Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tomorrow is the Day!

It's wedding time!!! We're about 11 hours away. See you on the other side. I am so happy my family and friends are here for it. I love you, Jeong Mi!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Family on the Way

Dad, Mom, Jeremy, Melissa and Alan are on a place right now. They should be almost in San Francisco. Then they hop on a direct flight to Incheon. They get here tomorrow at about 2:55 p.m., if all goes well.

Tomorrow might be a busy day. We're going to the hanbok shop, then, hopefully, to a baseball game. Let's hope the rain gives us a break for a few hours tomorrow evening. And then, of course, for a few hours on Sunday morning/afternoon.

It's going to be a fun week. Wedding, here we come!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Perfect Bachelor Day

After last weekend, I didn't think a better day could happen here in South Korea. But on Saturday, my friends organized the best possible bachelor party they could have. It was perfect.

At about noon, we headed to Songo Resort. If you look in my past pictures, you'll see I've been there before. But this one was just with the guys. Woo Min, Pel, Popper, Onson, Spill, Jun, Barry and Isaac all came out to celebrate with me. We grilled burgers that Pel made, played soccer, threw the disc around and played the awesome soccer/volleyball combo game.

We even played against some Koreans and had some sand wrestling matches. The sun was out, but not beating down. It was incredible.

After that, we came home for 30 minutes to clean up, because it was onto Wolmido. Anyone who has seen my blog knows how much I love Wolmido. It's a great boardwalk with games, food, rides and great people-watching areas. There's nothing better to me on a nice day than hanging in Wolmido.

And that's just what we did. We strolled around the boardwalk, had a few drinks and rode some rides. It was so much fun, as usual.

After that, we headed to Guworldong to hit Bar Q. But I was dead tired by that point. We only stayed there for one drink and probably about 30 minutes before making our way home. There's not much more that could've made the day better.

Once again, thanks to my wonderful friends, Korea is turning out to be a fun place to live. Thanks, everyone!!!

For all the Bachelor Day pics, head here!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Anseong 10 Kilometers of Love

This may have been my best weekend in Korea yet. I've been here more than 2 1/2 years, but haven't had such a full weekend with so many new experiences. It was just incredible.

On Friday, we did our usual deal and hung out at Radio. That has definitely become our club, and since Woo Min gave four of us VIP cards, we get 10 percent off on all our bills. I'm just really comfortable there. And Woo Min is more than just a bartender/owner, he's a good friend. In fact, he'll be one of the four friends carrying me in for my wedding.

On Saturday, Jeong Mi and I went to another bar owner/friend's wedding with Bryan and Kim. Mike is the guy who used to own Go Bar. It's the bar in Inha that we have frequented quite often over the last couple years. He's always been really good to us, and I was even on his big, blow-up advertisement out front of the bar.

So we went to his wedding at a wedding hall in Bupyeong. While the wedding hall was pretty similar to many of the others ones we've been to, it was the food that stood out. This was probably the best wedding buffet I've had in Korea yet.

Another really cool thing happened at the wedding, too. Apparently there's a bit of tradition with the throwing of the bouquet that is a bit different from America. In America, we have the single girls get up there to catch it. In Korea, they want a soon-to-be-married girl to do it. As luck(?) would have it, Jeong Mi is the only girl who fell into that category.

So she got up there in front of a big crowd and caught the bouquet of nice, yellow roses. We even got a free cake as the couple who came away with the bouquet. That was really fun.

There was a soccer game Saturday night that I really wanted to go to, but Bryan and Kim we're trying to talk Jeong Mi and I into going 93 km south with them to Anseong, where they would be running a 10k the next day.

As has been my habit over the last couple of years, I usually don't do anything big on Saturday night, and then so something restful on Sunday. But that's a habit I've been trying to break, and have been successful so far.

So I decided that we'd take Bryan and Kim up on their offer and join them down south. So we went home, packed our stuff and headed to Emart to get some supplies. One of those supplies included a Rayboard for me. It's this awesome skateboard with only one wheel in front and one wheel in back. The center of it is a big spring, so you move it by rotating your feet back and forth. I always see students buzzing around on them, and decided it would be my summer toy purchase.

We got on our way around 3 p.m. and got down there around 6 p.m. We would've gotten there sooner, but we saw a sex shop in a tiny pink trailer by the side of the highway and we had to stop and check it out. Did we buy anything? Oh, the stories we could tell.

Anseong is a very small area. This little town might be smaller than my home town of Franklin, PA. And Franklin only has about 6,000 people. What I'm saying is this place is AWESOME. There are no huge apartment complexes or neon lights. It's just small buildings, a main street and actual houses with yards and gardens. It was like being in Small Town, USA, South Korea.

The 10k was happening as part of Anseong's cultural festival. It was like a smaller version of Applefest. They even set up a big stage in the town square area with some little (falling apart) carnival rides and food booths. On the stage was a variety of martial arts shows, singing and bands.

We hung out in the area for a bit after we arrived, and Bryan and I were flagged down by a police officer who asked to see our IDs. As he was checking our IDs, he was asking where we were from, how long we've been in Korea and how far they were running the next day.

It was too perfect of a day to be upset. And really, we think he just checked our IDs as an excuse to practice some English with us. We were joking that we are probably the only two Americans who have been in that town since the war. The more we thought about it, the less it seemed like a joke.

