Tuesday, October 30, 2007


My friend Eddy from college came for a couple of days, and was the first to actually use my guest bedroom. It was mid-week, so no craziness other than some nights of drinking. Got a great gift of a nice bottle of single malt scotch =) It was fantastic to see him though, he has been traveling around the world for the better part of a year (better than m time in business school, and part of a bit of time off between law firms in DC and the next step in LA).

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I recently found this site, and it just totally cracks me up. Of course I look for similar things around Korea, this had to be one of my favorite signs though! It is in the middle of Itaewon, the foreigner area (and near the US military base) in Seoul.

Apparently I needed to live here

There are three places in Seoul (within a 10 minute walk from my house) named Angus. What are the odds?

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Hawaii of Korea

I spent a weekend down in Cheju, dubbed the Hawaii of Korea. When I visit Hawaii in May, I will be able to accurately describe whether that is true ;) It was a great weekend exploring various parts of the island with Michelle. Kevin, one of my Korean co-workers laid out a detailed itinerary for us, set up the rental car, and even where to stay. I did learn my lesson about the Korean beds though, and brought a Therm-a-rest to sleep on top of the concrete-like mattress ;) We could see the sunrise on the ocean from the hotel room, walked to several waterfalls, made pottery (mine needed A LOT of help from the woman working there). We also ate some of the main dishes there, including five-layer pork, and went to an ethnic village (and PAID way too much for some local tea).

The most interesting aspect was driving around in a rental car with GPS. I did learn the Korean words for left and right quite well (to the point of I needed to figure out how to turn the volume down!) The GPS has all of the speed traps listed, and numbers for each of the restaurants and the famous tourist spots.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Korean Weddings – two in a month!

Over the span of a month, several members of the group got married. Eunhasu, who helps us deal with housing and various other administrative issues was married. The actual ceremony is about 20 minutes, followed by about 30 minutes of pictures (which are put on multiple screens in the different dining rooms). Then a couple of weeks later I went to another co-workers wedding, his family had flown in from Belgium for the wedding! This was Christian ceremony, and lasted much closer to an hour (as a side note, religious ceremonies are harder to understand when it is all in Korean).

Friday, October 12, 2007

Housewarming Party - There goes all of the TP

I held a housewarming party, and apparently a sign of good luck is never-ending toilet paper. So one of my Korean colleagues brought me about 20 rolls of toilet paper. This was great until one of my friends decided halfway through the night to cover as much as he could with paper. I woke up the next morning with substantially less toilet paper and a lot of cleaning to do.

Overall the housewarming party was a great success. I had maybe 30 or 40 people. The only interesting thing is that you don’t typically mix groups in Korea. So this party was specifically for my co-workers. Given the regimented hierarchy of the society, if you mix groups, people don’t know who is what level of seniority and therefore people can be much more uncomfortable.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Apparently I going to get fat

Being in Asia, I decided that I was going to get acupuncture and try to work on many of my age-old rowing injuries. I went to a hospital where one of my co-workers has gone (and his back is in much better shape). They performed an MRI, but also practice eastern medicine. Needless to say, I was not surprised (but also not happy), to realize that I have a degenerated disc in my back and a torn tendon in my shoulder (dating back 10 and 11 years respectively).

The most entertaining part about the whole experience though was the bedside manner of the doctor (he is Austrian). I was told that when I was about 40 I was going to put weight on around the middle that I was not going to be able to get rid of (according to my blood), and then other things would happen when I am around 50 (can't write about these online). You know that phrase naivety is bliss?