Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Pictures, the cow ones are pretty cool

An interesting thing happened this week while I was walking home for lunch break. There was an old Korean man sitting outside his home and waved me over. He spoke some English not very well, but enough to make conversation. He ended up being a Korean War Veteran. He had his Veteran baseball cap on with his medals he received during the war and he was very proud to show them off, and was even happier to show them to a young USA citizen. You could not wipe the smile off his face, he was really happy that he fought with the United States and was even happier about the freedom that the USA gave his country. It was another one of those random cool moments that happens in the life of an English teacher in South Korea.

Sunday January 24, 2010
Friday night consisted of going to Fridays, getting a cheeseburger and a margarita then headed to bed to get up early Saturday to go exploring in some part of Seoul that I forget the name of. The reason why I forget the name was that this part of Seoul had nothing in it and the name does not seem important enough to remember. There was suppose to be an old antique market located there, supposedly the oldest in Seoul. One of the kids I teach with wanted to go, he told me about it and I was interested. It was not all bad, the one restaurant we stopped at had a phenomenal pork cutlet. So for about 3 hours of traveling all we really ended up with was a pork cutlet, it was fairly nice out so it was not a wasted day. After leaving this market we went to Itaewon and went to Sam Ryan’s which is the sports bar that I went to the week before, (and see myself going back to a lot) we watched the Celtics game and had a good time. I stayed a little later and watched some hockey and met some kids from the USA and ended up playing darts with them for a while, and then headed back to Suwon, or so I thought. On the way home I had to switch trains to get to the train that went back to Suwon, little did I know this train stopped running one minute before I got there and 45 minutes earlier then all the other trains. Now I was stuck in a random train station in some part of Seoul. I took a cab back to Suwon with a few other people and was about 40 minutes outside of Suwon. Other then that little miss hap it was a good time. Shit happens.

This Sunday turned out to be pretty cool. After going to the gym and finding out they are closed on Sunday I wondered what I could do to kill time today. I was thinking about going back to Seoul and check some stuff out or go watch the Bruins. I decided to stay in Suwon and check out more of the city. The whole city seems to be set up in the same design with tiny restaurants littered everywhere and little convenience stores on every corner. I was walking around and started to get a little hungry and I ran into a small pizza store. Pizza tends to be very expensive in Korea. Usually around 20,000 Won for a pizza. This place the pizza was 5,000 won so I figured I would try it out. The pizza was good, for some reason they put corn on my cheese pizza. It tasted the exact same as the more expensive pizzas for a quarter of the price. I realize that no pizza here will taste anything like back home; it is like being in San Diego, do not expect to come by good pizza too often because it does not exist. The funny part of the pizza place was the translation of the menu. Pepperoni was spelt “Pepaloni” While I was walking around Suwon just looking at the array of restaurants located in such a small area I smelt some damn good food. I was disappointed when I got there because not only did it smell good, it looked awesome and I just ate a crappy pizza and was no longer hungry. This little market they were chopping up pig and serving the food five feet right next to where they were chopping it up. Next Saturday afternoon I will be heading here to try this food out and I am pretty excited about it because it is tough to find any real meat around Korea. It seems that the other two teachers have not explored this area at all; actually, it seems for the almost two months I have been here that I have explored more of the area we live around then they have, which is quite interesting, resulting into some cool places I have found that they had no clue existed. After walking through the market I wanted to head to the butcher shop for the first time. This place was cool.

If a man can not watch playoff football on a Sunday in January, he mine as well watch a butcher carve open a cows head. That is exactly what I did; it was pretty cool to see it. There is something special about a bunch of guys sitting together on a Sunday watching a butcher chop open a cows head. I watched him gut two cows’ heads. It is quite the technique; I got some pretty cool pictures of the cow. I got some meat from the butcher will I will be cooking for the first time in my tiny apartment (unless you count making cereal cooking.) I have gotten a little tired of going out to dinner every night, even though it is so cheap. The note that I will leave on which I do not like, at the grocery store they charge 60 Won for a grocery bag, I know it is not much but I tend to always grab an extra one because I double them as my trash bags. The trash situation for my apartment is pretty funny; actually the trash situation for South Korea is pretty funny. I might have written about this earlier. If I didn’t, hear goes. Trash is just left in the tiny parking lot under the apartment complex; there is no dumpster to be found. It just stacks up against s wall on the ground until the trash man comes. The trash process is interesting. A flat bed pickup truck will drive up and down the street and the driver will talk on the loudspeaker and announce what he is picking up. One day if he is picking up TV’s he will drive up and down the streets announcing the trash item of the day are TV’s. It is a funny process, and took me a while to figure out why I consistently heard a man yelling over a car’s loudspeaker everyday driving up and down the street. I have also come to realize that I live in the worst part of Suwon, all the buildings in my neighborhood seem to be the worst no matter where I go in Suwon. The good thing about my neighbor it is centrally located, everything is right around the area. I guess you get the good with the bad.

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