October 14th 2007 - Apartment

October 14th 2007

Culture shock !!!

This week I was culture shocked twice. Let me explain:

Tuesday we were invited out for dinner by the yard, as our boss supreme (!) from Denmark was visiting along with three of our business partners. So off we went to the other side of town - a 1½ hour drive in the rush hour. Fearing that we would be taken to a typical Korean bulgogi restaurant (Korean barbecue), we were pleasantly surprised when the minibus stopped outside a very fancy restaurant, on a hill overlooking the town. It was one of these very low-profile restaurants which you would never find yourself, as they don't have to do any advertising. More like a upper class house than a restaurant. Anyway, the culture shock came with the food - which by the way was excellent. Lots of seafood and lots of whiskey. Even whiskey in beer, which is something I don't need to repeat. Apart from several shellfish which I had never seen, not to say eaten, before, I tried a few bites of whale. I can't say that it was bad, but the ratio of meat to fat was pretty low ! Still, it was one of very few dishes which was not raw. The real shock came with the next plate. In comes a plate with what looks like live worms. A closer look reveals that we are now about to octopus which has only recently been cut up and therefore still moves around like crazy. It was mad ... the whole plate was on the move ! And they kept moving even after being put in your mouth. Still, it didn't taste too bad, once you got over the initial apprehension. It actually turned out to be a very nice evening where our Korean hosts ended up singing Santa Lucia with our Italian guest!

Second culture shock was a lot more expected ... it had to happen eventually. I saw a Korean driver - alone in his car on the highway - watching TV on his windshield navigator screen. It doesn't sound that bad, but when you are driving in tight Korean (= insane) traffic, you are a little taken aback when the guy in front of you is watching the daily soap opera ....

This week also saw the return of my colleague Ole and his girlfriend Renata. She arrived pretty much at the same time as the Danish Queen, but I think this was unintentional ! She will stay here 5 weeks and she and Paula have already managed to fill out all the week days with activities - I wonder if I'll see anything of Paula these 5 weeks!! Two other colleagues also had their wives come out this week, so Saturday we all went out for dinner and drinks. This Sunday I took on the Croatian squash "mafia" ... I survived to tell the tale !!

Ole and Renata came over for a movie (The Gods must be Crazy), but I guess that Ole was still a bit jet lagged. Either that or he didn't like the movie, which is more unlikely !

We have inherited a lot of plants, decorations and furniture from or friends who have left these last months, so now it's time to show all of you how our apartment looks.


The kitchen was refurnished (!) as late as today.

Part of our jungle on the balcony.

Lots of plants

The guest room has been redecorated and is now the dining room

A Sunday on the couch

Peo, on the other hand, had to make do with my dirty boiler suit. She was a little p***** off that we had occupied her room (the guest room)

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