Revised: The Anti-climatic Week

Trip Start Aug 30, 2005
Trip End Aug 29, 2006

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Well the title is rather self explanitory - I debated whetehr I should post for this one or not. I figured that you should know that my life is not all fun and game, hehe. As if you were ever in doubt.

I have been so busy up until now that this week has been relatively anti-climatic as well... little has happened. It is a good break, except that this is a full school week - so nevertheless busy. You last week I had 3 dinners-out with friends/co-workers, 2 sporting events and an all night party. Each preceding week has been similar in one manner or another.

So now this week, an unearthly quiet of only one dinner-out this week - with only one other scheduled this week and a low key weekend activity. My inactivity is evident in my writing this blog during the work week. Feel sorry for me! I tell you, feel sorry.

However I am probably writing this blog a little early as one of the other rules of Korean culture is last minute planning. Meaning a maximium of one days notice to a minimum of 5 minutes. I suppose this is like North America, but Korea tends toward the later of the two options.

I will leave the remaining space for any updates to this blog! So stay tuned for more exciting developments. New Developments (I knew I wrote this too soon):

So as I anticipated, my eventless week turned out to be arather interesting one yet again. Shortly after writing the final words in this particular blog, my mobile rang. It turned out that my venerable presence was being requested for an evening meal consisting of sam`gap`sa - a rather delicious pork/salad wrap thingy. You take some pork, stuff it in a leaf, add some various other thigies and stuff the whole thing in your mouth. If you haven't yet noticed, we do alot of eating over here. You'd think Koreans would be fat - they claim it is because of the kimchi.

After the meal we went to the sports park. It was a very orderly event. Many Koreans trudging around a well-maintained, astro turf soccer/track field never moving out of line or passing one another. It was rather alarming to watch. I'd had enough so I took a soccer ball and moved out onto the field. My adventurous fray onto the pitch was brought to a timely end when I was approached by an un-uniformed officer directing me off the field. At least he didn't have a gun.

Friday rolled along and it was about hometime when I was uncerimounously told that one of the teachers was having a housewarming party. My presence was requested. Another reoccuring theme in Korea; the need to have an fluid schedule so that others may give the least possible notice for an important event. So here I am being shuttled off to some event I am completely unprepared for - apparently I am supposed to bring a gift too. Hmmmm. I eyed the ginseng candy in my pocket and wondered if it would pass for a gift.

Now these things are great, the housewarming that is. Lots of food and booze, although I seem to suffering from the soju lately (Korean vodka-ish drink). I usually embellish details of these stories just slightly with the adjective choice. However in this next particular section, I am not. I entered the room and at first whiff it smelt great, the olfactory senses were blissful. Take off my shoes and enter the house. I am bowled over by the hideous smell of ammonia. Now for those of you who have had the pleasure of smelling ammonia, I don't need to elaborate; for those of you who don't, it smells like super strong cleaning supplies. I thought maybe they had just cleaned the place and left a cap off a jug of cleaner somewhere in the house.

No sir. I kept catching whiffs of the cleaner, regardless I dug in to the meal in front of me, as expected of a guest - kimchi, rice, korean pancake and fish. I came to the fish, never seen it before - but that doesn't mean much - and popped it in my mouth. Well, I found the source of the smell. It was the fish. Apparently it is a highly prized raw, fermented fish that tastes like ammonia. I didn't want to insult anyone so I swallowed and when 'ummmm'. I did not feel that way.

I was consoled by the fact that they had a 3 week old puppy that I played with. The fact that they had one, even earned them another go aat the ammonia fish from me. Maybe 3rd time's the charm; unfortunately I didn't make it to three.

I did other stuff on the weekend, but I leave it for the next blog. I bid you adieu.
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