Monday, August 07, 2006

First weekend!

Hopefully by tomorrow I'll have an internet connection in my apartment, so I'll be able to post pictures and do this from home instead of at work.

Saturday was Michelle, the branch manager's birthday. Everyone from work, the three computer gurus/secretarys, Daebu the bus driver, Ryan, myself, and Michelle all went to Kwakji beach. The beach was pretty nice, not too far from the city. It had a nice little kiddy pool area that was spring fed with fresh water, then you could climb over some rocks to get to the main water. The rocks were volcanic, so they really hurt to step on. Jinny, one of the secretaries, asked me if I like to tan, and I told her no, thinking that she was asking if I like to lay out and tan. Well, Ryan and I get into the water and I realized what she meant. 95% of the people in the water had long sleeve shirts on! I just then figured out that opposite Americans, Koreans hate to get tan. They like their skin to be white. Apparently, skin whitening cosmetics are big business. Anyway, other than being practically the only people in the water without shirts on, it was great. It's been a couple of years since I've been swimming in the ocean and it was very nice. The sand was great and the water was warm.

After the beach, Michelle took us to a barbecued ribs joint. It was yet another wonderful experience in Korean eating. The seven of us sat at a round table with a grill in the middle. Then they serve you all your standard crazy side dishes (seemingly hundreds of little plates), give you a couple of slabs of raw ribs, and you cook them yourselves right then and there. It was interesting to eat because you pick them off the grill when they're done cooking, set them on a piece of lettuce or some other leafy things, put some sauce on them, add a couple veggies, wrap the leaf up, and shove it all in your mouth. It seemed like they just kept coming with more and more food, replentishing the side dishes. One of the side dishes was raw crabs that you just sucked out of the shell. It was a really good meal, you felt like you were putting a lot of effort into eating it too.

I'll talk about Sunday night's time at the Band Festival a little later.

(edit) Here's a pic from the beach with most of the people I work with. On the left is Ryan, my only co-teacher so far. He's a great guy, fun to work and hang out with. He spent 2 years in Tanzania in the Peace Corps. He's from Milwawkee, Wisconsin. Next, doing apparently the thing about every girl does in every picture, the 'V for Victory' is Jinny, our main secretary, administrator, computer guru. Next is Michelle, the Branch Manager, or "Principal" if you prefer, she's the boss. Last is "Daebu." He's the bus driver. He takes the kids to and from the school. I'm not sure what else he does, but "Daebu" means "Godfather" in Korean. He wanted to be called that I guess. I can't wait 'till I learn some more Korean so I can actually talk to him.

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