February 3rd 2008 - Haggis

February 3rd 2008

Making friends ....

A bit sore from yesterdays tennis game, I now sit here Sunday evening 11 o'clock and have to write something hugely interesting for our web page ! At times it is a little difficult to come up with interesting subjects ... especially late in the evening - but this week is not one of these times. Especially the last half of the week has been busy.

The week started with a late Sunday evening, watching the Euro 2008 Handball final till late at night. It was worth staying up for, as it gave me an advantage over my Croatian friends, which is always welcome.

Tuesday Paula went to a meeting with the Ulsan City vice mayor ! She has been elected as a foreign monitor of Ulsan, which means that she will participate in meetings at the town hall three times a year, where foreigners life in Ulsan is discussed and improvements and solutions are brought up. This was her first meeting, and she was well impressed by the awareness of the municipality towards foreigners. It turns out that there are 17.000 foreigners in Ulsan, all told. This was a big surprise to us. There surely are a lot in our neighborhood, but with 17.000 foreigners, there must be many other areas of town with foreigners as well. After the meeting they all went for a Korean lunch ... one of the worst culinary experiences of Paulas time in Korea. Maybe they should bring this issue up at the next meeting. More western restaurants needed !!!

Friday we were invited for whiskey and haggis at Nicola and Ruaraidhs place, together with Vjera and Marion. In spite of all the haggis related jokes and hard words, we thoroughly enjoyed it. Seeing Ruaraidh in a kilt was a classic ! Saturday we were invited out, joining our Busan site office for a company dinner at our favorite Turkish restaurant (also the only Turkish restaurant in town). We had a lovely meal with hummus, baklava, shisha and all the lamb you could wish for. After dinner we went to the bar at the Ocean View Hotel. This bar is probably the only local western bar with live music, and as such a busy weekend hangout. Still, it is not one of our favorite bars - too smokey and too many "entertainment girls". But this night we had a good time none the less.

Today, Sunday, we went to Tongdosa temple to meet up with some Koreans we met on our flight to Hanoi in November. Mr. Kim and his wife Mrs. Lee had brought two other family members and we had a very nice time walking around the temple in the snow and getting to know each other. Even though we have been in Korea almost one year now, I must say that we do not know that many Koreans on a social level. Paula has some friends, but everybody have a lot of respect for the time when I am off work and we (Paula and I) can be together, so they don't want to "intrude" on us after 17 o'clock ! It was also nice to meet somebody from teh other end of town, where everything does NOT revolve around Hyundai ! After lunch we returned home in time for our date with Pauline and Stuart this evening, so you see, it has been quite a busy end to the week !

Next week will probably be without an update from us, as we are heading to Japan (Kyoto) for the lunar new year. I expect to update the diary in two weeks time. 'Till then ...

Esta semana partio con Dinamarca ganando el campeonato europeo en Handboll, lo que puso a Peder contento. Nuestros amigos Croatas muy buenos perdedores mandaron sus felicitaciones a Peder !

El martes tube una reunion en la municipalidad. Fui elegida como "Monitor extranjero" y basicamente tendre 3 reuniones en el año y contacto con el Alcalde y Vice alcalde . La idea de la cuidad es ver como se puede hacer mas facil la vida aqui para los extranjeros que viven en Ulsan. Solo en esta cuidad viven 17 mil extranjeros , asique es muy buena la iniciativa de la municipalidad de tratar de integrar a los extranjeros .

El viernes fuimos invitados a casa de Nicola y Ruaraidhs para comer haggies. Es una comida tipica escosesa y Ruaraidh se vistio para la ocacion con su kilt y bendiciendo el Haggis ! . Vjera y Marion nuestros amigos croatas estaban tambien en la comida. Como siempre lo pasamos muy bien con ellos y las haggies eran buenisimas !

El sabado tubimos una comida de la oficina. El team que trabaja en Busan (una cuidad a unos 80km. de Ulsan) vinieron a pasar el fin de semana aqui y fuimos a nuestro restaurant favorito , Kebapistan , un restaurant turco buenisimo, se come el mejor cordero de la cuidad ,eramos como 15 . Despues de la comida nos fuimos al Ocean View hotel que es el unico lugar en la cuidad con musica para bailar. Lo pasamos muy bien .

El domingo nos juntamos con nuestro amigo coreano Mr. Kim. Lo conocimos en el avion hacia Vietnam. Nos juntamos en el templo de Tongdosa y fue bien entretenido porque nos explico mucho acerca del templo y del budismo. En la noche Pauline y Stuart que viven en el mismo condominio nuestro nos invitaron a comer y como siempre lo pasamos muy bien .Como veran esta semana apenas tubimos tiempo para estar en la casa.

El miercoles nos vamos a Japon , es el año nuevo lunar aqui en Asia.

Paula at the Foreign monitors meeting with the vice mayor of Ulsan.

Aqui estoy con el Vice Alcalde de la ciudad de Ulsan .

Ruaraidh doing his speech to the haggis (it's a Scottish thing, so just pretend that you think it's normal !)

Ruaraidh haciendo la "bendicion de los Haggies. Una costumbre escosesa. Fue muy entretenido escuchar en "escoses" a Ruaraidh y vestido con su tradicional kilt.

Kim celebrated his birthday at the Kosan company dinner. I think he came away a little too easy ... WE WANT A BIRTHDAY PARTY, KIM !!

Aqui el Sabado en la comida de la oficina , que coincidio con el cumple de Kim.

This is almost the whole gang. Sergey, Mr. Oh and Mr. Lee were missing. Busan site members are Mike (4th from left), Per (5th from left) and Fernando (front right).

Aqui en el restaurant Turco.

Smoking ! I love an apple shisha.... brings memories from my time in Egypt and Syria. It was a new experience for Henrik though, and the hardened smoker, Kim, couldn't taste anything. It's a bit like when the Koreans eat western food and find it without flavor, because there's no chilly involved !

Pedimos una Sisha que es como una pipa arabe y se fuma tabaco de manzana u otras frutas. Es muy rica. Peder feliz fumando , y recordando cuando vivio en Egipto y Siria ......

And she drove home !

Primera vez que fumo sisha , muy rica

Marilyn was in a dancing mood at the Ocean View !

Aqui Marilyn en el Ocean View bailando.

With our new friends in Tongdosa.

Aqui en el templo de Tongdosa con muestros amigos coreanos .....no es que yo este gorda, aqui las mujeres son un tallarin !

Mr. Kim and his family took us up to a small temple on the other side of Tongdosa. The setting was beautiful, and the temple was definitely not a place we could have found on our own.

Aqui nos mostraron uno de los templos chicos en el area. La vista era increible.

Finally we had somebody to take our photo!

Menos mal alguien que nos sacaba fotos !

twice.... here in front of the entrance to Tongdosa.

Aqui en el frente del templo.