2012.01.15 - X-mas and Ulsan

A changed Ulsan

After a bit of a turbulent time, we have now landed in Ulsan, Korea, where we expect to stay for the next 20 months. Although we are happy to be back, we are a little annoyed to live with a jet lagged cat ! Her biological clock is off and she therefore starts meowing at 4 in the morning, thinking that we have forgotten her feeding time! Damn ... that doesn't help our own jet lag one bit!!

But let's start at the beginning:

We left Oslo on December 21st. On the 22nd we were busy preparing everything that we needed to bring to Korea. On the 23rd the packers arrived and with normal efficiency they finished in 3 hours and our container was on it's way to Busan via Århus and Hamburg. Unfortunately it will take almost 2 months before we see it again!

32 boxes and still our apartment looked just as furnished as before - we have SO many things!

Bye bye container - see you in two months

I had ordered a feeding robot for Peo, so that we could go on short trips without the use of a cat sitter. I spent most of the remaining Friday on trying to program the robot to feed her on the right times. It wasn't easy - I don't know how it can be so difficult to make a useful manual, but it apparently is! In the end I managed to get it right and I got the OK from Paula to use it over the X-mas weekend when we were going to Fyn. Early on the Saturday we took the train to Brenderup. X-mas was celebrated at my aunt Karen's place in Tommerup. My family has a long tradition of getting together on X-mas eve and although the attendance gets smaller and smaller (down to about 10-12 from 20-22), this year we could celebrate the 50th anniversary of the tradition!

Around the world X-mas is a time of excessive eating and our family is no different in that aspect. Roast duck, caramelized potatoes, red cabbage salad, boiled potatoes and brown sauce for main and rice pudding for dessert. Three servings of each brought me to my limit! And then I didn't even find the almond (an almond is hidden in the rice pudding and whoever finds it wins a prize). There were three bowls of rice pudding and therefore three almonds to be found. My uncle Ole found the first, Paula the second but nobody found the last .... an not from lack of trying (THREE portions and I don't even like rice pudding!!).

Making the last arrangements with my "Taiwanese! sister over Skype.

Looking for the last almond - unsuccessfully.

And then around the Christmas tree to burn some calories!

Henrik, Else Marie, Karen and Jesper

I had made a photo book of the farm for my dad and it was very well received

Christmas day we drove over to the western part of Denmark to visit my sister Merete. They in turn had other visitors - Jesper's mother + boyfriend and my nephew Silas. It was a good windy day with another mountain of food, sweet and cookies! Next day we got up early and headed to Copenhagen airport with my parents. My other sister Inge was flying in from Taiwan at 10 in the morning and we were flying out at 5 in the afternoon, so we had to be organized in order to get some time together. We picked her up and continued to our apartment in Malmö. After lunch and a stroll it was back across the bridge and onward to Chile!

Chile is another story ... to be told next time I have a few hours spare !

For now I will fast forward a couple of weeks to January 9th when we returned to Sweden. One day of working from home and catching up with friends and then onward to Korea.

Nicolás had grown so much during their vacation in Argentina. Now he was walking and almost talking. Here with Tom.

Peo usually handles our travels really well, but for some reason she was not coping too well this time. She was meowing all the way from the apartment to the airplane and wanted to leave her transport case. We tried everything to soothe her but nothing helped. Until we boarded the plane and she calmed right down and didn't cause any fuss at all for the remaining part of the journey. She's a good cat!

So - back in Korea. Both Peo and Paula are happy here. Me too. The sun has been shining and the mountains look good ! We have spent the weekend driving around the neighborhood and even though we have only been away for 7 months, Ulsan (well Bangeojin) seems like a completely new town. Old cafe/bar/restaurants have closed and a large number of new ones have opened up in their place. The old foreigners' compound now has a renovated clubhouse but as they have no liquor license, the place is completely deserted and without future! The new road over to Jujeon Beach has been inaugurated, SeKwang Heavy Industries (my previous workplace) has stopped all activities and Bangeojin has new buildings popping up all over the place. And not only that .... the big towers in downtown are complete, the road through Yeompo is moving along and I saw that the pillars for the new bridge across the river is under construction, the building across Homeplus is inaugurated, the Daewanggam Park has been upgraded as has the backroad to Bangeojin harbour from there, the buildings the same place are getting along and so on..... Loads of changes.

Paula at Daewangam park

Looking towards the point

Paula on the bridge of the new walk around the reservoir

Not too keen on this upgrade. A bit too plastic and what's with the music (notice the loudspeakers on the light post) ??

The other resevoir is much nicer. It's much more natural. Paula liked the colours in the ice...

Signature posture at the smoke signal station on Bongdae (above HHI)

Abandoned blocks at SeKwang slipway No 1

And an abandoned ship. A sad sight.

Gabriel in his new car - and my colleague Tommy

Our new neighbors - Isis and Tommy