September 28th 2008 - Litzi

September 28th 2008

Busan and visitor !

I know that it is becoming a bit of a habit, but let me just start with a peculiar photo from last weekend's bicycle ride. I took it at a training ground for the military reserve, and it is a sign board showing how to catch a North Korean !

The week was pretty normal until Friday, when we went to Busan for a company dinner with out site team there (we are building ships in two locations in Korea - Ulsan and Busan). I had an inspection in Busan anyway, so Paula came with me in the morning. The plan was to stay in Busan, saving 4 hours in a car. After the inspection we were invited for lunch by the subcontractor. I think the young guys were happy to have a woman around instead of just me !! haha ... ! When they invite me for lunch, we normally go to a pretty good local restaurant, and I end up very well fed. Friday was no different, so we left with our bellies well rounded !

Flemming had tried to get us a room in the Komodor Hotel, a really nice Korean style building in the middle of town. Unfortunately they were full, so we had to make do with a photo !

The Komodor Hotel in Busan

In the evening we met with the crew and the site team in a Korean/Norwegian phillipphino bar ! Don't worry ... we were confused as well. The crew of our ships are all phillipphinos, so they were happy to be in familiar surroundings. Many of the crew have been sailing with the previous ships we have built here, so we already know eachother. Some of the site team members have even sailed together with some of the crew before going ashore, so you can probably imagine the fun we had !

Before the Brandy came on the tables !

Stories from the high seas ... Tommy and Flemming

Hans and Fernando

And the horrible cigars were brought out (I know - I sound like an old fart, but I really don't like the smell of them)

Saturday we spent sightseeing in Busan, as an old classmate of Paulas was flying in to Busan airport in the evening, and we didn't want to drive all the way back to Ulsan just to return in the evening again. So we went to the Busan Tower, the Democracy Park and Beomeo Temple. Three sights and lunch will take up your whole day, with the heavy traffic of a big city.

The tall skinny one is Paula !!

There was also time for a little shoe repair.

... in the dungeon !

Busan as a city is a bit different from many other cities of similar size (4-5 million inhabitants). The city has obviously grown much more than what the surroundings can accommodate, so now it is spread out over I-know-not-how-many valleys. No matter where you stand (even at the top of Busan Tower) will you be able to see more than a fraction of the city, as some mountain will always hide another huge chunk of city. So it doesn't really feel like a very big city when you look at it from above. But when you have to drive somewhere ... well, that's a totally different story ! I tell you; Paula had a few good fights on her hand with the bus and taxi drivers ! And then I haven't talked about all the bridges and tunnels which you inevitally will be cursing all day long, when you mistakenly end up in - or on - one and can't turn back.

Paula in Beomeo Temple in Busan.

Peder the Neo-Nazi !!

Finally at the airport, we found out that Paula's friend Litzi was 1½ hour delayed !! Not what you want to hear after 8 hours of sightseeing ! And then she was even held up in customs, so we didn't get home until 11 pm. Well worn and tired ...

Today I went to play volleyball with a bunch of Russians and Ukranians while the girls slowly came alive (they had been gossipping until 2:30 am !), baked my bread and then we made a late exit to go show "our" city to Litzi. You will be able to read more about her visit here later on in the Visitor section of this web page - for now I will just tell you about a small group of farmers we came across. They were harvesting rice, so we stopped and had a look at it. The harvester had jammed, so we had good opportunity to walk around and see how everything worked. It was pretty interesting to see how it was done, even though this particular harvester was obviously not the most modern machine in Korea !

Rice harvesting near Gampo.

One of the rice farmers.

The women were the mechanics here ..

The harvester had jammed ...

Litzi in a rice field ! She was ecstatic !

Below you can find a slide show with all the photos: