Paintballing, Easter and a Spring Thunderstorm

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


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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

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So I decide to cram several more events into a what has now become a typical weekend in Korea.

Saturday morning, I went to Bundang to meet my girlfriend for a coffee. She brought her cute little dog. Then I took a 1-1/2 hour metro trip clear across Seoul to meet a group heading out for a paintball game. Unfortunately the destination had only one field, which was a slight dissapointment. Nevertheless with 42 people it was huge game and highly entertaining - getting mowed down by, and mowing down, complete strangers. Highlights: Crawled into a pipe and became a deadly sniper, ran over a ridge and took out 3 players on the oteher team before dying in a glorious blaze, snuck up on a Aussie girl getting in a fire fight before shotting her in the head and took a nasty quadracep hit attempting to run for cover. After the game, spoke to the girl on the bus who, oddly, is from Camrose. Stranger yet she is apparently the room mate of one of the girls I did my TESL training with. Bizzare! Anyway, I ended up blurting out that I was craving East Indian food for dinner; she happened to know a place. Back through Seoul we went, located 'Ganga' and had a great chat about Korea, Edmonton over an East Indian dinner. Then it was back to Jochiwon.

Sunday, I was up at Noon. My first time genuinely sleeping-in in over 5 weeks! I then prepared an Easter Sunday breakfast. The menu: banana pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, maple syrup and 2 pots of Tim Horton's coffee. Oh, by the way, I gave up soju for lent. I sort of cheated as its vile stuff on any occasion. Avoiding it at Korean parties was the difficult part; so I resorted to confusing the Koreans by saying something stupid, like: "No thanks. I suffer from narcolepsy, it could kill me". Anyway, back to the Easter Sunday breakfast, the meal took a bloody long time to cook. So, I now had 15 minutes to eat before departing to Daejeon. I had to jam it all down. Not the most enjoyable, but damnit I was gonna have my Easter Sunday breakfast come-hell-or-high-water! With a grotesquely full belly I meet the group at the bus station and we headed to catholic Easter Sunday mass... in English! At the end, they gave out hardboiled eggs, strawberries and Korean custard cake (fortunately, not mixed together) when sending us on our way. Then it was off to Bennigans for dinner, an "Irish" restaurant owned by the Outback Steakhouse conglomerate. It wasn't Irish... they had fajitas and kimchi. Although, it was a pleasant end to my first Korean Easter Sunday.

Tuesday came, had a "meeting" with office of education. It involved mostly food and soju. Afterward, I had the brillant idea to goto the gym and do a 5 KM run on the machine. Why? This coming Sunday I have a 5KM spring race. However, a run with soju in the system should not be on your list of things-to-do. Needless to say I felt a little dodgy thereafter. Then around 4AM, after passing out, last night and huge thunder storm rolled through Jochiwon. Its April 15th! I don't think I ever remember one that early in the year in Canada. To add to my alarm the thunder in Korea sounds different. You think I am crazy? In Edmonton it cracks and rolls with a deep base-style rumbling. Here it sounds like artillery fire, more tin than base. I don't need to tell that with the wing-nut leader of North Korea, only 285 KM away, thunder that sounds like artillery is in itself deeply alarming.

On Friday they had a fire drill at Jochiwon Boys Middle School. It was quite different from the suprise fire drills of my youth in Canada. This was a highly orchestrated events, requiring a full afternoono of consultation with the students. They still had to run it twice, due to slow times, despite the planning! A fire truck showed up, hosing down the ineffectual teachers for there failure. Many were highly unpleased by this. I am pleased the foreigner exemption policy worked for this occasion. Fire drill-related highlights: a real military strecher complete with body, fire truck hosing the teachers, teachers' failed attempt to put out a trash fire, blood curdling screams as the boys ran out of the school (remember many don't have their manly voices yet - it is middle school).

So I'll let you know how the run goes. Check back later.

Korean quote of the week: "Kimchi cures everything!"
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