2012.10.15 - Music Festival

Pirates' Day, Brodie's 1 year birthday and World Music Festival

Been busy recently - thus the missing updates to our diary. First things first .... we have booked a trip to Laos for Paula's birthday. Finally a vacation in sight! Paula really wanted to go to Japan for her 40th but seeing that she has already been there 8 times (!), I managed to sway the interest towards unknown territory. Don't get me wrong - I love Japan, but I just think that something new will be more memorable in the long run. And she has been talking about Laos for a long time. So in the end we are both pleased with the vacation plans.

A couple of weeks ago we joined the Pirates' Day at the clubhouse. This is normally the party for the closing of the swimming pool, but we managed to get one more swim in after the party. This late in the year the pool is nice and quiet. The party was anything but quiet. Imagine one zillion sword-carrying kids and large quantities of sugar and I am sure that you get the picture.....

The weather has cooled down very quick and with the lower temperatures comes the BBQ season. People just have more energy when it's not 30 Celsius and humid. Denae and Joey whom we met in Tsushima this spring joined us for one of the BBQs - that had been a long-standing plan of ours which hadn't materialized for a long time.

Pirates' Day at the clubhouse

AnneLin's pirate-cupcakes

Alexander was a real buccaneer

Anatoliy's kids managed to be the party's best behaved kids once again !

Paula and Zohre babysitting Luna - Nikki's small chihuahua. She's cute !

Last day of the pool season

Michael and Agnieszka warming up the grill down by the J-block

Paula with Joey and Denae - and AnneLin in the back

BBQ in front of our building - the X-block

Ruaraidh and Brodie

Kickboards and bicycles are highest fashion here at the X-block. There must be about 30 bikes and boards here and Ollie is one of the biggest fans!

Friday October 5th Ulsan World Music festival had already been open one day. We normally go for the Saturday to see the parade and the best bands, but this year we were fully booked with Brodie's 1st year birthday on the Saturday and a date with Kasra, Zohre and Nika on the Sunday. Luckily the program for friday and Saturday was almost identical, so we still got to see the bands we were interested in (except for the Hungarian gypsy band). First band was a large village and from Solomon Islands. It was interesting, but the girls were so hungry that not even 12 guys in loincloths could keep them interested ! So after a few songs we were off to the kebab-stand. 4-5 years ago there was only one kebab-stand at the festival - now there were 5 and 4 of them were Turkish. There are a couple of Turkish restaurants in Ulsan and Busan, but it still seems that they multiply over the Festival weekend ! There was even a Korean kebab-stand which is a little out-of-character. Anyway, we got our chicken kebabs and Paula her "kebab-but-without-meat" (the poor chef was a little bewildered !). I also had some Moroccan bread and meat-thing which was good - partly because I managed to remember 2-3 sentences in Arabic while ordering it. Not bad after 17 years of no use.

Solomon Island music

In the end, the girls hunger won over the loincloths!

One of the last evenings before the cold wind arrived

In line for a kebab

Next band was (believe it or not) a Danish band (Lovecat and the VanDangos) playing Jamaican Ska and Reggae. Having arrived from Denmark only 1 hour before the concert, they did really well and were in most people's eyes the highlight of this year's festival. Still, they didn't manage to get people out of their seats - but not from lack of trying.

In the end a few of the English teachers got out of their seats, but there wasn't really a dancing mood

Except for the lead singer, who was made out rubber and jelly!

Michael, Paula and Agnieszka

Buying a signed CD after the concert

That made Paula happy !

Last band was a New Zeeland diva as the program said. It also said that her music was a mix of folk, rock, pop, jazz, reggae, hip hop and many other music styles without any connection to each other. And yes - she was all over the place. A voice a la Amy Winehouse but just to busy visiting all the corners of today and yesterday's musical atlas. A bit of a disappointment and an early exit for us. But all in all it was a good festival as always.

DJ Click in the party tent

We met Ms. Yang (our secretary) and Jaggea (our friend from our last project in Busan) just before the last concert.

