October 11th 2009 - Gusti Puteri

October 11th 2009

Back on the bike

OK - first I need to inform you that the entry for our trip to Tibet and Nepal is now ready. I spent all Monday, which was still Chuseok (Korean holiday), getting the photos organized and writing up the story. Read about it here. Or see a full screen slideshow here (choose "maximized view" under options - then slideshow).

Tuesday we went over to Jamie and Colin's for movie night. They had just got back from Singapore, so the hopes were high for the movie selection. Didn't happen ... we watched a Malay movie called "Princess of Mount Ladang" .... loosely translated. Anyway, after a couple of hours Her Royal Highness Gusti Puteri was seriously testing our patience! It was acceptable as a cultural experience but .... not good as a movie. Rates ranges from 8 to 3 .... Gusti Puteri - not gut, man!

Everybody happy here, so this must be taken BEFORE the movie !!! hehe .....

But the food was good. If I can suggest something to Malaysia - truly Asia - then it would be to concentrate on the cooking and forget the movie making. You gotta insource your strengths and outsource your weaknesses!!!

Thursday Mari and Gokhan came over for a theory session. Gokhan is taking a scuba diving class at Peder's Dive Resort (!) and we had a few theory sessions to catch up with. While we were digging into the core scuba principles, Paula and Mari went for a walk and a coffee.

Friday we hooked up with my colleagues Rodel and Fernando for dinner. After a bit of a disappointment over Chuseok when the sashimi restaurant at Ilsan Beach was closed, we had better luck and found the same restaurant open, though pretty full. People squeezed together and we managed to get 4 seats and a ton of raw tuna. Delish as always. After that we went for post-dinner drinks at Ocean View, with the usual mix of expats and live music.

WAKE UP, RODEL !!! At Ocean view with Rodel and Fernando

I managed to talk Rodel into joining me for a Saturday morning bike ride in the mountains, so I got up early and headed for the Yeompo Mountain with him. He started out by downplaying his physical resources but he did quite well and we ended up riding for about two hours. As all other first-timers (except Ingo) he had to walk up some hills, but managed very well on the narrow singletracks - only once hitting a tree !!

He even had enough energy to smile ! Rodel on Yeompo Mountain.

He did really well on the single tracks ....

Although I heard a lot of "Oh my God"s on the trail behind me, he only ran into real problems once when a tree sneaked up on him!

It was my first ride after my crash 5 weeks ago. I was limping for three weeks after the crash, including the first week in Tibet, and I still can't lift anything heavy with my arm stretched out in front of me. The healing process has taken a long time and I am worried it might be a sign of old age!!! If so, I will fight it to the very end (well, I pretty much have to, eh?!).

After the bike ride Paula and I picked up Mari and hit the road. We were not put off by last weeks unsuccessful COSTCO trip with Jamie and were going to give it another try with Mari, to confirm our suspicion that Jamie had jinxed us the previous week !! True enough - it was now open! But one should never set out on a shopping spree on an empty stomach, so we first went to Hello Thai - just behind the BMW dealer at Haeundae Beach. The girls said it was really good - I don't know myself, as my tongue is still on fire!

The Ulsan World Music Festival was supposed to take place this weekend. The two previous years this has been one of the absolute highlights of the year here, but this year it was in parts canceled due to the swine flu. What a ridiculous excuse ... I reckon that they had problems with the financing, as it is a free festival sponsored by the municipality. Instead of the festival with usually 20-30 bands on three stages, they now had only 5 bands playing on the small stage. And as all the interesting bands for us had all been canceled, we had decided not to go to the concerts but instead meet up for dinner at Laguna instead. But alas - Jamie and Colin stood us up and Mari had had enough of us for one day, so we stayed in and had a coffee and apple pie with Fernando instead, as he came down to pick up his 3 kg of cheese, 2 kg of ham and 1.2 kg of salami! (Cheese and salami is GOLD here in Ulsan!)

Sunday morning I went over to Mari and Gokhan's for breakfast. Paula stayed home with an iffy tummy (too much apple pie!). Jamie and Colin were also there for the restart of our recurrent breakfast sessions. After breakfast Gokhan and I went to the pool for the last confined water training sessions. We were lucky that the pool still had water in it because it was officially closed last weekend, but the water was FREEZING! Even with a wetsuit I was cold (I am known for being a bit of a cold water wimp though!). I missed my dry suit!

The breakfast was really good, so I don't know what Jamie was so angry about !!

Jamie and Colin stopped by the pool to see the action.

Action Man!

OK - it's enough now ..... I want to go home. HELLO - can you hear me ?!?! Please ... can I go now ? I am really cold. Please ....

PS. Sorry Jamie ..... It is pick-on-Jamie-week. You know why!