February 15th 2009 - Basketball

February 15th 2009

Basketball, Valentines and shopping !!!!!!

Puha! - as we say in Denmark when we are exhausted. This weekend was booked out and utilized to full extent.

Friday Paula and I celebrated Valentines day a little in advance with a couple of cocktails at Cafe Lime. They have happy hour on Fridays, so we try to go whenever we remember it. To get out a little !! haha ... Anyway, this Friday we had a legitimate excuse with Valentine's Day coming up.

She is not an alcoholic. She really isn't ....?!?!

Saturday morning our yoga teacher Min Joo came over for our 1-hour yoga session. She brought chocolate for us - Koreans celebrate Valentine's Day (unlike Danes) and in their tradition it is the women who give presents to the men (now there's an idea!). I keep trying to tell Paula that her chocolate then in fact must be mine, but she wont listen ! Peo had decided to do yoga with us which cause a little trouble when I accidentally stepped on her tail. I am not accustomed to watching out for my buddies tails ... ! Half an hour after yoga I was on my bike ready for the mountain. My bike had been in for a service so I was eager to get on to the dirt roads after a two week break. Ingo and I had a very nice ride with some new trails discovered. 2 really nice ones and one which involved a bit too much walking. The rocks were too big to wrestle, so we had to carry our bike for parts of the descent. But the weather was nice and the views spectacular.

Home again, shower, eat lunch and then off to a basketball game. Ulsan Mobis Phoebus vs Incheon Jeonja-land ! For some reason all foreigners got free entrance to this weeks game, so we thought we might as well take advantage of our long noses (Westerners are called long-noses by the Koreans) and check out Korea's National Basketball League. Last time we went to see a basketball game was in Valdivia in Chile (2002), and I remember leaving the game shocked by the noise level and the foul language of the spectators !! Well - I can't say for the foul language here in Korea, but the noise level was just about on par with Valdivia. Next time I think we will bring ear muffs ! Cheerleaders, mascots, angry coaches, a live proposal ... the "game" had it all. You almost forgot what it was all about !!

Cheerleaders going bananas at the team introduction!

The mascots danced better than the cheerleaders, I am sad to say!

This guy reminded me of the well spoken announcer from the movie "A Knights Tale". He was at least just as energetic but I couldn't say whether he was as poetic !

"WHAT ??? ... SPEAK UP !!!"

Oh, by the way - Ulsan lost 98-89

In the evening we went to the New Foreigners Compound. I haven't been there for months, as we don't really know anybody who lives there anomore. It's mostly French families there and they don't mix much with Anglophones ! But in the name of Valentine, a buffet and a pool tournament had been organized. And after a great meal, the room filled with Korean salsa dancers. We have been to the salsa parties there before, but didn't really like it because of the semi-militaristic approach to dancing, but this time it was much better. People seemed to genuinely enjoy themselves !

At the party we met up with Jamie and Colin. They lived here in Ulsan a while back and are friends with some of our friends from when we first came here. So they come well recommended !! They will stay here for three years, so we were pleased when they turned out to be well natured, educated people (you never know ... with our friends!). No - no kidding; it felt like we were old friends from the very beginning, and I am sure we will see much more of them. We also met other very nice people, so maybe the good old party days will be coming back soon. Colin told me that their project will have around 100 people coming in - mainly Australians, which should give the nightlife around here a big boost !

The girls on a Saturday night ! (and a Korean guy)

Jamie shakin' it !

Colin soon took on the challenge!

Today Paula and I drove down to Busan - just to go window shopping and have a nice lunch out. Guess how many bags we returned with !!!! Lots ... ! I had come across a new shopping mall on one of my many work trips to Busan, so I wanted to show this massive complex to Paula. I knew the food was good, so it could never be a total waste of time. Well - it turned out that the clothes was really cheap. I think it was their opening sale. All top brands at half price or less. Paula bought a really nice wool coat for US$8 - down from US$160. This was by far our best buy, but there were other precious moments as well !!! In the end it becomes a sport and you loose all sense of fair price. If a shirt is more than US$20 you think it is really expensive, even though it would cost you five times that in Denmark !

How much space is a pig supposed to have on a EU transport truck ? More than these bulgogi-dudes, I hope.

We were lucky we got there early. Later this parking lot was all full.

The dressing rooms have slippers - I think that is great although I see little sense in it !

Paula shocked at seeing me in my shop-till-I-drop mode.

Now, after it all, we are a bit worn out. Might just sit down in front of the telly and watch an episode of Northern Exposure - a show I used to watch with a friend of mine in Honduras 15 years ago. He was the only gringo on the island priviledged enough to have a house with a TV, and we used to hook up a couple of times a week to watch Northern Exposure and Seinfeld. Ahh, those memories ...