We stayed that night in the Shot motel, which was pretty newly built. It had great gear on the inside, and Bryan's room even had blacklights. Unfortunately, our blacklights were broken.

We got up bright and early the next day to make our way to the race site. It was just a few kilometers outside of the small town at the public square in front of the local hospital/old folks home. There were a ton of tents and spaces set up for the various teams and organizations who had runners entered.

We didn't have a tent, so we just hung out while everyone was stretching and getting ready.

When the time came for the race, Bryan and Kim got into place, and they were off. They took a little over an hour for their 10k. Kim has been running lately, but Bryan hadn't trained at all. Also, the heat was just sweltering. I was just hanging with Jeong Mi and I was sweating.

After the race ended, we headed back into town to hang at the festival some more. We first went into one of the event halls to see some of the Chinese-inspired art. While there, an older man came up to me and asked me if I spoke Korean. He then proceeded to lead me around the whole exhibit and explain all the paintings to me. He even introduced me to one of the teachers/artists. He was a little surprised when I asked to take a picture with him. But it's that small-town mentality that's so nice.

We headed across to the square after that because there was a mariachi band from Mexico City who played. And they were GREAT. We bought a couple of beers and hung out to listen to them. It turns out they are staying in Bucheon, which is just 20 minutes away from us on the subway. So we got their email address and I said I'd send the names and numbers of local bars. Hopefully we can see these guys again.

We hung out for a little more after the Mexican band finished, took int he festival, are some corn dogs and relaxed. We then hit the road to make our way home.

Since it was only about 5 p.m. when we got back, we decided to grab some galbi and beers and hang at Radio a bit to have a night cap.

All in all, this weekend was full of new experiences and really fun times. The weather was beautiful and we were with good friends. If it gets any better than this, I won't know what to do with myself.

Picture time!

Mike's wedding

Anseong 10k

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Barry's Return

We had a three-day weekend last week thanks to Buddha. We all had Monday off as it was a national holiday.

The weekend started off with a bang when I got a text from Barry saying he was interested in coming to Incheon. Of course, I did not hesitate to give him the go ahead.

On Friday night, we hung around Yeonsu-dong, and went to the batting cages and Radio. We pretty much just relaxed and had fun, playing darts and drinking some beer.

On Saturday morning, Barry joined Jeong Mi and I to meet Jeong Mi's parents at a hanbok shop in Guworldong. We pretty much finalized our hanbok choices. Jeong Mi's parents are buying hers and renting mine. Barry even got into the fun and tried on some hanboks.

I had pretty much given up on the idea of getting the color I want, but Jeong Mi's parents helped me sway her, so I will be wearing a great yellow and blue one.

After that, we headed over to the square where all the restaurants and bars are. We originally planned to go to the baseball game, but due to the nice weather and holiday weekend, the game was packed. We decided to skip the game and continue to hang in Guworldong and play at the arcade for awhile.

We sang in the tiny karaoke booths, drank some beers, shot some arcade basketball and fired the pellet guns.  The karaoke booths are the best. It's like a noraebang, but just big enough for about four people and it's 500 won per song. That's about 50 cents to sing anything you want.

Even though we didn't go on Saturday, we decided to take in the baseball game on Sunday. It was packed, and even though we got there almost two hours early, we still had to sit way up in the upper decks. And as is once again becoming my thing, the Wyverns lost yet again.

On Monday, we took advantage of the beautiful weather to head over to Sunrise Park in New Songdo. Jeong Mi and I went with Bryan, Kim, Geoff and Eun Hye. We set up our blankets and we each prepared some food and drinks. We had a great time playing in the fountain, kicking the soccer ball, playing hacky sack and just relaxing. I even saw one of my students and chatted with her parents a little bit.

Don't you wish every weekend was three days long? The weather was beautiful and we spent time with good friends. I can't really ask for much more.

As always, you know where to see the pics!

Wedding pics

Yeonsu fun-su



Sunrise Park

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

School Announces My Marriage

Every morning, we get a message from one of the head teachers with birthdays, hospital notices, birth announcements and so on. It's just a little update to spread word about things that are going on with the teachers.

Well, my wedding news made it into today's announcement. Here it is:

오늘도 좋은 날이 되십시오.
* 6월 2일은 그레고리력으로 153번째

     - 친목회 소식 -
♥ 드디어 '결혼' 소식 ♥
금년에 처음으로 결혼 소식을
주인공은 Aaron Bruckart
(애런 브럭알트-영어체험)님입니다.
일시 : 2011. 6. 26(일) 오전 11시
장소 : 인천도호부청사 객사마당

♥ 타국에서 외롭게 이루어지는
혼사(婚事)인 만큼 우리 회원님들의
각별하신 관심이 필요합니다.♥

- 만남의 기적 -
 세상을 보는 데는
 두 가지 방법이 있다.
 모든 만남을
 우연으로 보는 것과
 기적으로 보는 것이다.
   - 알베르트 아인슈타인 -

* 첨부 파일 :  감상 사진(청산도의 청보리)

I'm sure you can see which part is about me. It just tells the location and date of the wedding, and says something about how this being a wedding in a foreign country, everyone should support me. Also, 주인공 means 'hero.' Haha. So that's nice.

The bottom passage is a quote from Albert Einstein.

So that's the type of thing we see every morning, and it was a nice gesture to see my name in it.