Monday, October 29, 2007

Blue Agave Halloween Party

Ajumma and Ajosshi (Middle aged woman and man)
Mummy and Crazy Guy
The guy on the left used to have a knife through the neck, and the guy on the right isn't wearing a costume
A nice mask

I try to stay away from posting multiple pictures in one post, but I got a couple of decent party pics at the Blue Agave's Halloween Party the other day. I'm having a difficult time with my camera in low light places. I end up using the flash on automatic mode and the pictures just end up looking like point and shoot pictures. It was a fun evening though being paparazzi!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday Morning Football

I have no pictures, but this morning, I had my friends Node and Troy over for a small Tuesday Morning Football party. There's a 13 hour time difference between here and Eastern Standard Time in the US, so the NFL Monday Night Football is on Tuesday morning at 9:30. We had our coffee and croisants then troy came with some dumplings and california rolls later. The Indianapolis Colts won! Woohoo!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pumpkin Festival

Although my picture is not of a pumpkin, it was taken at a pumpkin festival this weekend. These folks are a local school band, playing traditional Korean drums.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hee Sun's Wedding

Hee Sun's Wedding
Hee Sun and I at the pre-wedding lunch

Hee Sun, one of the members of the climbing gym got married the other weekend. I was invited to go to the wedding reception the day before, then the wedding day. Korean weddings are quite a big production. It's really two or three days worth of ceremonies and preperations. The meal we had the day before was a traditional Jeju meal with seaweed soup and pork. The wedding itself is quite different than any weddings I've been to. Its in a small room in a hotel or a ballroom or something, not a church. Outside the room, there's kids and old men in suits being loud and noisy. After the ceremony, I think they do a private family ritual involving lots of bowing.

Speaking of weddings, my cousin Amy is getting married this weekend. Congratulations! Sorry I can't make it!

Monday, October 15, 2007


A roof climb at Musucheon, there's a 5.13 crux pulling out of the roof.
Samgyupsal, cell phone, and beer....the Korean Camping Experience. (The chips were my idea)

After living in Korea for more than one year, I finally got my first Korean camping experience. I went to the Musucheon River (only about 10 minutes from my house) with some of my climbing friends, Juin, Won Bin, and a couple others. We only camped one night, but got about $70 worth of food between 4-5 people (a lot of food!). We had some great Samgyupsal (barbecued bacon) for dinner, then some Kimchi Chiggae (Kimchi soup) for breakfast. I played my guitar while everyone drank soju and we had a great evening around the campfire.

The next morning, we went climbing and I got on my first 5.12 at Musucheon. I didn't quite get it, but maybe next week! Before we left, everyone had a go at the wild roof climb in the top picture. On this climb, the first 6 bolts are only about 8 feet off the ground! You have to spot the climber while he clips the bolts. If he falls while clipping, he'll hit the ground.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mini Crab

Here's a goofy picture for ya!

Last weekend was spent with the CDI family, we went to the traditional 5 day market, then to a cultural festival downtown. In between, we stopped for some sashimi for lunch, and they gave us these mini-crabs as a side dish. You eat the whole thing! It was actually pretty good. Quite crunchy.

I've been a little slow on the blog lately since I've decided not to get internet in my new apartment. I seem to waste too much time surfing and doing random useless stuff that it doesn't make sense to have internet in my house. Fortunately, I have my own computer at work, so I can just come in a little early everyday and update the blog, read the news, and check email. I'll still update the blog regularly, I'll get a card-reader to transfer my photos from my laptop to the work computer.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Rock Climbing in Yangshuo, China

Here I am again, telling people about another of my amazing vacations. I'm sorry to say that as usual, I didn't see the main touristy sites. I didn't see the Great Wall. I didn't go to Beijing, and I didn't go to Shanghai. I had three weeks...and I went rock climbing....and it was awesome.

I went to Yangshuo, which is very close to the larger town of Guilin in the Southeast of China. The landscape is absolutely incredible. The thousands upon thousands of limestone karst formations aren't just in one small place, but everywhere for miles and miles. It really is a rock climber's paradise, especially nowadays since it's a bit of a virgin paradise. People have only been rock climbing here for less than 15 years, and only a handful of the karsts have established routes. The majority are sport climbs, with bolts and anchors, but there's the odd multipitch here and there for the trad climbers.

The town of Yangshuo is a quickly growing tourist town filled with chinese tourists and nagging salesmen. It probably has the most number of English speakers of any small town in China. The streets are filled with coffee shops and cafes serving Chinese and Western food. You can get off the main drag and find cheaper and more delicious food in the local markets.

Like I said I went to Yangshuo for rock climbing and I did some climbing most every day. On days that I didn't climb, I still went out to the crags to take some pictures. I found the joys of sitting at the top of the climb for 2 hours while my legs fell asleep, taking millions of pictures, then spending hours deleting all of them but the one or two good ones. I met some absolutely amazing people of all different backgrounds and nationalities. We all got along together very well and all of the friends I met were able to help me grow in many ways.

Before I left, I spent three days in Jeju camping at the beach
Yangshuo is a busy town, full of Chinese and International tourists
You take a short walk through the smaller villages to get to the crags
Matt showed us how to prepare for the climbs
The climbing was sometimes in interesting places
The views were amazing
The climbs were fun and technical
Sometimes VERY technical
I spent a lot of time at the Karst Cafe
This is our chef at the local night market
Sometimes we might eat near the crags
You can take a rest while you're climbing!
Go for a swim in the river
Have a drink in the bar
Relax by the riverside
We usually chartered a mini-bus to go to the crags
This picture is NOT taken from the front seat.....
There's still 4 more people that you can't see in this picture
You can also go to the crags by bike
But the roads are a bit...unpredictable
Its always fun climbing
It's especially fun in the moon!
Put your feet back on!
Music at the crag is always a nice treat
He's almost got it!
I met some great friends
Where will I go next?