2010.11.08 - Swanie Lake

Prima Ballerina

The strike at the Yard escalated to new heights this week. The Yard has terminated the lunch for the workers and this has really spiced (?!) up the situation. The workers started by preparing and eating their lunch in the lobby. Then they brought forth a huge BBQ and prepared their food on the steps to the lobby instead. The smoke still went inside as did the workers and all their garbage. When that wasn't enough, they turned over their half-empty food bowls on the carpet, stamped it in with their safety boots and for good measure poured fish oil all over the elevators (this is what I have been told - I still swear that it is urine !). The Yard has grown tired of this destruction, so they just left the mess there for three days. We should get paid more .... especially considering that the strikers have now started to raze the offices from the bottom up. Our office is on the 9th floor, so we should have about a week left before we have to evacuate !! Unbelievable!

The good part about the extreme lunch measures is that we get to go to Lotte for Turkish lunch and Cold Stone for dessert!!

The bad part is when we have to return to this !

Be you glad that photos do not transfer smell!!! From Wednesday and the week out our lobby looked like this.

We finally received the ship model for review

This is the easiest inspection ever as it can be performed from our office !

Thursday we were invited out for dinner by the Yard in Ulsan. We went to a supposedly Vietnamese restaurant in Ilsan beach. I don't really know which part other than the rice paper pancakes was Vietnamese, but the food was good! This was the first "public appearance" by our new paint supervisor Bob who flew in from the Philippines on Saturday evening.

During the last two weeks we have been gradually moving our belongings from Busan to our new apartment in Ulsan. Wednesday was the last session with Serhiy in the fitness center and at the ping pong table and Friday was the last load trip (said in Kolean this becomes road trip!) to Ulsan. Paula is very happy to be back in Ulsan and she is also very pleased with our new apartment. It is quite a bit smaller than the Busan apartment but much more homey. The views are not quite as good but we still can't explain. Only problem is that it is looking out over the shipyard, but I try to look to the left, so I don't get reminded about work all the time!

Peo was not going to take ANY chances.... No way was she going to be left behind in the move!

Peo and me checking out the comfort level in our new apartment!

Peo trying to decide which bed to call

But as we had already called that one, she was evicted from the room and left to pick one of the other two: It's not easy to be the smallest member of the family!

Peder in the Office/bed room

The living room by night

Dining table/kitchen

Kitchen is quite small

Second guest room (or first if we don't count Peo's room as available!)

For a Korean apartment the decoration is fantastic. Korean apartments normally all look alike but this one has a special touch.

The balcony with our coffee table. The yard can be seen (barely) on the right

Saturday we drove back down to Busan (the car knows the route by itself by now). We were going to meet up with Serhiy for a cultural afternoon. Serhiy had found out that one of the world's best ballerina - the prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Opera in Sankt Petersburg, Ulyana Lopatkina, was performing in Busan and quickly persuaded Paula that we had to go. So off to Busan in our stiffest gear - after all, we did have VIP tickets! We arrived a bit early and settled down in the cafe for a sandwich. The cafe was full of Russian ballet dancers relaxing before the performance. It was only when a Korean girl asked for our "neighbor's" autograph that we realized we were sitting next to the prima ! The Korean girl was soooo happy to get her autograph .... she jumped and quietly shouted "YES" before returning to her chair where she half an hour later still couldn't wipe the smile off her face. Her day was just perfect ! It really isn't fair that people so ignorant about ballet get to sit so close to the prima ..... without even knowing it!

Serhiy had promised us that it would be the Swan Lake performed by the Bolshoi Ballet ... it wasn't quite the Bolshoi but the competitors from Mariinsky was no poor replacement we were told (ignorant as we were).

Serhiy and Paula at the Theatre cafe

Victor, XXX, Serhiy and Paula dressed up for the occasion

Peder and Serhiy waiting for the show to begin. Note the girl on the pillow behind us ... there were a lot of children there.All future primas?!?!

The show was really nice. The dancing beautiful, the costumes and the music likewise. But I must admit that some of the charm was missing. It just isn't the same to go for a classic performance in a concrete block as in an old European theatre. And when you are more or less the only persons dressed up for the show ..... And my last complaint is that there was only one small cafe to serve all of us at the intermissions. And no glass of red wine or martini. I don't have much experience with classic performances in Europe but I do know that it is a completely different experience. But for Korea it wasn't bad !! Gotta make compromises.

Before I was told off (for taking photographs)

Paula squeezed in another photograph at the honors

After the ballet we went to El Olive close to Costco. Although recommended and very busy, we will not be returning here. Too upmarket for us (read: too small portions!)

Sunday morning I hooked up with Kenny for a bike ride in the Ulsan mountains. This was pretty much Kenny's first ride offroad and I am not sure if it will be the last ! He had a bit of a rough time - partly due to his click-in pedals which tricked him time and time again. There was also the over-the-handle-bar stunt which drew a few drops of blood here and there. But true to his Scottish heritage he did not give up and met every hill with upright head.

Kenny doing the walk of shame (not really - it is normal to walk up at least one hill on your first ride on Yeompo)

Beautiful Fall weather this weekend. The colors are starting to show.

The best season for MTB has just started !

In the afternoon Anders, Marlene and Oliver came over for the first time in over three years! They had just returned from 3 years in Valdivia and were HAPPY to be back! The girls have been waiting impatiently for this day and they were almost impossible to part again. But eventually we had to go to HomePlus for shopping and then back to their place to meet the latest addition to the family - their dog Luna. Although only about half the size of Peo she does not only have half the personality! Ten times the energy for sure ! It's good to have them back and I am sure that we will see plenty of them as they live just down the hill from us.