August 2nd 2009 - Beach Festival

August 2nd 2009

Ilsan Beach Festival ...

Last Saturday we took over my company's ship number 8 and last vessel. Now there are only two left for our Italian partners (we have to do the supervision for them). With all the delays lately it is looking more and more difficult to finish this year, but we have our fingers crossed (especially Paula!). After we take over the vessel the crew take it out to anchorage for about a week, where we do the gas trial. That is - test the gas plant. Which again means that I am pretty busy that week. Paula didn't like that I was eating my lunch on the ship ... these last two years we have gotten accustomed to spending 40 minutes together every day at noon.

I did get time to play table tennis with Serhiy - my ex-colleague. We've found a place to play just a few minutes walk from our apartment. It's a lot easier to muster the energy when you don't have to spend 20 minutes in a car to get to the venue. Friday was Mr. Oh's last day at the site office. He is transferring to Lauritzen Offshore Services in Nantong, China. So we all went for lunch at Ballentines to see him off and say see you on the next project. I will miss him - he was sitting next to me and always helped me when my Korean skills fell short (all the time basically!).

Friday evening TGE - the basic designers of the ship - invited us for the traditional dinner at Outback Steakhouse, marking the end of the gas trial. And as the tradition goes, I had to order the Thunder from Down Under! This is a mean piece of brownie with a huge scoop of ice cream and cream on top. I didn't really NEED it, seeing that I had eaten lunch at another restaurant who leans towrads American size portions (Ballentines), but traditions are traditions, right ?!

Carlos, Ingo, Jorg, Fernando, Tordur, Hans, Eydun and Paula at Outback ... digging into the starters!

Tordur, Hans and Eydun enjoying being onshore for a few hours!

Saturday I had plans to go biking in the morning, but the Thunder from the day before persuaded me to delay it for Sunday! So we picked up Jamie instead and headed for the bakery supply store. I can't believe I have lived 2 years here without knowing about this place ! Now I can pretty much bake anything I like. And I found real rye flour for my bread ... no more brown rice powder !!! On to lunch at the Vietnamese in downtown and then back home just in time to go out again ! Again with Jamie, but this time we allowed her better half to tag along. We were going to check out the festival at Ilsan Beach. But first we went to the Korean restaurant below Pizza Hut. Jamie and Colin didn't know it and we were easy to persuade to go for our 4th meal eating out in two days !

Paula, Jamie and Colin at the Korean BBQ restaurant.

Now for the small round thingy ....

Some things taste exactly as they look ....

No Korean BBQ without a trip to the baseball cage. Here Colin is showing the rest of us how it is done !

Look at the fierceness in her eyes ... I'm glad I am not a baseball!

The basketball game was more mellow - not so many aggressions ....

At the M bar with the Hello Kitty we all won for Paula ... knowing her soft spot!

Sandrine and Violet were also out to check out the action.

The girls had a quick and decisively bad influence on poor Kitty!

Look at the Hello Kitty fan !!! It's retractable ....

Shipbuilding and Sea Festival !!! That was the official name of what we suspect to be the Ilsan Beach Festival. We didn't see anything remotely associated to shipbuilding at the festival, so I guess they just got a new sponsor onboard ! There were a lot of people at the beach. A lot were even camping there. It's very unusual for us to see so many Koreans at the beach, as they normally don't like the sun and sand very much. Maybe it was the body building show which brought them out !! The stage was set for the lightly dressed girls and the food stalls were out in full force.

Loads of people everywhere

... and food stalls, jewellery stalls and various game/amusement stalls

One of the "camp grounds"!

It was a party for all ages

... and all trades of life. This is the grass man!

If yuou look closely you can see the grass in his nose. I have no explanation ...

The compulsary evening show

Looked like one of those promotion shows they have outside a newly opened shop ... just with more girls and louder music (barely ...!)

Sunday morning I couldn't delay my mtb ride any longer. I must admit that I would have liked to! Ingo had already left for vacation so it was just me and myself. But I dragged myself out there even though it took all my will power. On the first climb I wished I had stayed in bed ! Body and mind were definitely still at the festival! But it gradually got better and I ended up doing a three and a half hours of prime mountain biking. Home and shower and then we jumped in the car to go to Paraeso waterfall. We hadn't been there for over a year and with all the rains we have had lately, we thought it would be a good time to revisit. We were not alone !! We are now in the middle of the summer vacations (Hyundai have 2 weeks - our yard give their workers 3 days!), and everybody were out it seemed. Especially out by Seongnam temple, which must be one of the most popular places to "river camp".

Koreans love to camp and picnic at the rivers. They are normally not big fans of the beach. Here at Seongnamsa.

Looking out over the Youngnam alps (they are actually called so!)

But also at the waterfall we found heaps of people camping and picnicing ... the Korean way. The way up to the waterfall is absolutely beautiful. Especially now in summer where everything is so green. And then it is nice to reach the waterfall after a 20 minute walk through the forest, as it is relatively cool and refreshing there..

On the way down to the waterfall

Anybody who knows Paula knows that this is a big accomplishment for her ... she hates heights but did well!