of the most diverse and prettiest underwater experiences in the world.
Today, (Monday) I made my maiden voyage to Costco, leaving with mixed feelings. Costs incurred to make this trip included $10 in train fees, $10 in cab fees, and a $30 membership. I don’t know if my protein powder and cheddar cheese were worth it. Apparently Korean Costco delivers if you meet a price requirement, so that will save on costs in the future. If we had one in OK I’d have less buyers remorse. But on the bright side, I have cheese now! And real salsa!
I was able to log 2 more goals Sunday, which should put me at 9 total. I’ve been really trying to work out diligently lately, and do things that I feel will help me on the field, because I still think my athleticism is behind much of the team. And if I can’t beat them in skill, I should at least be able to keep up with them in stamina.
Last weekend the team talked to me about going to Uljin, a costal city in our province that is about 4 hours away. I guess it’s a weekend trip with a couple of big games to be played there. Because the communication is limited between my team, and me rarely do I know what exactly is going on. Most of the time I just nod and obey the hand gestures haha. The problem is…last time they had a traveling game, they told me I could go, and they’d like for me to go, but b/c of some rule or issue, I wouldn’t be playing. So I might get bored, seeing as there’d be no one for me to really talk to. Well, those thoughts came up again, but they were not discussed this time. They acted like I was going, and I assumed playing. I was really thinking, oh, since I'm scoring more and getting better, they think I'm ok to play in the tournaments now.
Last night at Dragons (Korean friend/coffee shop owner/liaison to soccer) we were talking and it seems like if I go, I still wont be playing. Apparently one of the club’s “captains” has gone to city hall on more than 1 occasion, and called multiple times, trying to convince them to permit me to play. The team keeps arguing that since I have a Gimcheon address, then I should be allowed to play, but city hall is denying the request, stating that (translated) I am not naturalized. So I guess they really don’t want foreigners. And I’m still torn on what to do because the generosity and hospitality the team and individuals have shown to me is 2nd to none. Its shocking actually, what they go out of their way to do for me. So I don’t want to seem ungrateful or selfish, by not going with them on account of me not playing. So I really don’t know what to do. Decisions decisions. Regardless, here are several more pictures.