Ode to the Rooftops

15 07 2010

I write this post in appreciation for the little individual freedoms that still exist in Korea long after they have ceased in so many other countries thanks to those few idiots who go and blow it for everyone.  Possibly one of my favorite among these is the insanely easy access to nearly any roof of any building in the country.  I have indeed taken advantage of this perk and am no stranger to rooftop shenanigans, but I must say we discovered a real winner last night.  While escorting some traveling Hungarians about town, our eventual boredom of the ocean view from the sand led us to head out in search of a better place to enjoy our soju.  By this time it was rounding 2AM, businesses were closed and the flicker of neon lights was beginning to diminish from the water’s reflection.  There are twin towers to the east of the beach – the tallest buildings on the skyline.  We made the short stumble to the front doors from the street, and to my partial amazement the front doors were unlocked.  Too easy!  Up the elevator 20-something floors, through a few corridors and unfinished rooms, out another door and up a few ladders, we were taken by the most stunning view I have seen in Korea.  We were up high.. VERY high.  Convenience store drinks, a stunning view, and good company.  As they say in Hungary, Egeszsegedre!

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FINALLY made it!

24 04 2010

It’s hard to believe I am sitting here literally half-way across the world with the sun shining through my bedroom window.  If I wanted to get any further from home I would need to go to the moon!

My first day here couldn’t have been better; the director of my school, his wife, and their 2 adorable little boys (ages 9 and 12) picked me up from the airport with a little sign reading “Welcome Brittany” in colorful letters.  First things first – a quick tour of the city by way of a treacherous drive around town.  And I mean treacherous; the roads are crazy crowded and people drive more aggressively than in LA, all the while the wife (who was driving our car) was dedicating most of her attention to me and the boys in the backseat, while still weaving through traffic like it ain’t no thing!  Anywho, after getting a little bit of a feel for the city, we made our way down to Gwangalli Beach (above) for some Korean food.  OH MY GOD. Sooooo delicious.  Let it be said, that I have left my ‘no red meat’ rule back in the states; I will (try, at least) to eat anything they do.  Unless it’s alive; that’s where I draw the line.  (Regarding the picture below, the raw meat is cooked over hot charcoals on the grill right in the middle of your table.  This was only about a third of the table by the way, the rest of it was just as packed with food, then we got a second course of noodle seafood soup!)

My apartment won’t be ready until next weekend, so until then I will be staying with the director and his family.  I am extremely grateful for their hospitality, especially considering it is not common for Koreans to have houseguests, although I am anxious to be out on my own.  There is a language barrier between us and the little boys have been acting as translators.  Their English skills are very impressive, and I feel like a complete shmuck for not even being able to say “Thank You” correctly in their language!