March 1st 2009 - Surgery

March 1st 2009

Surgery and trips to Geoje and Busan

This week Paula was scheduled to have a mole removed. The dermatologist in Chile had recommended her to have it removed, so after having booked a time with the dermatologist here in Ulsan last month, she finally got rid of it this Thursday. It was a VERY complicated surgical procedure, but I was there all along, holding her hand (the 2 minutes it lasted!). She now has two stitches and a legal excuse to be demand pampering !

The surgery has left Paula immobilized for the next couple of weeks !!! haha ..

The day before, Wednesday, she came with me for an inspection in Geoje. Ingo, my partner in these inspections, brought Sabine, so the girls would have a bit of company while we did the inspection. The inspection was so-so, but while we were sweating over quality and control issues, the girls were sweating in the mountains. Our contact person at the factory arranged a driver for them, so they could go climb a mountain. I am not sure this was exactly what Paula had dreamt of ! As it turned out, Sabine was a bit of a mountain goat and thanks to her, we have photos from the top of the mountain!

The inspection lasted longer than normal, so even though we had left at 7:20 in the morning, we were not home until 9:20 pm. Geoje-days are long days ...

The morning scooter rush - leaving our neighborhood, Bangeojin on Wednesday.

On the ferry to Geoje Island

Arriving at Geoje

Paula and Sabine had both heard of the horror-drive from the ferry to the factory, but on Wednesday it wasn't too bad and they weren't too scared to smile for the photographer.

Paula vs. mountain!

Sabine at the top.

From the top of the mountain

Even in the rain geoje is pretty

... but prettiest when there are no buildings bloking the view!

Sabine and Paula

On the ferry - tired after a long day.

Friday we hooked up with Carlos and Dan at Cafe Lime for happy hour. Cinthia had left Carlos alone again, so we had to cheer up poor Carlos a bit. Unfortunately, we ended up doing the exact opposite, as he ran into a bit of Bulgogi Spray (diarrhoea) after our dinner at a Korean restaurant (the Noodle bar). But we tried, and that must count for something!

For Saturday we had arranged a semi Mystery Tour to Busan. Carlos and Dan jumped on the wagon, unaware of the consequences of their decision! We picked them up at 10 and then headed direction Haeundae Beach. But I had planned a stop before reaching Haeundae. I was planning to stop at YongGungsa, just north of the beach, but as I didn't know the exact location of this temple, we got to see another one also. That's why it's called a Mystery Tour!. We didn't mind the unplanned stop, as the temple was rather nice. There was a very tall Buddha and an old bell tower, which was worth a look. The main building was beautifully restored.

Carlos, Paula and Dan

Tall Buddha

Carlos and Paula in front of the main building

The old bell tower

Paula and Peder

Around the corner we found what I had been looking for. Hundreds of other people had also found what they were looking for. There was quite a turnout for YongGungsa. But .... you can hardly blame them, 'cause this temple is one of the prettiest I have seen so far in Korea. It is very different from the other temples, as it is located directly on the rocks overlooking the Ocean. There is even a small Buddha on an outcropping, which reminded us a bit of the little mermaid in Copenhagen.

In front of the big temples you can always find women selling different leaves and vegetables. Don't know why ..

And this is the local juice bar !

Carlos does kendo - here he is with his idol

At the entrance to YongGungsa

A first glimpse ..

The little Mermaid Buddha ?

YongGung Temple


Carlos and the gold painted happy Buddha.

Leaving a coin for good luck

Paula and her Chinese "birth year animal", the rat.

YongGungsa panorama

From YongGung Temple we threw ourselves head first into the Busan traffic. First urban stop was Busan Aquarium and Haeundae Beach. It was a nice day for a change (we have had a lot of rain lately), so there were a few people on the beach - flying kites, playing soccer etc. Not beach lounging but just enjoying themselves. The aquarium on the other hand was packed. Loads of kids .. and you know how much we like to have hundreds of kids around us ... ?!?! I shouldn't complain much though - I got to see my sharks.

Haeundae Beach

The aquarium had a weird theme, where all the world famous masterpieces had had their characters replaces by fish. Maybe there is a deeper meaning with this, but when you don't understand the local language, you miss out on these things.

All the kids waiting for the diver to feed the fish. The diver is not on this photo, so don't waste time looking for him!

Paula and a big sea bass

Paula with shark and turtle

After fighting our way through the aquarium, Dan and I had a 7-minute "ride" in a 3D movie theatre. The tickets were sold together with the aquarium entrance, so we both thought that it would be at least a little water related, but that just goes to show us that we should take nothing for granted. Instead of a 3 dimensional underwater tour, we got to "fly" through a cartoon fantasy world - all very poorly done if you ask me.

After the 3D show, I did feel a bit better prepared for the Busan traffic though !! haha ... I can't say that I enjoy driving in Busan, but we got through the day without serious incidents (some honking the horn, shouting, almost getting ploughed over etc.). Next stop was Shanghai Street - formerly known as Texas Street, but I guess that the Chinese were better customers than the Americans, so the street has changed it popular name. Now it is full of Russians, so maybe it will soon be called Perestroika Street. Anyway - Shanghai Street is where Paula's Painting shop is located and where she goes once every two months or so, to stock up on supplies.

From Shanghai Street to Nampodong Market (also called the International Market) and the fish Market across the road. I could see that Dan was tempted, but he managed to get away without any shopping bags !! No - this boy is not a great shopper !

Dan at the fish market

Anybody hungry ?

Last stop was the Lotte Outlet for dinner and a walk around. And a last chance for Dan to do some shopping !!! Carlos was un the lookout for a pair of jeans, but it was only Paula and I who bought anything, even though we seem to go there almost every week now !

Carlos and Dan at the Italian restaurant in the outlet. It was pretty nice, even though they tried to serve us the pizza before the soup!

Today has been a lot more quiet. The weather has been perfect for a bike ride, but as Ingo is in Japan with Sabine, I would have had to go on my own. Don't like riding alone - I have to ride much more carefully, as there will be nobody there to help me if I come off !! So instead I went to Miboo Gym to play volleyball with the Serhiy and his gang. I needed to brush up my Russian skills anyway!