November 8th 2009 - Mr Kim

November 8th 2009

Plants, birthday and shopping

Well - now it really feels like we are on our way out of here! The other day Paula had a few friends over to put their names down for our plants. When I came home from work the apartment looked completely different.... they had decided to take the plants with them then and there. It's amazing the difference 40 plants make to a home!! Now we are left with 6. But it's all the same, as we leave for the Philippines on Thursday and when we return we will stay only for about three weeks before jumping down to my sister in Taiwan for a week and then HOME !!! Guess who is looking forward to that !! hehe ...

Tuesday we had Jamie and Colin over for a movie and lasagna. Colin is big on football so I had picked up "The damned United", not knowing much about the movie but imagining it was about football and Man U. Well, I was right and wrong. It is a film based on true facts about a famous football manager, Brian Clough, but the United mentioned in the title was referring to Leeds United and not Manchester. Different millennium, you see. Maybe that is why it was such a popular choice with Colin, who rated it 9-10! The rest of us were pleased with the flick but not over the top as Colin.

Look how pleased Colin is - a football film!!

We have been busy with our Northern Exposure nights all week. There are a lot of episodes of this brilliant feel-good 90'ies show and we still have 30-40 to go. Will miss it when we eventually reach the end. Check this clip out: flying "cow" - it's a good appetizer of what it is all about.

Wednesday Paula was out with the girls for lunch at the Japanese restaurant down by the Ilsan Beach junction and I went out with the insulation subcontractors at night. We also went to a raw fish restaurant although this had a more Korean style (i.e. kimchi and sitting on the floor). I had a chance to try silk worms for the first time, something I hopefullt wont have to repeat .... it's faul!

Paula, Jamie, Stephanie and jade at the Japanese

The presentation of the food at the restaurant is spectacular

Watch out ... crazy woman with a shopping cart coming our way !!!!

Friday we met up with Jamie, Colin, Jade and Jean Laurent to go for dinner at Boo. Unfortunately they were all full (that must be a first for them!), but we overcame the shock and decided to go for Italian instead. Not a bad substitute. Jamie and Colin had to leave for Singapore early next morning so we didn't stay up late for once!

In Ulsan it is time for the Chrysanthemum festival, so department stores, university, shipyards etc all have these spectacular flower exhibitions.

A-OK !

Not MacD ... the Italian a few shops further on!

Jade and Paula with their pretty special shell plates

Saturday morning I got up for a bike ride with Ingo. It was a beautiful morning and halfway through the ride at 9:30, it was already too hot to sit in the sun! Clear sky, no wind and 25 degrees. For the third ride in a row I managed to complicate my life a little. First the gear on my bike got messed up, then I lost the cover of my cell phone and this week my watch came off on one of the trickier sections ... one of those steep singletracks where you don't really want to take your eyes away from the trail to see whether you lost your watch or if it was just some branches brushing against your arm. Anyway - it was just a cheapie bought for work, but now I will be watchless for the remaining of our time here.

Watch still in place ....

One of my favorite mountain views around here

Another good vierw from the Pagoda above the Hyundai Motor Company (car factory). Check out the fumes over the petro-chemical area south of the river (left) !

Watch still in place

Watch gone .... I say mountainbiking but it's by far not all about biking. Some descents are just too steep and dangerous to attempt on the bike!

Check this dude out ....

Pulling for Korea!

At Bangeojin Harbour with Hyundai Offshire in the background.

In the afternoon the wind picked up and it clouded over just as we were getting ready for the lightweight survey at work. To find the weight of the "bare" ship we first have to measure all the levels in the tanks, then go through the ship to make sure that everything is onboard and account for the weight of extras and missing items before we end the exercise with checking the draught marks. With all this information we can calculate how much water the ship displaces and therefore how much it weighs. With the information regarding extras and missing items and the volume of what is in the tanks, we can calculate the "bare ship" weight. This is also the first time we see something which actually resembles a ship and not a heap of junk !! Up until the lightweight survey the ship is just soooo dirty (the last week we have only gone onboard if we had inspections - it wasn't a place you would choose to be if you didn't need to be there). The dust hung all over, steel chips flying in the air and welding sparks falling from overhead, but for the lightweight survey the ship magically cleans up overnight and looks completely different.

Our last ship is almost finished. It will go for sea trial next week and be delivered in December if all goes well.

In the evening we were invited to the 3rd birthday of our friend Mr. Kim's daughter. Saturday at 6:30 is a bad time to leave your house in Ulsan, but we were still a little surprised when it took us 20 minutes to go the first kilometer only ! But it is the same conditions for everybody and we pulled into the parking lot 25 minutes late but only a few seconds behind our friends! We were eating at the airport Lotte Mart - the Alaska seafood restaurant - very considerate of Mr. Kim, as he knows that Paula is a vegetarian and that I struggle if I have to sit on the floor!!!! On top of that it is a brilliant place for the kids to run around and play with balloons etc. We had a really nice time but were surprised that we returned home with more presents than we had when we arrived!


Cutting the cake

.. and blowing the candles ... even if it was her cousins birthday (but when she is too shy to do it ....)

Today, Sunday, we have taken it a little easy. The weather continued to deteriorate so we had to bring the umbrella when we headed for the old downtown to top up on consumer goods (we are going for the last few deals before heading home to Sweden where the things are a bit more expensive!) I came away with some much needed sports shorts (are you ready Tom ?) and both of us got a new pair of Columbia shoes. The trap we always fall into!!!