Thursday, January 29, 2009

Some random moments

Things have been moving quickly here lately, so I figured I'd dump a bunch of experiences onto one page instead of sorting them all out into separate stories.

  • I finally have a job (training starts tomorrow) teaching English to adults. I don't know yet whether it will be business English or just prepping people for Sara's classes. All in all, I had two interviews, one mock teaching and another surprise interview with the #2 in command at the company. After the interview we went to lunch and had the best food I've had here yet - some noodles and beef, cooked at the table. This really was the first beef I've intentionally eaten in over 10 years - I may have given up on being a vegetarian, but force of habit meant that I never really got around to eating much meat... I got this far without it, so why do I need it? Anyway, it probably would have been culturally inappropriate for me to no want to eat the food, so good thing I had no qualms! It was delicious!
  • The Lunar New Year was last weekend. It is the biggest holiday in Korea (so I've heard) and people go back to their homes for it, meaning Seoul empties out. Sara and I were going to go to Busan in the south for the holiday, but train tickets were sold out. Staying in Seoul was nice - the quietest we've seen it. The subways ran fewer services and there were not many people on. Even the outdoor market closed down - there were taxis driving down it (it is closed to cars normally) looking confused - they had probably never been on that street before.
  • Sara and I went out to dinner and a cultural show with a friend of her's from graduate school. We went to a Brazilian restaurant where meat was the name of the game - they bring it in a never ending stream to you your table on skewers. Steak was my favorite, the roast beef and garlic beef were pretty good, chicken hearts were surprisingly good and the chicken wings were poor. I turned down the pork dishes - though I heard they were the best out of all.
  • The cultural show was an hour and a half of traditional drumming, dancing, singing and music. The drums were ok, if a bit loud, but they had a metal cymbal-like percussion instrument that they just beat without mercy, which was piercing. The more serious dances were a bit too sophisticated for me (read slow). The singing was a great sort of wailing guttural haunting strange sound.

    The best part they saved towards the end - the drummers dance around with special hats on that have spinning ribbons on them... something like this:

  • As part of the show, two of the performers were trying to show the other up. They got out some plates and spun them on sticks and would do a trick, asking for the audience for applause. One was good natured and the other bad - he would always give the other guy a thumbs down. They then went out into the audience, looking for volunteers. Despite my best efforts at ignoring them, I got chosen to come up on stage and was given a spinning plate on a stick and told to throw it up in the air for the other guy to catch. Of course I was given the bad natured fellow as a receiver and he let my first toss fall to the ground, despite it being on target. I played along and he caught my second throw. As a thank-you, I got the following prize:

    What I need a 2.5 foot bamboo pipe for, I will never know.
  • I went back to LSD Fixed Gear and got invited to a group ride on Sunday. They are having a film shoot for an UNQLO project and need footage of riders. I'm borrowing a kind of wonky bike - loose bottom bracket and hubs - but I'll make due. A teaser:
  • Overcoming the language barrier, I deduced what the beautiful Del Rosa is destined for: being painted, given some stickers of a company I've never heard of and added to the collection. Not for sale - just repainted and relabeled nice frames. On the lighter side, there is a bike company called Gayass.

No comments: