August 23rd 2009 - Maite

August 23rd 2009

Maite visiting from Chile and the Billabong Beach Party!

This week we were back in the visitor mode. Paula's old high school friend Maite had to come to Busan for a convention and it didn't take much effort to persuade her to come over a week earlier to hang out with Paula again ... just like the old times! We picked her up at the airport bus stop in town Monday evening and have just dropped her off in Busan this afternoon .... I don't think they stopped talking at all for those 6 days! It wasn't difficult to see that Paula enjoyed the company.

Maite and Paula

Tuesday they did the tour of the nearby attractions and curiosities, such as the Ulsan College, Daewangam Park and Ulgi Lighthouse with the women divers, the markets and the local temples. Wednesday they ventured a bit further out - that is to the bamboo forest - and then on Thursday they went to GyeongJu. Friday it was back to the near sights with the Black Pebble Beach and the rice fields. I wont bore you with long descriptions of what the above entails, as you probably have read it several times before, on the pages with the other visitors we have had recently.

Maite at Jujeon Beach (Black Pebble Beach)

In Kosan Colours ...!

Friday evening we went back to the newly discovered Japanese restaurant close to Ilsan Beach for more tuna sashimi. This time we brought Carlos and Fernando, who were curious to see what all the fuss was about. They were not disappointed ! Once again we stuffed ourselves in the most delicious mouth-watering raw tuna slices, so we could hardly walk back up to Ocean View hotel for a post-dinner drink!

Why is Carlos always eating ???!!! Here with Fernando

The girls and the tuna!

Saturday I had plans to go for an early morning ride, but after having a look out the window in the morning, I was quick to change my mind. It just looked like one of those really hot and sticky days! I already know all that I want to know about them ... when doing inspections on our ships it only takes a few milliseconds to be completely soaked in sweat! So we let Maite sleep in and went to the swimming pool in the afternoon instead.

Where's da beach?!?

In the evening we had bought entry tickets to a (wanna-be) beach party at Billabong, just around the corner from our apartment. The party was organized by the Ulsan Orphanage Committe and the profit goes partly to the orphanage and partly to a local family who has adopted no less than 7 handicapped children. Yuni from Bollabong had agreed to host the event and on top of that cook a wicked curry and a minestrone soup! Mmmm!!! Jamie, Sandrine and Violet had decorated and planned and Colin was the DJ (a stand-in for me, as Paula had forgotten to tell me that I was the DJ). Paula had several duties which were all forgotten in the excitement of having Maite here !!!

So how was the party ??? Well - check out the video below ... I think it says more than words! What I can say is that even though it was I who was named Mr. Chicken-legs (it won me two cinema tickets!), it was Carlos who came out of his shell!!!

Mari and Gokhan were back from their vacations in Europe, so the 6 musketeers are together again for a short while before first Jamie and Colin and then Pau and me will leave on vacation. Unfortunately it doesn't look like the 8 musketeers will be in the same room in the near future as Wayne and Teresa still don't have any plans to return to Ulsan.

Sunday morning was ... well, it didn't really happen at all. We slept in till 10 as we definitely are not accustomed to going to bed at 3am! Once we got in gear we packed up the car and drove to Younggungsa with Maite. This is the pretty temple at the coast, just north of Busan. Then we dropped Maite off at her hotel just in front of the convention centre, went for a late lunch at the huge shopping centre across the street and then said our auf wiedersehens. The girls have planned to meet up on Friday again.

A quick phonecall to Gokhan revealed that they were lost somewhere in the nearby area, looking for the new COSTCO supermarket/wholesaler. As we were also on our way there we offered our guide services, if they were able to make it to BEXCO, where we could wait for them. Perfect timing !! Well, I don't really know how long time they had been driving around looking for COSTCO, but perfect timing for us as we only had to wait a few minutes for them! We were pretty busted by now, so we did a hit-and-run at COSTCO, going only for the things we absolutely needed, so we could get home and rest again!!!

Below is a slide show of Maite's visit here.