Saturday we cut a few vegetables and then headed down to the clubhouse to help Ruaraidh and Nicola prepare for Brodie's 1st birthday. The Turkish restaurant was hired to prepare the food, so it was kebabs for the second day running.Nice weather and lots of people, even though many people had cancelled last minute. That just meant more kebabs for us !

Brodie's Birthday - full of candy!

Mmmmm - yummy

Paula taking a photo of the picking game poster and the "what does Brodie weigh" competition (answer: 12 kg straight - he's a big boy!)

I did help out ..... I swear !

Torrin got a new hat from his bestest friend Scarlet

Chatting to Ib and Nina

OK - so this is where Brodie's future is decided .... will it be a long life as a doctor, sportsman, artist or ...?

Screwdriver !!! ... an engineer just like daddy! Next was a tennis ball - a sporty engineer .... again just like daddy.

You can see that daddy was pleased.

Caterpillar was the theme of the birthday party.

We never found out the deeper meaning of this, but it looked cool

Sunday we drove down to Busan to meet with some friends of ours for lunch. Zohre and Kasra had just moved to Busan and Paula wanted them to meet some of our friends there in order to start their own network. Unfortunately the last-minute-cancellations virus had caught on so it was only Håvard and Ingrid who could make it. Still, we had a good lunch at Gecko's on Haeundae Beach and Zohre and Ingrid seemed to get along very well. Unfortunately they had left the kids at home,, so Nika was a little bored I think!

After lunch we went back to their new apartment. everything in the apartment is so modern that we really felt like village folks from a different century! But it is a nice and comfortable apartment and both Zohre and Nika have settled well. Kasra is just working, so for him it is all the same - as long as the girls are happy.

Last weekend Trygve and Alexander went to Mokpo for the Formula 1, so we got to spend the weekend with AnneLin and Caroline. Caroline was so excited that she just couldn't wait for her mother on Saturday morning - she put on her shoes and ran out the door. AnneLin called us to let us know that she was on her way and a few minutes later Caroline arrived at our door. So we had tea and cookies for 10 minutes before AnneLin arrived. It's a little funny because Caroline really likes us but we don't really understand what she says ..... maybe that's why we are so popular!

Lunch at Hyundai Dept store with Caroline (and AnneLin)

Sunday I went to play volleyball in the morning. Then home for waffles at AnneLin's, then tennis with Agnieszka and Michael followed by a trip to the Botanical garden with AnneLin and Caroline followed by dinner at O'Taco with Jose - our Spanish friend who has returned to Ulsan recently. Busy day.

We have been very sporty lately. Although Paula has struggled with some back pain, she has managed to start both belly dancing and zumba. Then there is the squash once or twice a week. I add on volley once a week, biking twice/week and have even played a bit of tennis recently. Paula is planning to add kick-boxing to the weekly schedule and is only waiting for her back to stop messing around. Oh - and Michael and I have plans for kite-surfing, but so far I have not been able to join .... next time.....

I reckon we went to the Botanical Garden just in the nick of time. We caught it just before it got cold and the flowers were abundant.

Caroline checking out a butterfly

This one ...

The girls and tea roses

She enjoyed the butterflies more than the flowers, I think.

In Europe it would say "Please don't feed the animals" but here it says "We are really hungry - please feed us" !!!!

A little spooked ??

A nice day - autumn is normally the best time of year here in Korea. This year has been cold so far though.

The Botanical garden has a section with snakes, lizards and birds. But like all (or almost all) Asian zoos, it is rather depressing to see the conditions under which the animals are kept. These geese are OK, but we didn't like to see a Persian cat in a small cage.

The garden was nicer

Hiding from Caroline

For Paula's brothers - Universidad de Chile fans.


Paula and the rat - her zodiac animal

So it is a Botanical Garden, a zoo and a sculpture park all in one !

Caroline had a good day I think !

Playing tennis with Michael ...

while Agnieszka dances Gangnam-style !

Peo ... not so sporty. She is more into yoga !

Ran into my colleagues at cafe Ice Bean one Sunday. Paula, AnneLin, Randi, Olav, Alexander and trygve

Caroline combing Agnieszka's hair - for a price !